My dad has returned from the hospital today. He continues to do as well as a man who must remain bottomless with tubes and bags connected to places tubes and bags should never be connected to can.

And simultaneously, as my dad comes home, I have a friend getting ready to leave for training, after which he will be sent off to Iraq or Afghanistan for civilian duties. He’s the kind of guy who lives for adventure and experience, having taken a separate trip to Antarctica. His wife, saint that she is, lets him do all this, waiting with her family until he returns.

When I think about my father and my friend, I wonder just how solid the line is between risk and safety. Yes, going to a warzone to aid efforts there arguably increases the chance something bad may happen to you, but bad things can just pop up out of the blue while you’re living in your home with your wife, 2.3 kids and dog Spot. Just because you don’t go to the mountain doesn’t mean the mountain can’t come to you.

If you face tragedy in risk, will you wish you had settled down? If you face tragedy when you’re settled down, will you wish you had taken more chances? Where does the balance lie?