Who Really Makes the Decisions?

This morning, I was supposed to go running. The weather is perfect. But all that work was waiting for me! — a book edit for my publisher in France, a manuscript waiting for completion in the U.S., an article due, an essay due, several business letters and calls I’ve been putting off, etc. The list goes on…and on…. If I went running, I would surely not get half the things done that needed to be done yesterday.

The argument in my head went on for a while. My body / health, vs. my work. Finally, I decided it would be counter-productive to go pounding around the neighborhood while all that work waited for me at home. I pulled out my lap-top and settled in.

Then my son called.

He was at the Vegas airport, on his way home from Denver to pack and leave tomorrow morning for Patagonia, at the tip of South America. Such is the schedule of a world-famous Oscar-winning rock climber.

Each time he leaves on an expedition, I know I might never see him again. I’ve had to make peace with that. All of us know this, of course, every day; newspapers are filled with headlines to prove it. Every time you cross the street, or leave your house…. But my son ups the ante on those odds, by quite a bit.

If I’d gone running this morning, I would have missed his call. (I don’t use my phone while running.) The odds being what they are, today could be the last time I’d ever get to talk with him. When he calls, I always answer.

If I’d been out in the street, running, I would have missed him.

What was it that argued louder in my head this morning to stay home? That mental discussion could have gone either way. This has happened so many times in my life, yet it always amazes me. Did I listen to my gut? Is there some Force out there, guiding things? Some guardian angel-type being making decisions for us, or pushing us toward those decisions? God, or whatever you call that concept? Cosmic circles?

Call it what you will, this has happened many times in my life. I argue with myself, one side wins, I regret the decision…and then I get a call, like today, or an opportunity, or something else happens that would not have happened if I’d chosen differently.

What do you call it?