The Best Decisions: the unspoken cost of opportunity

These days, there’s a lot of talk about choices here at Garbarino Acres. What type of hood (this was the winner), what activities are the kids doing, when are we finally building the outdoor sauna…board and batten exterior? Composite wood exterior? Yellow house, red house or black house? Short hair or long hair?

I’m blanking at the moment, but it might be in this podcast that the concept of cost attached to choice was discussed and it’s been ringing in my ears ever since.

The cost of not brushing my hair is having dreadlocks, of which I have three and am hours away from cutting off. (wendy, it’s so so bad!!!).

The cost of engaging in the capsule wardrobe is that I can’t go to Joe Fresh and pick up spur of the moment pants with my onions. The cost of taking care of myself is that I have to wake up really fucking early. The cost of moving here is going out less at night. Those are all self-related costs and I can navigate them usually with ease.

Decisions that impact the family? Those are a bit more complicated.

The cost of renovating the kitchen right now is very high. Since we’re DIYing the entire project, time is the most prized metric here and we have to a) make harsh decisions about how we use it and b) assume the consequences of those choices.

What are the consequences?

  1. The kids are not continuing all the activities they started last year
  2. I can’t prepare the foods that I normally feed the family (Tim Hortons and St-Hubert are my new shame subjects)
  3. Our living space is starting to feel like a Die Antwoord video (you can google that, but be warned… that is not safe for work!)
  4. We have even less time to socialize with friends and family

those are the costs attached to the opportunity of having a new(ish) kitchen.

Can’t I have the new kitchen AND make organic healthy food during the renovation? Don’t I deserve to be excited AND comforted, to be healthy AND indulge, to earn AND nurture, to change AND stay the same. Shouldn’t I be able to have legacy AND freedom?

The discomfort of realizing that we can’t have it all is personally hard to swallow and is often publicly shamed.

We have been conditioned to strive for the best since we’ve been children: have the best grades, be the best at sports, grow up to be the cutest, land the best job, meeting the best person, creating the best family, growing into our best selves, BE THE BEST!!

I’m realizing that life doesn’t always let you exercise your best self.  There are choices we have to make, and sometimes they end up costing us pieces of ourselves that we value as best.  And if you’ve never been able to accept anything BUT the best, you’re in for a rough ride.  I know it’s been for me.

Saying no to anything that stands in the way of all that ‘bestness’ is often judged harshly, first by ourselves and by others around us. It seems that sometimes we would rather chose to suffer through the cost of ‘having it all’, than surrender to the shame of saying no.

Insecurity: 1 Self Acceptance: 0

I’ve had a few occasions when I couldn’t attend something for the kids- a graduation from daycare, or a school play… a handful of school related events that you typically try to make happen, at any cost. Realizing that for those instances, I couldn’t be everywhere was heartbreaking. I faced the fact that I couldn’t be the version of myself I wanted to be. And the worst part? I couldn’t suffer that one in silence, like so many of my other defeats. Nope, I had to tell other people: insecurity… meet citric acid.

My OBGYN is as blunt as a dull butter knife. One day, during my bi-annual contraception rant – the pill is annoying to remember, the diaphragm is not dependable, the copper IUD has failed me once and the hormonal IUD is well, full of hormones – she quickly dragged my ass back to reality:

There is no perfection: only the solution for which you can accept the consequences.

And then you shut the hell up and get out of my office.

Saying no might be conceding defeat.  Admitting that you can’t afford the costs  is humbling.  But the cost of saying yes, and entertaining the gold mirror illusion of yourself, is far too destructive on yourself and the people around you.

I promise there will be be fun stuff on the blog this week. And yes, I really do have three dreadlocks. And really, should we paint the house black?



4 thoughts on “The Best Decisions: the unspoken cost of opportunity

  1. Great post and godspeed. I hear someday renovations do end? Saying no is hands down harder than saying yes — but my guess it’s part of the key figuring it all out. ps. NICE NEW BLOG LOOK! pps. there was a lot of painted grey in Knowlton — it’s an easy sell to me. You know how I like grey!

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