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Squirrels Don’t Dance

A friend of mine recently sent me this quotation: “The road of life is littered with the bodies of flattened squirrels.” Exactly. When something is wrong, fix it; if it can’t be fixed, then replace it, or learn how to make do. Whether it’s a car, a job, or a relationship, don’t dither around. Make a decision already!

It’s amazing how many people are so indecisive. You see it in traffic, when a driver can’t just pick a lane and stay in it; you see it in stores, when shoppers keep moving from one check-out line to the next; you experience it with friends — or worse, business associates— who can’t make up their minds about what to do next. They talk and talk and talk about a problem or an issue, but somehow they never resolve it. Or, they finally make a labored decision and then spend weeks, months, years second-guessing it, even where there is no possibility of a do-over! It’s frustrating, especially if you’re affected by the outcome. Who has time for all this?

Everyone faces decisions in life, some more important than others of course, but I have noticed that people address them differently at different stages. For example, when I was younger, I thought I had all the time in the world to analyze a problem, explore possible solutions, and put together a plan A, and even a B. I might let something slide for a while — a broken appliance, say, or a less-than-perfect job situation — not because I couldn’t decide what to do, but because the money or the opportunity, or even the urgency just  wasn’t there.

Not anymore. I’m retired now and I have all the money and the opportunity I’m ever going to get, along with the urgency of the years.  I know I don’t have all the time in the world, and I certainly don’t have time to waste on indecision, inconvenience or petty diversions that slow me down. I don’t even have time for do-overs. I have too many new things to do!

One of them being to learn the tango in Buenos Aires — which is why I’ve decided to have arthroscopic knee surgery. I don’t have time to hobble around with a torn meniscus, and I certainly don’t have time for the pain. I had my other knee totally replaced ten years ago, after putting it off and suffering with it for years, because I was too young for a replacement, because I couldn’t take the time off from work, because I wanted to exhaust all other remedies, blah… blah…blah…Because I was afraid of the surgery.  And I’m afraid now, too, even though this is a minimally-invasive day procedure, “a piece of cake,” according to my surgeon. But decisions made out of fear, or by default because of hesitation like the squirrel in the road, are never good ones.

So, I’m getting on with it lest a painful knee and a lack of mobility limit my choices and waste my time.  After all, I have to be ready to dance!

Note on photo above: “Moving Into Dance,” Constitution Square, Johannesburg, SA



  1. Candy

    Another spot on narrative but perhaps with elevated importance given our ages, our accomplishments to date and the state of the world. Well done my dear friend. Candy


  2. Pat

    I read through the whole set of postings today.

    Thanks for saying (so gracefully) many things that I have also pondered not quite as articulately. I love how you weave the political and personal together.

    Great pictures too.


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