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Decisions, Decisions

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I don't make decisions well.

It's not the little decisions with which I have problems. I can handle a decision about sushi versus Indian. Because, even if I have sushi tonight, there's always an opportunity for Indian tomorrow. It's the big decisions. The life changing ones.

Sure, you could argue that sometimes one little decision - like where to eat - can significantly change your life. The man of your dreams is alone at the sushi counter; but you'll never meet him because you're being rushed to the hospital after tainted tandoori chicken. Those are the unseen possibilities. I'm talking about the decisions we make when we consciously know what we are giving up.

The easiest example is romantic relationships. When we commit ourselves to dating one person, we give up the right to date everyone else. And, that can be scary to a lot of people. (This can also be a part of a larger phobia I have dubbed "The Grass is Always Greener Complex" and have done much research on it with friends, ex-boyfriends and mortal enemies.) But, of course, when you don't commit to one person you are also giving something up. You give up all the great benefits and comforts of being in a relationship.

Now, the flip side is having no choices. Would that make life easier? If we grew up in a culture where arranged marriage was the norm would you really be satisfied? Or, would you just think you should be satisfied?

And, what about the people who get so overwhelmed with all this that they make no choices. That's essential a choice. And, then you're really giving everything up.

So, can we really have it all? No, of course not. And, why do we think we need it all? Is that the curse of American culture? We are so bombarded by choices - usually presented as needs - that we can't make decisions about anything.

It's sometimes hard to distinguish between what other people - whether the media, friends or family - think you want and what you really want. I guess the key to successful decision making is just really listening to your instincts and recognizing when something feels right. And, hopefully, you won't even miss all the things you gave up along the way.

Did that make any sense? Well, it made me feel better anyway.

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