Life presents us with an endless array of choices. Each and every day we are barraged with a myriad of decisions to make, from the small to the substantial. And even between each other what is considered a small or large decision varies greatly. I put very little thought into my attire choices for the day, beyond making sure it is “appropriate” for the occasion. While my daughter can often deliberate over this decision for much longer. It simply matters more to her (well at least some days).
How we go about making the larger choices in life I think says a lot about the sort of person that we are. I, for one, am a researcher. There is no decision in life of any significant size that I make without deep and considered research. While this has meant that my decisions are hought out with all known aspects weighed and considered, it also means that I am very unlikely to jump feet first into anything. I have found, of late, that my style of decision making is both a blessing and a curse.
I know what I want out of life, at least on a rough level, but seem unable to overcome my well considered fear of failure to be able to just grasp life and make it happen. A bit too much like Hermoine in the library and not enough Harry & Ron just jumping in and seeing what happens. This is something I am trying to find moderation in. How do you follow your dreams while still being a responsible adult that can pay the bills?
While I have always stayed between the lines and followed the “shoulds” in life, that doesn’t mean that I have wanted to do so. Fitting in with the cultural norms has never really been for me. I don’t do much with my hair, and it is only super long because I can’t be bothered to keep going in for haircuts to keep it short. I don’t wear make-up unless I am in costume for an event. I don’t buy the latest purse/shoes/clothes/etc. because not only do I not know what they are I wouldn’t spend that sort of money even if I did. Instead I revel in learning new things, most recently I have been on a mission to learn computer programming.
So perhaps as I start to see 40 on the horizon it is time to embrace myself more. To truly step into my own skin and live life the way I want to, not the way I believe I am supposed to. These days technology is making so many rapid changes in our lives that it is hard for me to fathom the changes since I was a kid let alone those that will come in the remainder of my lifetime. Honestly I can’t image how it must feel to my grandma who is well into her 80s. So with these changes we need to look at the world in a new way. And this adds to my quandary on the future. Not knowing what skills, attributes and abilities are needed, means that it is an increased challenge to provide my kids with the right
personal character sheet to send them into adulthood with.
It is somewhat like making a character for a game with no information beyond the genre of “near future” and then meeting up with a GM you have never played under before. For all you know not a one of your skills will be useful or you will have chosen the wrong dump stat to begin with. The only advantage you have is that in real life you can simply get up and move to another table. You have the ability to move from one environment to another until you find the one that matches your interest, abilities and experience. This is, in essence, what we do when we go about finding a new job or even changing life mates. So as I continue down the path towards the future with my family, I endeavor to make the right choices to provide us all with the roads that best match us and our personal purposes.
It certainly isn’t easy knowing if the decisions you are making are the “right ones”. And since you will never get to compare against the results of a different choice (unless you manage to meet yourself from an alternate reality someday) you just have to run with it. Right now our family is up against some big choices. We are talking about the idea of home-schooling (for a variety of reasons but that is for another post), a volunteer organization my daughter and I are part of has decided to discontinue the portion of the program we participate in, and I am considering a change on the career front (not sure what that looks like yet). So many decisions. And while it seems like you could stagger them out (and we will some) life often prefers to just throw everything it can up in the air at the same time and then see what side of the toast lands up. It is one of those times for us right now. I guess the only thing to do is to decide, move forward with the decision, and change course if/when necessary.
What is your style for tackling the larger decisions in life?