I was having dinner with some friends the other night, and, as happens every time I drink bourbon, I started talking about my days when I was a Marine. One of the things I liked about it was there were so many “consequence” moments. By that I mean that very moment before you jump out of the helicopter for the first time or sleep with a prostitute.
We all have these moments: when you decide to take a new job, when you sign the mortgage for your first home, when you say, “I do.” They are thrilling and terrifying with consequence.
I had that moment when Joan asked me if I wanted to walk Shimmer. First, I’ve never owned a dog as an adult, and, being a cat person, I had some doubts. Second, this would also be the first time in many years I was responsible to somebody else–our wonderful neighbor and her dog, of the only thing I knew was he ran a bus company at one time. I wasn’t sure I had the ability to make that commitment. And, thirdly, there are a lot of frigging hills here. C’mon, we live at the tip of the third highest hill in the City! Who wants to walk up and down that?
Obviously, I said yes. It turns out I love dogs as much as I do cats, maybe more because they don’t puke up hairballs for you to walk on in the middle of the night. And, it turns out that walking up and down the hills has helped my blood pressure, making me the envy of all the senior citizens we meet in the park.
We have no control of the random things that happen in our lives, but these consequence moments give us a chance to control our destiny. And once you make that choice, a new chapter of your life begins.