Hunting for Decisions

A good friend used to tell me: “You think too much.”
Meaning, I believe, that I think too much. I tend to mull over my choices like a Ruddy Turnstone flipping rocks on a beach, searching for the one with The Answer under it. Those birds flip stones to find food; I flip thoughts looking for the the right way to decide something. I know there are many ways to do that; a choice is merely a choice, but it can also set the course for the rest of your life.
Or not.
Unfortunately, many years ago, my friend who claimed I thought too much did not think enough when working as a groom at the Meadowlands Race Track and ducked under the stall guard of a horse she knew was a kicker. They found her dead in the aisle. She never knew what hit her, much less had time to think about it.
I think of her when climbing around my maze of life choices. I think about the process of making decisions, and how many we make in a day. I think about how we go about it and how we develop our own style of decision making.
How do you make decisions? Are you the kind who smiles at a corner of the room and blats out your choice without even knowing what came out of your mouth? Do you scurry around interviewing every human being on the planet before making up your mind? Or are you one of those who make the rest of us nuts by never really deciding anything at all, and stalls for time with excuse after excuse until the need to decide either disappears or is snatched away?
We make decisions for ourselves every day: What to eat for lunch, which route to drive to work or school to avoid the worst traffic, which pair of shoes goes with the new green outfit. We make decisions for others; will I let that guy cut in line in front of me, or how much do I discipline a child for disobeying. We decide hundreds of things every hour without even realizing it.
But then, there is the Big Stuff. Should I buy or lease a car and which deal is the best? Will marrying make my life better or worse (or both?) Do I want children (or cats?) How will they change my relationship with my partner?
When decisions are bigger than I am, I resort to subterfuge. If the struggle becomes too painful, I pretend I am not going to do something while all the while working toward it. I sneak around my anxieties and the paralyzing “whatifs” to get to where I need to be. Denial has its place in my life when used in small doses.
I am in the tailwinds of a decision that ultimately money and circumstance will determine, and realize the big decisions are probably made a little at a time. Small choices are shaved off until you see the shape of what the decision needs to be, like the Native American carvers “discovered” what they were creating by participating in the act itself.
So. There you are. I think I will think some more about it.

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This entry was posted in anxieties, choices, decisions, denial. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Hunting for Decisions

  1. Anonymous says:

    I lived in a family where denial was so rampant that I was able to live with a abusive husband for twenty years. It gets one into an alternate reality. After many years of therapy I now try not to use denial in place of decisions and in big decisions I write lists of pros ans cons. It helps to see it on paper and keeps denial at bay-Joyce

  2. Rachel says:

    well written Diane. I don’t expect thinking to give my much support. I usually go with my first heartfelt choice.your ole buddy rachel in gasless Atlanta

  3. I’ve always found it hard to make a decision. I over think everything and then when I do finally decide on what to do, I basically second guess myself about the decision. How’s that for confusing.

  4. Sparverius says:

    A wonderful thoughtful post about thinking.

  5. nina says:

    Good luck with your decision.You seem to be a good thinker. There is logic in your words.

  6. deejbrown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Bevson says:

    Spending more time thinking and less time acting would make for a better world all around.

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