As my dentist, who looks identical to Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family, began shaving my front tooth, it occurred to me that life offers very few permanent decisions.
Perhaps the thought was caused by the pain drugs or all the blood rushing to my head in that dental recliner, but it still lives with me.
How many life decisions result in a permanent outcome?
Suicide, some STDs, organ transplants, amputations…all lead to a fixed outcome that is far different than the preceding reality. Too a far less degree, but still reaching a level of permanency, is shaving my front tooth down. Lifelong medical implications also fall into this category. For instance, my heart is patched with a tiny drink umbrella-looking device that has permanently grown into the organ’s tissue. A permanent alteration to overcome a congenital flaw.
There aren’t many choices we can’t undo yet, decision making often trips us up. If most decisions are impermanent, why do we battle to make them? Choosing a path causes paralysis and doubt. It slows progress and erodes experience, instinct, and confidence.
Perhaps it is because decisions are reboundable, recoverable, retraceable. But yet, the path each choice reveals is paved and lives with us permanently.
With Mitchell Pritchett’s promise of a new & improved smile, I can’t help but think about the 37 years with the imperfect, impermanent one.
Smile, girls. Smile. This is a fleeting moment in a lifetime of fleeting moments.