Friday, July 20, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." ~Agnes de Mille

In case any of you are wondering whether I've made the momentous decision, the one I regularly dither about here at the Byline and in morning pages, the one I keep waffling back and forth about, knowing full well the desire of my heart, but troubled nonetheless by the demands of my schedule...just in case you're wondering...yeah, I guess I've pretty much decided. How's that for a definitive answer?

How do you make decisions? I'm horrible at it, really. Please tell me you have some fail safe process I can follow, or a formula that will give me the best possible answer to everything from which library book to read next to where to build my retirement home. I try to be logical about decisions, looking at the pro's and con's of all the variables, tallying up the strengths and weaknesses I've listed in neat little columns. But in the end, I often just follow my gut instinct, or my heart, or the path of least resistance!

It comes down to the fact that I don't trust myself. Most of the time, I know what I really want, but I'm always second guessing myself in favor of the "greater good" or some other amorphous "what if." Perhaps I simply think too much, worrying my thoughts as if they were beads on an Indian necklace, rubbing them nervously between the fingers of my mind.

I began the summer fretting over making a decision, but somewhere along the way I stopped fretting about it and let the question lay dormant in my heart for a while. It burrowed down in my mind, where it's been quietly simmering on its

own as I've gone about my quiet, peaceful days. Along about 4:00 in the afternoon, that period when I start to get restless and dissatisfied with what I've tried to accomplish for the day, I feel it stirring, poking me gently, reminding me "I'm still haven't forgotten about me, have you?"

Truthfully, I think this particular decision was decided for me long ago. The moment I walked into my living room 45 years ago and saw a brand new piano waiting for me. From that moment, playing music became such an important part of my life that relinquishing any opportunity to do that is unthinkable. Might as well ask me to voluntarily stop breathing.

So, come September, I'll be going back to my job at the high school, at least for the time being.

If I come to some other decision, I'll let you know.



Blogger Bug said...

Congrats on making the decision! Unfortunately, I have no fail safe process for you. In fact, I think I could have written this post!

Blogger Star said...

I'm sure it feels as if a big weight has been lifted.

My method of deciding anything in the "serious" category usually involves making lists of the pros and cons (sometimes in my head, but usually they end up on paper also). Then after weighing the list against my gut, the answer is more a matter of answering the question "which outcome can I live with?" Sometimes that means making the decision that isn't fun or will tie me down more than I'd like or whatever but, in the end, I am happy because I know that I've made the decision I can live with.

Sounds like you've done the same.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a very accomplished dither-er, too. One question I've learned to ask myself when confronted with a decision is: does this make me feel more alive? Then I lean toward the answer that brings life to me. A rather subjective criteria, I realize, but one that helps me see my options more clearly.

Blogger Inland Empire Girl said...

Making decisions is tough stuff. I feel it gets harder as I get older (or as I like to think... gained more wisdom (: ). I think there is often more at stake. I don't have a surefire way to make decisions. I do the pro, con list, then ask opinions of people I trust, then have a few sleepless nights, then decide. Congrats for making a decision. I had the feeling you were a teacher also. It is nice to know another one.

Anonymous bella said...

Oh friend, I know that decisions can be hard. Who knows, maybe going back to school this September will provide an opportunity for a new avenue of teaching? One never knows.
As for decision making.. hmm.. I'm usually quick with my answer - so quick that I want to kick myself for not thinking it through first.

Blogger Tammy said...

It always feels could to take your free will and direct your life.

I'm a list maker and anaylizer yet we still must deal with things not in our control. It's never smooth.

Go DAD!!!!


Blogger paris parfait said...

I think we all go back and forth; in the end, the heart decides. And sounds like yours has as well, with music being your first love.

Blogger AnnieElf said...

When I'm waffling about decision-making I remind myself that to not decide IS to decide.

Blogger Marie said...

Great decision! I think the kids are lucky to have you...most teachers who have a passion like you described are able to impart not only the lesson, but the love of music. What a better place the world is in already!

Blogger Shaz said...

Good decision!!!!
Trust yourself dear girl.


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