Debra Swersky
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Fork… Fork. Fork. Fork. Fork. Fork… Fork. A similarly satisfying word to say on its own when you don’t want to curse like a sailor. I found this out when I thought of the phrase, “When you see a fork in the road, take it.” (Thank you, Yogi Berra.) I began dwelling on the word “fork” and found that it verbally expressed my exact sentiments. 

I never really thought about it, but Yogi Berra’s phrase is controversial. On the one hand, it is representative of not knowing which path to take - speaking about the literal bidirectional road “fork.” A metaphor for the major life decision to make. On the other hand, it could be a metaphor for the idea that, in life, when you are faced with two paths that you can take both - seize the opportunity in front of you and literally pick up the utensil in front of you. 

When I thought of the phrase initially it was in the context of “a major life decision” and having to pick one pathway. But then, I picked up my little spoon and decided that it was a better utensil than a fork. Forks are good (especially for sailor slang), but little spoons are just better. What do I mean by this? 

For starters, I have a collection of little spoons to choose from, enjoy eating with little spoons, and think that everything tastes better when eaten with a little spoon… so I am biased. But, more to the point, when faced with a major life decision, I struggle to make those decisions on my own. So, I don’t. I talk it out. With lots of people… Lots. Of. People. No, I don’t just poll people on the street (though dare me to and I will), but rather I think of the people in my life who would have a different perspective on my situation. These are typically people who know me in the context of the life decision to be made (work, personal, physical… or all of them) and whose opinions, advice, input etc. I can trust. I then mix all of the opinions, advice, and input up (like a delicious soup), take it all in, and make a decision. Voila!… (It’s like a good chili. Sounds more delicious than it feels. Ugh.)

I wrote about the important concept a couple of weeks ago of having people around you to ask you the tough questions. I stand by this life approach. It continues to be important to me. But, what you can’t replace are the people who ask the tough questions with the background, experience, and history of knowing you. I am very grateful to those people for taking the time out their lives to help me cut through (pun, intended) the major life decisions in front of me. 

What about this approach is little spoon vs. fork in the road? It’s the intention that I place on the problem to be solved. It’s the specificity with which I seek out the advice from the people who can help me move forward. And it’s the targeted, no crumbs through the tines, approach to our conversations. (“You know me. Here’s the scoop. What’s your opinion?”)

Little spoons… they’re just better utensils, and approaches to problem solving, than little forks. 

Debra Swersky