The thing you need to in order to decide your response is not a mere set of facts, you need a narrative. The missing ingredient that makes sense of it all is figuring out what the context is. What larger story is involved here? Knowing that makes deciding what to do much easier. Trying to make wise choices absent this context is both impossible and foolish and yet time and time again we try to do just that.
I recently had an opportunity to visit some family that I hadn’t seen in almost a decade. I know, shame on me for letting so much time pass. But while I was there I got a chance to take the family to visit the home of Frank Phillips (of Phillips 66, Conoco Phillips success). Apparently, there is a distant relation there; not the kind that would warrant a warm welcome and blank check but a relation nonetheless. Listening to stories of my grandparents and the events that shaped their generation I felt a bit like the person on the park bench. I was getting the context of where I fit in the larger story being told. Far too many of my generation feel isolated from that sense of legacy, from the weight of all that have gone before and that is sad. How can we know what standard to measure ourselves against if we don’t know where our parents set the bar? Chances are you’ll be inspired by what was accomplished by people who had so much working against them and rather than being burdened by the expectations their legacy inevitably raises you might just find that wellspring of grit and determination you need to overcome the obstacles in your own life.
I know that tubing trip sounds pretty appealing. The cruise ship has way more amenities than your second cousin’s spare bedroom, but family is foundational. So much more is accomplished when we stand the shoulders of preceding generations than when we toss their progress aside. Give it try. You never know what might happen.