Two Pains

Everybody wants something out of life, but the question is, How bad do you want it?

Our human flesh by nature is selfish and wants its own way. If we’re going to make progress in any life goal, we will always have to make a choice of whether to exercise discipline. Even doing nothing is a choice. I always say that making no decision is a decision.

Whether you’re working on a random project, a book, in school or college, saving or investing for the long-term, striving for or maintaining your fitness and nutrition goals, or setting boundaries of respect and self-love in your personal relationships, you must use discipline.

That leaves us with a choice of two pains with said life goals: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

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Burn Notice

For the past several weeks, I’ve been enjoying fried fish on Fridays. I like it any day of the week, actually, but I usually had it on Fridays. The point is that I regularly fry fish and make enough leftovers to have for a day or two afterward.

Last Thursday, I decided to fry fish. I poured in about a half inch of fresh peanut oil and turned the stove dial to “3”. After a few minutes, I flicked a bit of water into the pan and nothing happened, so I turned the setting to “5” and walked away.

When I came back, I seasoned the fish in a bag and put the first thin piece in with a fork. I was using a wide, deep pan, but even from the far side, was not prepared for the splash that the oil made, and it covered my hand pretty well. I screamed and ran water over my hand. It hurt like never before– any prior pops of grease I had experienced resulted in short-lived pain, but this was different. How was I going to cook the rest of the fish? It was about 2 pm and I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I was also in the middle of working on something important at my desk.

I applied an ice pak from the freezer (I had two that were about the size of my hand, and each was already inside a ziploc bag). The ice pak only intensified the pain, and I knew better than to apply butter or Vaseline, which would only trap the heat). I managed to finish cooking the rest of the fish without incident, but I was literally disabled for the next several hours, as this was my right hand–my dominant hand. Writing, typing, and everything else I wanted to do was nearly impossible because of the excruciating pain, and I took an 800 mg of ibuprofen that I had from a previous prescription, but it was hard to concentrate on anything else.

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