As I prepared to leave the gym yesterday, I had to decide which way to walk home. There was the icy way through alleyways; I suspected it would be especially slippery yesterday as it was quite cold. There was the other way, a sunny route along a pleasant street with clear sidewalks. It seemed an easy choice until I considered one factor - the pleasant walk would talk a little longer. Realizing that, I made my decision and headed to the slippery alleys.
I find this decision curious although I would probably make the same one again. Why is it that I will exercise at the gym but refuse to take a route home that might add 3 minutes of time? I'm afraid of falling but I will take the risk.
In addition to the very real possibility of falling on the very real ice, the alleyways present other potential perils. I try not to think about any nasty human element and comfort myself that there always people nearby should that ever be a problem. But there are coyotes in the neighbourhood. Apparently they're not much of a danger to adult humans but I don't want to encounter one that's in a bad mood. Everyone has off days. Unleashed dogs are another concern. I'm terrified of them and it doesn't help when people say they can sense my fear. That makes me more afraid. And let us not forget the neighbourhood rabbits. No one really knows what havoc they can wreak. I've seen 6 or more together at a time; I don't know what they're planning.
Walking along a street doesn't necessarily protect one from all dangers but being in plain view of drivers and pedestrians could be helpful when one is attacked by mean-spirited rabbits or unable to get up after a spectacular and injurious fall. I am reconsidering my choices but I doubt that they'll change. I seem pretty much set on saving that little bit of time.
I guess we all do cost/benefit analyses in our heads as we go through our days. What will save time, how much energy are we willing to expend, how dangerous would that action really be? To us, the decisions we make as a result of these analyses make sense. To others, they may seem strange.
I didn't fall the other day and the wildlife stayed a safe distance away. I did get home faster and that enabled me to regale my family sooner with tales of my athletic feats (or, in my case, whimper and complain about the discomforts and pain I had caused myself at the gym). For me, on that day, that decision was right. I hope that we all keep making decisions that turn out to be right for us. And that no one encounters any dangerous wildlife anytime soon.