— Zac Chase (@MrChase) January 7, 2016
When I asked my father if I could get a hamster, his response was that he needed to “cogitate” about it. He did not need to thinking about or even contemplate it. He needed to cogitate.
This was the first time that I realized my father’s type of logic was different than most other folks. Although the answer was eventually “yes” to the hamster, the process that he went through for this and every other decision held a gravity that I could see readily in his eyes. The wheels were always turning, always looking for a deeper understanding or a new set of data that he had not considered previously. Whether it was about hamsters in the household or research that he wanted to do as an electrophysiologist, he threw himself into those decisions and they became “the right decisions” in the process.
My father’s logic is within me. I too try to separate the emotion of the moment from the decisions worth making. I too try and see a third option when there is a seeming dichotomy. I too look for root cause in the face of anecdotal data.
Or, at least I wish I did.
I am so less sure of my decisions than he ever was. I am too swayed by a good story or by the situation right in front of me that I can’t quite see what comes next. I do not plan the way that he can, years in advance. Logic is a hobby of mine, but for him it is a full time job. But, that means he must put in the hours every day, while I can put it away for a while and do something else.
I can live in the frenetic emotions of my kids and get caught up in their worlds. I can lean upon others to solve problems when I can’t quite reach the perspective necessary. I can intuit what comes next, and adapt to meet the needs of whatever is thrown at me.
I do not cogitate nearly as much as my father does. But I always see it as an option, and when I need it, I make it mine.