SSS #232: Choose Your Battles


I want to start this week's post by saying Thank You.

After my Stolen Watch post last week, many of you reached out to show me support.

Some of you shared your "watch guy" with me to help me find a replacement.

Others sent a simple text saying "I can't believe that happened! I'm so sorry."

NO ONE said anything negative. And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

I was afraid to share that story because I didn't want to hear anyone say the worst things I was already thinking of myself:

  • "You're such an idiot for not having insurance."
  • "WHY would you bring that watch into a gym?!"
  • "You don't deserve that watch anyway."

Y'all Da Real MVPs. 🥲

Love you. Thank you (again).


Oh and also an update on the watch situation.

The detective that was assigned to my case was able to get in touch with the person who I accused of stealing it. They denied taking it and agreed to take a polygraph. I'm just waiting for that to happen now.

Livin' La Vida Luna y Luca

Late Nights Early Mornings
Late Nights Early Mornings

Luna taking care of Luca while I catch a quick nap. Totally normal, right?

Choose Your Battles

Every so often during the car ride home from school, Luna will say something like, "Johnny pushed me at school today" or "Janie hit me and took my toy".

We typically ask, "And what did you do or say?"

"I told them No thank you - keep your hands to yourself! And then I walked away."

We affirm, "Good job, honey. Set the boundary and remove yourself from those types of situations. You can always find something or someone else to play with."

It might seem like we're raising pushovers, but we're not. We're raising our kids to choose their battles (& play the right games).

Marcus Aurelius said, "The best revenge is to not be like your enemy."

Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind."

It's not enough to simply like these sayings. You have to also model the associated behavior.

Taking My Own Medicine

I recently had a real estate transaction go sideways.

Long story short: I put a $65K earnest money deposit down on a $1.3M commercial asset. There was a miscommunication about the due diligence period concluding and the seller held our deposit hostage after we tried to terminate the contract.

Two weeks later, we settled to split the deposit 50/50, resulting in a $32.5K loss for my partner and me ($16.25K each).

We could have gone through litigation, but it would have taken years and cost at least $10-$15K in legal fees.

I also have a case to make against my business partner for gross negligence regarding transaction management, but I'm choosing not to pursue it (legally, at least).

No Fighting:

I'm not a fighter. I'd walk the extra mile it takes to get to where I'm going to avoid a fight. My therapist and I are actively working on my tendency to avoid conflicts.

My main argument is that "fighting" is almost always so unnecessary. I also believe people who like fighting (or fight often) are generally unhappy.

Whether you suffer from a victim mentality or you're the instigator barreling your way through life... both types of people are just exhausting to be around.

Energy and headspace are more valuable to me than money. When my attorney told me it would take ~2 years to litigate this case in Essex County court, I immediately told her to settle no matter what. "Get what you can and let's walk."

I'd rather lose all of that money than let this issue persist in the back of my head for 2 years. I could barely handle the 2 weeks it took to settle.

Infinite Games >

Finally - I like to play infinite games and tend to opt out of finite games whenever possible. If you're not familiar with the concept...

Finite Games: Known players, fixed rules, an agreed-upon objective (e.g. football, or fighting over a toy in the schoolyard).

Infinite Games: Known and unknown players, changeable rules, and the main objective is to simply keep the game in play (e.g. business).

Finite games have clearly defined end points and there are winners and losers. In an infinite game, all parties are working to keep the game in play. There are no winners or losers, but rather those who drop out of the game due to a lack of will or resources to continue playing.

When I caught myself feeling righteous about the losses incurred in this recent real estate transaction, I didn't have to look much further than my daughter to remind myself the best approach was to say, "No thank you - keep your hands to yourself!" and walk away.