Tag Archives: decisions

The Perfect

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We’ve all searched for it, like the Holy Grail. The perfect _________. At first, I thought it was just one particular thing in which I sought perfection. But then I realized perfection was my standard for many things.

For me, it started with the perfect purse. With SO many important features, perfection in a purse is hard to come by. Is the strap long enough, but not too long? Will that shade of blue go with my coat? Are there enough compartments? Are they the right KIND of compartments? Are the compartments easy to get into? Does the purse have a flap, a snap, a magnet, or does it zip closed? Is it large enough for all of my stuff, or so large that it will be too heavy to carry when it’s full? Do I have another purse too similar to this one to justify buying it?

When you finally find the perfect purse, take it home and fill it with your stuff, you discover it is NOT perfect. That flap is annoying! There is NO handy pocket for my keys! This keep slipping off of my shoulder – it will NEVER do! My wallet doesn’t even fit in here! Aarrgghh!

So now you discover you need a new wallet that will fit into your new purse. And the same search for perfection begins. Will the credit cards all fit? Is there room for my checkbook? (Yes, I still have one!) Is it too bulky? Will everything fit? And most likely, when you fill that beautiful new wallet, you will discover it, too, is NOT perfect.

I could go on and on – coats, jeans, cars, houses – in every purchase, I seem to seek perfection. Even in choices for vacation spots, restaurants or radio stations, I want it all! But we never get it all. Perfection is NOT attainable. For those of us who are perfectionists, or with even just a hint of OCD, we will forever be in search of that Holy Grail of WHATEVER. And it always seems to end badly, too. Either we are overwhelmed by the choices and cannot make a decision at all, or we end up with a drawer full of wallets that just aren’t “the one” in a room we really shouldn’t have pained that shade of blue, in a house with a too-small kitchen.

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Take Me Away, Calgon!

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When you’re a kid, you are always told that decisions are made because I’m the adult, and you’re the child. We grow up believing that adulthood holds some sort of magical wisdom and power. Something we can’t wait to attain.

And then, it happens. YOU are the adult. YOU get to decide what to do with your time, what to spend your money on, and all sorts of other things. You are the master of your universe! Finally!

I’ve been an adult for many years now, and as an adult, I’ve faced many a responsibility. Many times, these are things you do fairly easily, without much debate or consideration. Take out the dog. Feed the cats. Do the laundry. Go to work. Pay the bills. Mow the lawn.

But there are times when responsibilities get the best of me. I discovered many years ago that when this happens, I go into take me away, Calgon mode. Remember the old commercial in which the woman escapes to the relaxing bath, and it magically takes away all of her stress? Yeah, well that doesn’t happen. But sometimes, I sure do wish for it.

It’s when you have several things pending that need your attention. The pipes freeze. The coffee pot goes on the fritz. You know you should start on those classes you need to take to renew your teaching license. You have to deal with MNSure one more time in order to get a tax form. You have projects to complete at work, but keep getting interrupted. You need to get that stupid low tire light to go off in the car. You have to remember to get the car washed when it’s not 25 below.

That’s when I crawl into that Calgon bath in my mind. I want to flee, far from responsibilities. I’m tired of being the one who has to decide, deal, act, remember, or make it all happen. I just want someone to come along and take care of it all. I’m tired of being the adult. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, kids, trust me!

The Next Right Thing

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those big steps we take in our lives, and wondering what it is that prepares us to take those steps. For me, there have been several big decisions in my life…moving cross country for a new job, getting married, getting divorced, moving cross country and taking a risk on a new house and finding a new job, determining cancer treatment options, and quitting a job. And there are many, many lesser decisions that I’ve had to make along the way. Each of these forks in the road presents its own set of possible outcomes. And each one takes us a different amount of time to finally take the plunge. What is it that makes us ready to do the next right thing?

We all make decisions using different processes. Some just impulsively jump, hoping for the best, and not worrying too much about the possible consequences, or what they’re leaving behind. And some of us agonize over big decisions, plotting out the pros and cons (yes, I do this on paper for just about every big decision.) Sometimes we gather the opinions of friends and family. Sometimes that works in our favor, and others not so much. I was raised by parents who both were of the logical, practical mindset. But I like to factor in the fun and adventure, too. And unfortunately, fear is a big driver for me. It’s like a big recipe or science experiment…some of this, some of that…mix it up and see what you end up with.

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and she said maybe it’s not so much about being sick and tired of whatever we’re thinking about changing, but that we’re just so ready for what’s next. I think it’s a mixture of both, for me, at least. I’ve added a step to my pros and cons method, and always ask myself to imagine what it will be like after I choose either path. What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best? How will it affect others, and not just myself? And, to quote my ex-father-in-law, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

Looking back over the major decisions in my life, they’ve all turned out pretty well, I think. Not always easy, and not always immediately better, but all in all, pretty good. I used to focus on the sick and tired theory, and figured that as soon as I got to that point, it would be time for me to commit to a change. But after thinking about what my friend said, I think it is more about what’s on the other side of the decision. Yes, we might be sick and tired of something, and start to consider a change, but maybe we’re just really ready for the next possibility. The next big adventure. The next right thing.