I had to push myself today to make three “big” decisions and I struggled with the process more than I should have.
I learned that three things affect my decision making process:
1) not having enough structure or pressure to make a decision (I tend to procrastinate and then work better under pressure)
2) having too many choices or options
3) trying to balance the needs and wants of others with my own desires
My first decision was whether or not to go to yoga this morning. Sounds so stupid, but I was feeling down today and didn’t want to go, even though I knew it was good for me and needed to go. I put my yoga pants on first thing this morning to inspire me to go after kid drop off. But I had to push myself three times to actually get me there and I had to actively talk myself into going vs. out of going and felt like I was my own freak show in my head… go to yoga, no go home and have a cup of tea and be lazy. You’re late, no you can make it. Turn right and just go home, no go straight and find the new studio! And then I was late and convinced myself I wasn’t going but I’d just drive by anyway to find the studio because I didn’t want to walk in 5 minutes late and I was mad at myself. Luckily for me, the instructor was standing at the door and recognized me and told me where to park and said he’d wait for me. Can I just tell you how happy I was? If he wasn’t standing at the door (which I don’t know why he was), I would not have gone in. But there he was and there I was rolling out my matt and so thankful that I kept moving one foot in front of the other despite all my negative self talk not to go. Phew!
The second big decision I’ve been struggling with all week is when to move back home. I weighed all the pros and cons and discussed it with Jeff and the kids and made a decision, but then second guessed myself. Sometimes even making a good decision is difficult because you have to leave other options behind that have benefits too. Even this sounds stupid to me, but when a decision becomes emotional, it’s harder to feel good about even your good decision because it might hurt others. I made my decision and then felt sad all day for deciding to return home earlier than Jeff and our original plan. I’m happy with my choice but sad for having to forgo travel plans and time together and leaving Jeff to close up the house alone.
The third decision wasn’t as big, but followed a similar pattern. I wanted to go for a bike ride this afternoon to Ouderkerk and I wanted to go with Jeff and the kids, if they wanted to join me. I knew I really wanted to go and I patiently waited for Jeff to finish his conference calls and the kids to have some down time before asking them to join me again. It doesn’t get dark here until after 10 pm, so I was happy still going at 8 pm. But by 7:30ish, the rest of the family started having second thoughts, the weather began to chill, and the little one wanted to stay home and order pizza. I stil wanted to go on the ride and see the sheep and open fields and the river, but they all had other ideas. I almost and I think I did say, fine, we won’t go, and then changed my mind and struggled to get out the door with a few little ducklings behind me. But at first no one was happy, except me. Jeff and I decided to go and the rest stayed back and then two changed their minds and hurriedly tried to catch up with us while one stayed home. I struggled to decide whether to go because I wanted to make everyone happy and in the process almost made everyone miserable, including myself. In the end, it was a great decision and we were thankful we pushed on despite the resistance and had a fabulous time together. Next time I want to be more decisive and convincing when I make a decision to help everyone with the clarity. I don’t expect them to do what I want, but it would be good for me if I was clear and firm about what I want. I’m still learning.
Listening to Charlie whistle and sing on his bike because he was so happy made me thankful I didn’t give up and that I made the “tough” choice to go anyway despite the No’s. On the way back home, after our ride along the river and a stop at a pizza parlor that was open, he rode up next to me and said, “I love you mama.” He was just thanking me for taking him on a bike ride. Who knew?
I Am Content.
Here are the beautiful pictures from our Friday Night Bike Ride to Ouderkerk and along the Amstel. Life is good!