I was walking past our barn when I saw our duck in an unlikely spot, basically on a path from here to there … she was fairly immovable and actually opened her beak to hiss at me … a sure sign that she was protecting her eggs. Or egg, as was the case here. Earlier in the season, she had chosen a sensible and safe location within the barn, deep in straw, inside a large dog kennel that we had given her for this very purpose. However, because we do not need multiple adorable ducklings waddling about, as she laid a clutch of 6 eggs, my husband removed some and poked needles through the ones he left, thus preventing their development. We hoped she would be ok with this arrangement; alas, she felt foiled and moved on. However, in her frustration to achieve her goal, she chose poorly. The new egg will never survive – either our dog will eat it or some other creature will take it and she is alarmed every time someone walks by – which is frequently, due to it being a thoroughfare through our property.
Similarly, I read this article about the inventor of Mother's Day (Anna Jarvis) - she started well, campaigning for a holiday to honor mothers' sacrifices and, actually, in a day before social media and viral videos, she achieved this. However, it didn't turn out like she had hoped – the flower and card companies had a hey-day with the holiday and she became outraged at this good thing gone bad. She spent the rest of her life trying to undo it all and ended up at one point in jail, dying penniless.
The notion I am pondering really has to do with what happens when a person's (or duck's) goals are perpetually blocked or frustrated. I believe you see behaviors come out that are not the individual's best. Perhaps their judgement is colored by this all-encompassing need to push through and achieve that benchmark.
I am speaking of myself here, as much an any other person, fictitious or otherwise. It is terribly difficult to walk that razor's edge of enough focus and stick-to-itiveness to stay the course, but enough flexibility to say, "this is not worth it at the expense of everyone and everything else." There comes a desperateness when you feel blocked long enough. Many of my poorest decisions comes from this space. A friend of mine often says "Never make important choices out of desolation" (I believe she is quoting a famous dead guy, yet his name eludes me).
So, for those of us who feel blocked and stymied in places … don't allow yourself to option for something you will later despair in because of the panic or stuck-ness. No one wants regretin hindsight.