My wife and I actually got to spend some time together for about 24 hours straight. Spontaneously, after dropping the kids off at my in-laws, we headed down to Atlantic City and scored a couple of tickets to a Police concert, thanks to Sue, the best casino host in the world. The last time The Police played Atlantic City was 1984. I was in 10th Grade. I love their music. They opened up with "Mesage In A Bottle". They rocked. But they got old. Really old. They were still wearing the same outfits they wore back in the day- Sting with his sleeves cut off, the guitarist Andy Summers with black and white stripes, and the drummer Stewart Copeland sporting a black shirt with the emblem from "Ghost In The Machine". And there were big Atlantic City style banners all around the concert hall which read "Bet With Your Head, Not Over It." But who am I, but an almost-40 year old guy who used to hang out at the mall. I still go to the mall nowadays, just with my wife and kids instead of with any of my teenage friends who were adventurous enough to ride a public bus.
Back in the day (way way WAY back), I didn't go to any concerts. My parents were pretty much conditioned by my sister. She's 8 years older than I am, and she took the liberty of telling my parents all the terrible things that happen at these concerts. And me, being so naive at the time (I grew up in Pleasantville), I actually started to believe the hype myself. So I stopped wanting to go, thinking that in all my Pleasantville suburban-ness I would be over my head at such a ruckus. So I decided instead, back then, to act with my head.
I still experience that sentiment today on occasion, pausing to decide whether or not to take a risk. I love emergency medicine. I love being an emergency responder. And in a perfect world, I would do it 24/7, all instead of being an attorney. The problem is, the world is far from perfect. There are so many days I wake up asking myself whether today is the day I will take the plunge out of my finely tailored Armani attorney suit and into my Medic gear. The attorney , self-sacrificing for my wife and kids, or the Medic, selfish, self-satisfying pursuits of uncelebrated glory.
Hindsight is 20/20. So I suppose that no one, including myself, can truly tell whether a decision to become a full time Medic would be betting with or over my head. Here's part of the rub: ever hear of a successful gambler who didn't take crazy risks? Ever know a successful business owner who didn't put it all on the line to parlay his hunch into a walk on easy street? Ever think about how any pioneer in any field was prejudged? We marvel at what we now call their foresight. But take yourself back, if you can, to the very instant they all made their decision to act- were they betting with their head, or over it?
I have tickets to go see Van Halen on Thursday. David Lee Roth is with them on this tour. He's an EMT.