Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sunday Scribbling-Decision

When it comes to decision making, I'm a ditherer, a hand-wringer, a me-oh-my what shall I do-er. Shall it be fish or chicken for dinner? Florida or California for vacation? Walk in the neighborhood or park? Fiction or non-fiction for Sunday Scribblings? Just DO IT, my inner voice persistently chides me. To quote my high school orchestra director ~ "For god's sake, girls, just do...SOMETHING!"

Invariably, though, once I've embarked on one route, I immediately start wishing I had chosen the other. "Decidophobia" it's called, and there are a plethora of Internet cures available, from wonder drugs to hypnosis tapes.

Actually, I'm not really a phobic in the strict sense of the word. These are people who are too paralyzed by fear to perform their jobs or even get up in the morning. In truth, I move through the business of daily life with great decision...I complete all tasks promptly and on time, I attack my job responsibilities with gusto. However, I admit to being stymied by personal decisions sometimes, and occasionally this leaves me feeling as if my life were a stalled race car, desperately revving its engine but going nowhere fast.

Part of the problem is often my imagination ~my penchant if you will, for seeing too many opportunities as well as too many pitfalls. It's like perusing the aisles at the grocery store - where once there were only Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran, now there's Corn Flakes with strawberries, or almonds, or organic corn flakes, or low fat cornflakes, or...well, you get the picture. Life presents us with too many tantalizing choices - how's a girl supposed to pick just one?

Therein lies my real problem with decision making, the fear that each decision is not only irrevocable, but represents an opportunity lost. There are so many things I want to experience in life, and I'm fearful that choosing one will deny me the ability to experience the other.
I really do want to sample all those flavors of Corn Flakes -I'm just impatient, and don't want to do it one box at a time. I want to buy up every variety and sit down to a different one each morning. Similar to Forest Gump and his famous box of chocolates, I'd love to bite into each one and see what I get.

Unfortunately, decisions often mean irrevocable choices - that's just life, too. Because I decided to buy two homes in Florida, it probably means I won't ever be able to live in England. Because I decided to get two dogs, I probably won't be able to travel as much as I'd like. Because I decided to go back to my school job, I won't have as much free time to write this winter. Because I decided to have only one child, I'll probably never have big bunches of grandchildren to comfort me in my old age. Big decisions have big consequences, and the older I get, the more dire they seem, since there's just not as much time left to sample all of life's varieties.

I'm afraid there's no cure for my hand wringing, dithering, decision making dilemmas. I'll probably always worry my way through the process, and then later on wish I'd made another choice altogether. Hopefully, the consequences won't be too painful, and I'll be able to accept them gracefully.



Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

It's hard not to get caught up in the what-ifs and unintended consequences of our choices ... I think the key is to make choices from that authentic, soulful place as much as we can. Much peace & love, deb

Blogger Bug said...

Very interesting. In fact, it seems we wrote about the same aspect of decision making. Maybe my post will help cure part of your decidophobia?

Blogger paris parfait said...

I don't think about the decision, once I make it - I just go forward and don't look back. But you're so right about decisions made long ago having consequences now. Following our heart usually leads to the best decisions.

Blogger Star said...

I've always been much too practical in my decision making. But I'm trying to change that.

It sounds to me like you've made good decisions, decisions you can live with for the long haul.

Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, Becca- an excellent and well-written post! I love that word, ditherer!
I get this way when I go shopping- too many books, clothes, fun things to pick from and I end up coming home with nothing! Why can't it all stay simple...

Blogger January said...

I think decision-making comes down to wanting to make the best choice. I tend to change my mind once I make a decision--I call it being fickle.

Great post.

Blogger Jone said...

I almost wrote a post about what kind of decision maker I am. I am the opposite. I make decisions, I think by leaps fo faith. Your post gave much to think about. What so you teach?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean this lack of decision making acumen has a NAME? Hurray!

And you know that I have the SAME problem...I just want to experience everything NOW, and make no mistakes. Should be easy but alas..

Blogger Tammy said...

I'm with you Becca! I second guess everything and when I decide to act I worry. I find that when I obsess too much I find a good distraction. :) Well written look into Becca. ;) XXOO

Chose CA near Tahoe;)

Blogger Annie said...

This post reminds me so much of my husband. He loves for all of life's lanes to remain open ended. He can not bear to close an avenue for fear he will miss something important and wonderful. I am the complete opposite. I want closure and I'm willing to accept the consequences sometimes just to bring an end to a situation. Life would be so dull if we were all alike, wouldn't it?

Anonymous Frances said...

That's just like me - I would buy all the flavors at once too!
Thanks for stopping in.
You have a wonderful Sunday,

Blogger Redness said...

Sounds like you handle all the big decisions brilliantly. You can't be too serious all the time ... those little ones are way less important! Fantastic post!

Blogger Remiman said...

I suffer from similar problems with situations that present me with too many choices. A book store provides a good example: after perusing the shelves I will have found , say, 10 books I want but to buy them all is prohibitively expensive so I must choose a favorite one or two. My decision almost everytime is to walk out empty handed.

Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

You covered that aspect of decision making which all of us feel but seldom say it...fear. It is what stops us.

Blogger Tori said...

I felt like I was reading a post written about me. I find myself always wanting to make the RIGHT decision in every situation, losing sight of the fact that it is a decision which is a neutral thing.

Blogger Inland Empire Girl said...

It does sound like the decisions you have made are good ones. Excellent post.

Blogger deirdre said...

Oh, me too. If only a snap-decision gene would have made its way into my makeup. Sigh.

Anonymous bella said...

I find that I make decisions too quickly - and sometimes the consequences are not so great. But, I try to make sure my heart and my head are in the right place and just follow my gut. That way, down the road, the 'what ifs' don't weigh so heavy on me.

Blogger susanlavonne said...

Maybe the issue isn't as much about making decisions as it is realizing that you are an intelligent, thoughtful, caring, selfless woman who needs a little work on controlling self doubt? (Just a thought sent with many hugs :-)


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