I was listening to a friend of mine as she was sorting out some relationship issues. At one point, she said, "If the situation were untenable, then I would know I would have to end the relationship. As it is, it is not an untenable situation so I will just wait and see what happens". I nodded my head in agreement because I certainly got the gist of what she was saying but I got to thinking later about that word "untenable" What does that exactly mean?
Untenable: (adj) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection: this argument is clearly untenable
Interesting. I used to think of untenable as unable to be captured or held. I suppose this definition is like that. You can't hold on to something if you can't defend its existence. Untenable suggests a balance sheet. Something is untenable when the liabilities outnumber the assets.
What occurs to me is that the older I get, the less I see things as untenable. In earlier years, I let go of significant career enhancing jobs in favor of something else. I sold a house in a desirable part of the country and moved my life to a brand new place. I even let go of a marriage because it had become untenable. The balance sheet on all of these major transitions suggested that the situation needed to change.
Now I think it takes a lot more for me to see a situation as untenable. Perhaps that is because I have much more invested in my work, my home, my marriage and family, my life. When I was in my 20's, I assumed I had much of life in front of me (and, as it turned out, I did). Situations could become untenable because the long haul was, in fact, going to be a long haul. Now? Now, the time, energy, and attention invested in many situations make the asset column so much more crowded. Untenable becomes less obvious.
How about you? Have you ever reached the conclusion that a situation is untenable? Has your age affected your perception of untenable?