The Many Paths To Decision Making

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As we pulled into the driveway of our new home, with pride as a new homeowner my husband ran to the garage to retrieve the shovel. The fresh coat of heavy wet snow was going to be removed from our porch and walkway immediately.

As he cleared a path, I unloaded boxes. Once inside I could hear the scrapping sounds of his efforts as each small pile was lifted and transported to the yard.  After some time I heard the kitchen door open and then close.  Then minutes later I heard him enter the front door, “This is the way they will come in” he announced.

I stopped sorting the linen closet to understand him better, “What do you mean?” I asked as I leaned out of the upstairs hallway.

“The kids…” he replied, “It’s best if they come in through the front door after school.”

I pursed my lips in disagreement, “We talked about them coming in from the kitchen, through the back, that is where we will put the new key pad remember?”

He pointed down to his boots and smiled.  “It’s best if we rethink that.  As I shoveled I realized that the front door is protected by the wrap around porch, keeping that entry way dry.  I decided to walk through their routine to find the best route.”

“You did what?” I asked.

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“I walked through their routine, you know… I took the path from the front yard to each door to determine which entry way would be less messy when they returned from school after a snowy day like today.”

I chuckled at his “over-thinking” method and went back to sorting towels.  “I don’t want an ugly key pad in front!” I yelled down to him. “You over think things!” I exclaimed.

Later that night I found myself retrieving more boxes from the car.  The stairs to the back kitchen door were wet, icy and dangerous without salt.  With no where to tap off the icy snow from my boots I shrugged off my coat and dumped them in the middle of the kitchen.  I immediately searched the house for my husband to apologize.

“I discounted the way you thought about this whole thing” I started.  “I just assumed you were over-thinking the “coming home from school” thing and I didn’t take the time to realize the value you bring to our new home.  I am sorry.”

He stopped tightening a loose closet door and turned to me.  I continued ” I go through scenerios in my head, I don’t act them out like you do.  I guess I was being judgmental in HOW you think and dismissed your reasoning because of it.  The back stairs would be too wet and there is no where for them to shake off the outside without bringing it all in! I can defiantly see why coming in through the front has its benefits.  Thanks for literally going through the motions to help keep our new home clean and our children happy.”

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He smiled and I bent down to kiss him on the check.  His way of thinking was defiantly different from mine.  In the past weeks I had done so much planning in my own head, I was convinced there was no better way than my own.  I also realized that the term “over -thinking” was quite derogatory.  When I put myself in his shoes, I knew I would have been offended if he had discounted my “internal thoughts” when compared to his ability to “go through the motions”.

When I discounted HOW he thought, I dismissed the path he traveled and the value he brought to us as a family.  I was wrong in my quick judgment and discarded the importance of his deduction, reasoning and scrutiny.  There are many ways to think of any specific situation.  It may be in our own heads, in writing, in talking or in acting.  None are WRONG and each bring a special perspective that anyone can benefit from.

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