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Dear Touchy-Feely Guy, I Don’t Care!

March 7, 2019

My therapist gave an exercise. She wanted me to write a letter from my emotional side to my intellectual side, and one from the intellectual side back to the emotional side.

Yesterday I posted the letter from my emotional side. My emotional side called my intellectual side an idiot. Here’s the response.

Dear Rod,

You called me an emotional idiot. Well, I have some news for you. I DON’T CARE. Yes, I’m analytical. Yes, I do cost/benefit analysis and risk/reward studies about decisions. But, you know what? It works. It definitely works better than letting you be in charge.

We’re out of debt, except for the house. We HAVE a house. No one is coming to repossses our cars. We’ve got a good paying stable job that we like. None of those things were true when YOU were making decisions for us.

Remember Wisconsin? You pressed us to take that job because you were too scared to be unemployed any longer. It was a “lets run away and play rafting guide” plan. And it sucked!

Don’t you DARE ever ask me “what’s the worst that can happen?” That was close to the worst, foreclosed house, $80,000 in debt, people coming to take the cars. And we ended up unemployed anyway. We ended up in a 3 stall horse barn with a port-a-potty outside and 12 kids to care for. THAT is what can happen when you “follow your BLISS.”

I know you’d rather be free to ride around the country on a Harley Davidson wearing a Rolex. (Did I leave out any bucket list items?)

So, yes, we are going to do things MY way. Your way is too dangerous.

Remember that scout camping trip through Western Colorado? Driving 70 MPH through the dark Colorado backroads. Doug was driving, we were in the passenger seat and five scouts were in the back watching a DVD. Doug didn’t realize the highway went down to a single lane in each direction. The first car barely missed up us and Doug froze. What would YOU have done? It’s precisely BECAUSE I’m the “emotional designated driver” that we are still alive. I told Doug, “You are in his lane. You’re in his lane.” He then cut back into our lane.

Without that emotionally bankrupt response we’d be dead. You, me, the scouts, Doug. We’d be one more gruesome statistic. Instead the boys never even knew there’d been an issue.

You know what the designated driver gets to do? He gets to go home every night. Is any amount of “partying” worth risking that? I don’t think so. You might say, “Yeah, but it’s a rare thing that something like that happens.” It only takes once. Screw up one time and people can die.

Embrace life? What do you think I’ve been doing? House, cars, kids in college, and missions. THAT is life. It’s the messy, unglamourous bits. It’s getting up at 2:00AM to deliver newspapers for $1600/month and trying to pick up extra routes. It’s driving old cars that are fully paid for. It’s finding the joy where you can and not necessarily chacing somewhere else to look for it. It’s realizing that a lot of times it can be a slog.

If the tradeoff is being an emotional idiot, an emotional cripple, then that’s a tradeoff that I’d make every single day and count myself lucky to have the choice.

Yes, I’m having an argument with myself and posting it on the internet. I did mention I was in therapy, right?

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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