The Path of Least Resistance

Flowers in a Mason Jar There are times in life where you come to a crossroads. I know this probably sounds trite, but it is very true. You know those times only in retrospect when wondering, “what would have happened if I chose the other road instead?” 

 I have reunited with some of my past and have been reminded of some of my own “crossroads” and how the decisions may have changed where I am today. 

For instance, I stole a pack of gum when I was five years old. Or, at least tried to steal it. I got caught by my mother. Interestingly, stealing gum is very common…. (read here: We’ve all stolen gum). I took the path of least resistance and slipped a pack of gum in my pocket rather than asking my Mom to buy me a pack. When she caught me, she could have shrugged, disciplined me and left since she only found out about the gum after we left the store. Instead, she did the “hard thing” and dragged me in to apologize to the store manager. I wonder what would have happened she too, decided to take the easy route.

Eye

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.  There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.  ~J.C. Watts

Then comes a big decision in High School. It wasn’t “Should I do drugs, drink or have sex?” I was very square and a pretty straight-laced student. I was quiet, obedient, and a little wacky. The big decision was “Should I NOT try out for my dream of being a Drum Major for our band?”I know…..lame, geeky, bizarre.

Band Line

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw

I wanted to not try and just have the outcome be what I feared it would be if I tried for it. My sister Lynn, normally very quiet - yelled at me and told me that I would regret NOT trying more than I would regret trying and failing. My friends were all supportive as well, but the unusual behavior from my sister made me listen more. I remember realizing that she made a sacrifice and did not let me “go gentle into that goodnight”.

 I made Drum Major and so did my best friend Kathey. Had I not tried, I would have never tried for anything worth trying for in my life. I know this because I still remember the courage and humiliation that day with sweat running off my fingers and doubt running through my mind.   That same queasy feeling occurs in my adult life when I want something badly enough…and I push that envelope to avoid regret.

Had I not tried then, I would have never have been brave enough to be a Voice-Over Artist.

One year later, I suffered a major blow to my ego and failed. My freshman year in college I tried out for band, and was rejected. Yep….rejected. No problem. No therapy needed!

Now that I’m older, the crossroads are much more complicated and not always met with 100% successful outcomes. There is sacrifice, disappointment and heartache.

Do I have regret? That’s a tough question.

I promise myself to always try my best to follow the truth in my heart avoid the path of least resistance as it normally leads to an outcome that is regrettable and mediocre…at best.

Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

3 Responses to “The Path of Least Resistance”

  1. Erik Sheppard says:

    Great post Kat. Dylan Thomas is one of my favorites and is quite appropo here.

  2. jazzyjett says:

    Much truth in following another’s well measured beating of overly cautious living. I submit that fearful living is a life, perhaps, with more comfort but a very bedeviling daily grind. Life doesn’t get us or grind us down; rather the manner in which we purposefully choose to reference it. It has its miseries, no doubt, but the doubting that follows misery’s momentary departure is what nabs the 90 percent of us all. If fact it is easy to find character in a crisis, but the other 90 percent of our lives we oft struggle to find it. But what a joy to know that joy, in fact, does exist when not externally sought after. Not possible and if it were, we’d be satisfied with the “feeling like a failure” and being perfectly fine with it. My short novel hardly intended but, I may have made the mistake of being a bore and long-winded; I do hope so. That means I’ve got my first mistake out of the way well before the sun shall rise in about seven hours! “My first mistake is worrying that I will make one.” - BJett (Smile) Get it out of the way. No one will even notice and it might even serve a grander plan in spite of our “perceptions” of mistakes in light of “coincidence’s” folly… No such a thing.

    BGJ

    Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ. -C. S. Lewis

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