Between Two Chairs

When you feel stuck between two chairs, the problem is not that you can’t sit down. You even have more than one option! The challenge is that we don’t know which seat will be comfortable enough for us to keep sitting in it. If we choose A, will we topple and fall over? If we choose B, will our butt hurt after 30 minutes?

The dilemma is exacerbated when other people want to recruit us for their respective recliner: It always sounds so good when they talk about it! But is their chair really the right one for us? A church group, a new division at work, the local chess club — they all want us on their team, but in sitting down on their bench, we might knock over another.

What if your dad leans right with his vote, and your mom leans left? Who will you support? What if you get along great with your roommate, but the best job opportunity is in another city? When the chairs are people, life really gets messy.

There are no perfect answers here. Sometimes, you’ll choose the exact right chair, and everyone will commend you for it. At other times, you’ll realize your mistake before your butt even touches the surface, and you’ll spend the next few months cleaning up the mess you’ve made.

The only missteps you can truly avoid are those leading you in a circle around your vast array of seats. Life isn’t a game of musical chairs. In fact, the music will only start playing once you sit down. Don’t hesitate for too long. Don’t stand around until your legs hurt. Chairs are like buses — they come and they go — but you need to sit in one in order to focus and do your best work.

I know. I, too, wish life was easier. I wish we didn’t have to choose so often. It’s rarely fun when life forces our hand, but at least that way, we know we’re still playing. And sometimes, magic unfolds! So pick a chair, sit down, and hope for the best. The next intersection will soon appear, and unlike on a plane, you can always change your seat.