Difficult decisions are hard

Today I've been thinking about hard decisions and how sometimes they're not actually hard, just difficult, because you know the right decision is the difficult decision and it's hard to draw a line under it and say "that's my decision; it's the right thing to do" it's so much easier to talk around the kernal of the thing and let emotions get involved and rose-coloured-glass your way to a pretend future that really doesn't stack up against the data as it's presented to you for the difficult decision and you know that if you listen to those circling convince'ations it's just delaying the decision or actually making it harder and more difficult down the track.

This year I have been lucky enough to win a place on a training course at work. It's an over subscribed year-long course with the goal to bring more women into leadership positions.

As I spent hours on the application last year, I had a rose-coloured view of my 2015 where I'd learn how to lead; learn the secrets; learn all the magic that makes for a good leader. Over these, the first weeks of the year, it's dawning on me there is no magic words; no secret code; just difficult things that are hard to face.

This morning I told a veterinarian that it was my wish to euthanise one of my rabbits.

As I type that sentence I hope you realise it wasn't as concise or as clear as it appears. The tears started even before I started speaking; a sob caught me three words in; by the end I was crying with my fingers in soft rabbit fur. After they took her away, and I paid the final bill, I sat in my car and sobbed.

She'd been at the vet's under hospital care for nearly five days, on a drip for fluids, antibiotics for the parasite they found in her gut, drugs trying to shift and dissolve the blockage in her intestines, being hand fed pro-biotic yoghurt in hopes of getting the good bacteria back into her gut.

Today we saw that she hadn't improved. She hadn't worsened though, and as she ate the coriander I had brought her my heart insisting that a few more days we would see her turn around. I could feel the bones of her spine and her hips under her glossy fur she'd lost so much weight - it was glossy and soft and clean - was that a sign she was pulling through? It had been dull a week ago - was the fur a sign she was actually getting better?

I was imagining that maybe today wasn't the day for my difficult decision after all.

Like all big decisions, I had thought a lot about it over the last few days. I spent time talking to the vet every day, taking her advice which was really a couple of options - she would have operated on the rabbit if I'd said to but it was a very high probability the rabbit wouldn't survive long after the surgery. When I thought about the decision, I concentrated on what was best for the bunny - not how to delay the sadness of losing her and probably prolonging her suffering.

When making this decision the only thing I needed to focus on was the rabbit's well being. Her quality of life was poor and unlikely to change, and while we were managing her pain we wouldn't always be able to do that. Without medication she would be in pain. She would also know she was very sick which was why she had separated herself from her hutch mates in the first place. Rabbits are prey animals so they hide weakness such as an illness or an injury and that would put more stress on her.

I can't tie this to the original thought of leadership - well not yet, anyway. Or where this post was even going so I'm just going to stop typing.