Chicken or fish? Paper or plastic? Small or large? The amount of trivial decisions we are faced with each day is unreal and can sometimes make significant decisions seem overwhelming.
When my husband and I were still newlyweds, we went to one of those restaurants where you walk in and place your order and wait for your number to be called. The restaurant served barbecue and they had a menu on the wall when you first walked in the door. I walked in and headed straight to the cashier to place my order, but when I looked over my shoulder, I saw my husband contemplating the menu.
I was totally confused. The restaurant served barbecue. Barbecue. You’ve got a choice of chicken, ribs, sausage or brisket. That’s it. What self-respecting Texan doesn’t know that? As I stood fuming at my beloved husband, it was then and there that I learned something about him and myself. I am very quick to make decisions. My mind is usually already made up before I even know all of my options. My husband, on the other hand, likes the get all the options, all the facts – preferably in writing – to mull them over for a few days. Or weeks.
When it comes to making decisions, I think the vast majority of us are afraid of making a mistake that will forever define us. Because the decisions we make are a reflection of who we are. . .everything from what candidate we decide to vote for to the car we choose to drive or what toppings we get on our pizza. Sometimes our decisions are based on habit or an emotional reaction or a generational circumstance, but more often than not our decisions are based on our expectations. We make decisions based on how it will make us feel or how we will be rewarded.
I think the hardest thing to do is stick with a decision when the circumstances that influenced you to make that particular decision have changed. I’m currently facing such a dilemma. I had been counting down the days to graduation in May, and I found out today that I am ineligible to graduate. Turns out I am three hours short of the 60 required to graduate.
The first thought that ran through mind was, “What am I going to do?” I have practically rearranged my entire life based on the expectation that I would be done with school in May, and now I am faced with yet another decision.
Do I continue on my original path or do I retreat in fear to avoid being considered a failure? Do I let disappointment overtake me or do and rise above it and meet the challenge head on?
For me there is only one decision: get over it and move on. Failure is not an option, and I don’t have time to wallow in self-pity. Although every fiber of my being is begging me to curl up in the corner and just give up, I have to keep moving because my decisions do define me. Although I’ve made mistakes along the way, my journey is far from over. When I do get to the end of the road, I want to leave behind a legacy that my children and their children can be proud of. I saw this online the other day and thought it would be perfect for my tombstone: She decided to turn her can’t into cans and her dreams in plans.