Walking Beck this morning, I really felt the cold. We had battled the bitter air for 45 minutes. I couldn’t feel my chin, my toes, my fingers. I thought I was prepared with thick layers of head-to-toe winter armor (and poop bags). While determined to march through the entire neighborhood, my resolve began to slip as more body parts froze and the need to pee arose. I had to find a shortcut home, soon.
There are times in life when you think you can, but you can’t, so you take a shorter path to ease the pain, or make the challenge less stressful.
What’s a shortcut?
My handy dictionary tells me it’s a shorter route or method to accomplish something that omits one or more steps. Keyboard shortcuts such as Command-C and Command-V save time as you madly cut and paste to make a deadline that will (hopefully) turn a profit. That’s good. Using unstable cement and fewer stabilizers than recommended by company engineers when building an oil well in the Gulf can save time and money until it blows up. That’s bad. (And stupid, reckless, deadly, and so on.)
When do you take shortcuts?
I tend to look for shortcuts when I drive around town. Sitting in the backseat when I drive, makes James’s tummy feel queasy. Bumping over speed humps makes the boy downright irritable. My thinking is: I can get to my destination sooner, so why not? Ignore the complaints from the back seat and keep going. It usually works. However, there are times when taking a shortcut becomes a hellish journey involving screaming, howling and vomit.
When is taking a shortcut the right thing to do?
Earlier today I felt guilty trespassing on my neighbor’s frozen garden and snowy yard. But when sensation finally returned to my extremeties, I knew that taking the shortcut was the right thing to do. If my dog was not curled up in a ball, snoring beneath my desk, I think he would agree.