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Value Judgments

February 23, 2010  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random   3 Comments

One day I was talking to a young friend of mine. She was wondering when would be a good time to start a family. She and her husband wanted to travel and do couple things.

What, I wondered, should I tell her? Sometimes, more often than people like to admit, a couple doesn’t get to pick a time. Sometimes there just is, but on the flip side, sometimes there is nothing.

The nothing stretches on. It can stretch on for months.


The dirty little secret. Sometimes, you don’t get to pick. Sometimes, you just can’t. Sometimes you need help. Help that can take months.


I know this lesson well, but what could I say to my friend?

In the end, I told the truth. I begged her to consider her youth might be the only thing that would give her a family. That 30 could be 35 in a blink of an eye. Or 40. Or never.

Don’t play the odds.

Make the odds.

Sometimes, a value judgment is more than the courage of our convictions. Sometimes it is a way past a cold, uncaring, pile of noise. Life matters, and love is not a series of check marks. It’s a wonderful bundle of chaos, but while parts of it can grow, other parts can fade, lost in the relentless march of time.

The value judgment. Making a decision with limited data based on one’s values. The rational mind rebels against such actions. But life depends on these values.

Sometimes literally.

3 comments on: Value Judgments

  1. J.C February 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’m so pleased that was what you told her. So many women look around and see other older women having babies that they assume it will be easy for them to do if that’s what they choose.
    There is always time for other stuff later, there may not be a chance to have a baby further down the track though. I always wanted to be a mother, and I always wanted to travel, but you know? I can travel with kids, or I can travel when they are older, a fact that was really highlighted for me when I was managing a backpackers and we had a couple in their 60’s come through having an amazing time, and enjoying it all a lot more than they would have in their 20’s.
    When it came down to it, I could live without travel, I didn’t want to live without children in my life though.

  2. Judith Engracia March 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Good advice! I hope she has happy healthy babies when she does finally conceive.

  3. Anthony March 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I did not want to leave anyone with the false impression this was a recent conversation. 🙂 The young woman went on to start a family but had a difficult pregnancy resulting in bed rest to keep the baby. It was touch and go for a long time.

    She has a very cute daughter now. If she would have waited, well, I don’t want to think about it.

    Since most of my 8.3 readers are women (like, the rest of the internet), I tried to put into context just how important value judgments can be with a topic a bit more visceral than most. Strange advice coming from an analyst, I am sure, maybe more of an observation. Sometimes neither rolling the dice nor collecting the facts works.

    Or it could be I have psychic powers. Or, perhaps, seeing one more broken heart due to biology would push me over the edge. It could be I love babies too much and was being a baby pusher. One of those, or indigestion. Possibly gas.

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