My lovely husband Patrick has offered his services as guest poster extraordinaire again today and emailed me this to share as his blog contribution. Later, you will see that he points out he proposed to me five years ago today. And I, the heartless, forgetful one did not remember this fact until I was editing the post (fail.).
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
I’m sure most of you recognize the above excerpt from Robert Frost’s famous and “inspirational” poem, “The Road Not Taken”. However, you may not know that it is the most misinterpreted poem of all time. Frost didn’t write it to inspire the masses or future generations as it has been used.
As I learned in one of my first university English Literature courses, Frost actually wrote it to mock an indecisive friend he often went hiking with. You see “Jimmy” as we will call him found it difficult to decide which path to take when they came to a fork in a road and would always wonder about the path they didn’t take after the decision was made. I’ll admit that even after finding out this mind-blowing fact that I still sometimes think of the poem after I make a major decision and wonder what the outcome would have been if I decided differently.
We all make many choices everyday both consciously and subconsciously. In fact, you just made a choice by deciding to read this post and hopefully will choose to continue to read it. Many daily choices are minor ones such whether to hit the snooze button one more time, what to wear or what to eat for breakfast in the morning. Chances are good that those choices will not have great consequences… Unless, of course, you realize you forgot to put on pants/skirt as you arrive at work.
Of course, not all choices can be made so lightly or without foresight. I admire people who have to make major decisions that greatly affect their own life or the lives of others.
With Remembrance Day coming up, I think it’s safe to include veterans and current military personnel in that category. Let’s be clear – I hate war because of all the lives that are lost or changed forever as a result of it. I wish every dispute could be solved peacefully. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t support the people who sacrifice so much to protect the freedoms we take for granted.
Doctors/Paramedics/Nurses also fall into a similar category of making major decisions that affect others and themselves regularly.
How do you make major decisions?
I usually just flip a coin like a certain Batman villain.
Seriously though, there are a few things I usually do. I talk it over with people who I respect and trust the most such as my wife/family, or long-time friends and mentors. I pray about it and read the Bible- although admittedly not nearly as much as I should. I reflect about how I handled similar situations in the past and the results of the decisions I made- both good and bad. I try to honestly answer questions like, “What do I really want?” “What is the best choice for my well-being?” and “How will my decision affect the people closest to me or the situation?” I don’t like to admit it, but I also Google articles that are particularly relevant to the situation.
But something I always do with major decisions is something Trisha recently mentioned she does – make a pro-con list. Clearly, another sign we are perfect for each other, right? Writing the list is often the best way to see what I really think about both sides of the equation. If there are significantly more pros or cons then it makes it easier to decide what the best course of action is.
Now I’m sure you are wondering what one of the best decisions I ever made was where the pros were overwhelming?
Well you see 5 years ago on this very day I decided to ask Trisha to make an important decision. “Will you marry me?” I’m very happy she decided without hesitation to answer in the affirmative or to be more specific, “Yeah”. I’m glad that she also found that the pros outweighed the cons to marrying me… Or at least decided the cons were not a deal breaker!
I won’t go into all the mushy details of how I proposed. But, the short version is I had us walk to one of our favorite dating places with a beautiful view of forest and water. It was drizzly and I was worried the heavens were going to open up, but thankfully they did not. I read her a story I wrote because that was the best way I was able to express how much she meant to me. We then went to her favorite restaurant, which conveniently was not far from my Grandparents house, where we later went to let them know the good news. We followed that with going to “High School Musical 3” with some of our best friends. That may sound weird but one of first dates was to see the first High School Musical so it seemed a very fitting way to celebrate.
I wasn’t able to be as spontaneous or surprising as I would have liked but when you live in different provinces there is only so much you can do in that regards. Still, I wouldn’t change it and it was perfect because of the beautiful, intelligent woman (don’t edit that Trisha!). I proposed to. The rest was just icing on the cake.
Looking back it’s amazing to think how the two crazy kids in the picture below, taken immediately after getting engaged, have changed and not changed since 2008. We didn’t really know much about the realities of marriage or where we’d be living in a few years. In a way, we still don’t.
But we knew that we loved each other and didn’t want to live without each other. That was enough then and still is now. I hope and believe that in 5 years or even 50 years we can say the same thing. After, all, when I said “I do” it wasn’t just a one-time choice. It was a choice to try my best to love her every day as long as we both shall live no matter what. This is one road I thank God every day that I took and have no regrets about the road not taken.