you can instinctively do the right thing. Mind you, it does not often happen to me. I usually have to think things through, consult the arrangement of cat hairs, obtain advice I may not follow, hesitate, dither and then decide - sometimes followed by more indecision and anxiety. Did I do the right thing?
In work matters I am fine. I trust my judgment. There are often rules to follow. Sometimes those rules are stated in black and white. Things must be done in a certain way. At other times those rules are what must happen if the overall project is to work. There are things you just know.
But there are other things you know you may only ever do once and there are so many unknowns. There might only be one chance to get something right, especially where humans are concerned.
I can remember when one of our neighbours committed suicide. We didn't know him well but he had been living with his brother and sister-in-law across the street. I knew what had happened before they came to tell us. The absence of his car and the awareness that I had heard it drive away in the early hours of the morning told me something was wrong. The presence of two police cars for several hours and the awful picture on the local news feed told me all I needed to know. I also knew it was going to be incredibly difficult for them to tell anyone.
I know I greeted them with the words, "You two must need a big hug right now."
I had never touched them before but yes, on that occasion they needed a hug.
On Monday afternoon our neighbour came over again. She has not been feeling well lately and had news for us. Today she is going to have a colonoscopy. Naturally she is anxious about it - and what the results might be.
It seemed a casual enough visit. The Senior Cat happened to be in the front garden. She happened to be outside. But I strongly suspect she was waiting for one of us to appear so that she could apparently just casually walk across the road and tell us. Her family are very close knit and supportive but, sometimes, it can help to tell an outsider. Of course we will be thinking about her - and hoping for a good outcome.
And I wonder if she would still have come if my reaction to their other visit had been more conventional? If I had just stood there and said all the things that one is expected to say would it just have been an uncomfortable experience for both of us? Would they have just gone on being people we were "friendly enough" with but nothing more?
There is no way of knowing that but I am glad I trusted my instinct on the other occasion. It made this time much easier.