Focus on the Doughnut, Not the Hole

I like to remember this when I’m struggling with an uncertain future. In other words, I find it helpful to zero in on what is real, known and tangible. Those elements have a degree of certainty greater than the abstraction of the future.

I’ve been struggling in my mind about our future vacation plans. By future, I mean 2024 and beyond. In more straightforward, meaning more predictable times, I’d pick a destination first. Then I would look at average destination temperatures to determine the best time to travel: This would then be refined by the predictable rhythm of airfare price fluctuations. My health was always good, with very few sick days each year and no medications to consider.  Travel health insurance was of no financial consequence because of no predispositions and being well under 75 years of age when the rate spike was automatic.

Now I am in a more complex and unpredictable time. First, I need to work-backwards, or shall I call it the new work-forwards, through that checklist of considerations.

How much is that travel health insurance going to cost me? Check.

Thankfully I’m only on 2 medications, so aside from ensuring a sufficient supply, I’m good to go on that front. Check.

I was never sure about my predispositions. I’ve read the fine print now to be more confident. Broadly speaking, as long as I don’t have any hospital visits or changes in my medication within a few months of departure, I’m fine. Check.

Airfares and flights. These have wide fluctuations in predictability and reliability. This will take research for the price, with an overlay of “Will the airline be offering the flight I paid for at the departure times I’m expecting?”

Now, the most significant decision is where to go. Sometimes I have several possibilities–overseas, the Maritimes, West Coast, or the Okanagan etc.

So many considerations – all first-world problems, I admit. This is where my pastry thinking kicks in. The doughnut reminds me to lean towards the tangible during this complex decision-making risk assessment tree.

Risk assessment is always flawed. However, dividing the decisions into high or much lower risks is helpful. At some point, I have to wrap the project into a ball and decide if the risk is worth it.

Please give this a bit of a think. Do you have techniques for making decisions that ultimately have no correct answer? What is one project you can recall that brought about refinements in your process?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Focus on the Doughnut, Not the Hole

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    When my husband was diagnosed with Myeloma last September it sent us all into a state of unbelief followed by the realization that this incurable cancer can be treated and some people can live to an old age. Not 95 maybe but let’s just say a comfortable old age. We were given a very thick manual of what to expect during treatment with page after page of some dreadful side affects. We were told that given the toxicity of the drug, flushing the toilet twice was recommended! We never did it. Wearing a mask was critical due to the risk of infection – he did that for only a month.
    Avoid crowds – are you kidding? He’s been to three weddings. The chemo is very debilitating but my husband continues to go to work every day, he mows the lawn, washes both cars weekly and helped our S-I-L assemble a giant trampoline – 2 hours in the hot sun. Should we travel to Florida in 2 weeks ? Yes, it’s a risk but he’s been given a 2 week reprieve from treatment and we’re packing. A bone marrow transplant is expected to take place in August as long as the chemo continues doing its job. So he’s definitely looking at the doughnut because to look at the hole means that you’ve lost hope.

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