FIREFOX Users! I have no idea why the colors get weird and I am saddly too stupid to change it. Don't strain yourself... Just ask someone who CAN read it to translate it for you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pensive Penny

I am feeling seriously introspective again... I find the changing moods of this blog very funny. Usually I flow on the tides of Jackass. When all is well with him I am Ms. Funny Penny. When things are screwy I am Angst & Anger Girl.

Today is different, though. Things are fine with him. I am just thinking about the future, and thinking about choices. The process of really choosing things. Some people, and I am not sure if I am one, become paralyzed by choice. There are various levels. You make little choices every day (What socks, what shoes, what cereal, floss?) Most people make these little choices with out difficulty.

Most people.

But if you've ever had kids you know that they have to learn this. They all go through a period where they stand frozen, unable to select from two pairs of shoes. (and we've all seen at least one kid who resolved this by wearing one of each... on the wrong feet) It's like learning to walk. You are supposed to do it when you're small and close to the ground. That way when you screw up there's not that far to fall... Amazingly, some people get stuck here and never are able to make any choice. These people drool a lot more than average but I think they have a certain freedom in zero responsibility for anything at all.

Most of us move on to being able to do the little choices without even thinking ~ Unconscious Competence. Our major skills fall in this category. Stuff like driving, WALKING. When was the last time you saw an adult carefully placing his feet, hands splayed out, consciously walking? That's reserved for babies, drunks and people in physical rehab. For the rest of us its just something we can do.

Then there are the bigger decisions. I made one yesterday. The phone rang and Number Two's school wanted permission to release her name and photo for publication in the newspaper. That's a pretty exciting thing for a 7 year old. But Mom said no. I just sorted the plus factors (How cool!) and the minus factor (Various stranger deviants now know your name, age, school and what you look like!) and came up with the right answer. Decisively made the call. I did not flip a coin.

And at the top, or the bottom depending on your preferred direction of hierarchy, is the HUGE decision. This is where I find myself strung up. And all of the stuff that this implies is so overwhelming that I can hardly sort out the global issues, let alone get into the minutiae.

A lot of it has to do with faith. There are many kinds of faith and I have none of them. Every ounce of serene belief that things will just work out that I have ever experienced has been dragged from me kicking and screaming. Because in my very center I am in charge, ultimate charge, of the universe.

I was married to a boy (yes boy) who never decided anything because he could rest quietly knowing that I would handle it. All of it. I am Marge in Charge. And when shit goes wrong I am the one that takes the heat, gets the shaft, does the time and pays the piper. Everything is always my fault.

Do you know what a crushing weight this responsibility is??

So, right now I am not really making a decision. I am trying to sort out HOW to make a future decision. Clearly I did not decide well with scooter. I don't want the same sorts of forces to drive my decision making in the future... I want to be a careful and considered, intelligent and wise, sure and decisive decision maker. But mostly I want to trust myself, to have enough faith, that I can choose well, that I will choose well, and that I have chosen well.

Afterall, I can't just cook up a poll and let you guys decide everything from now on. That'd be funny.

Jackass "I am ready to leave my wife and be with you. Whadda you say?"

Penny "I'll get back to you in three to five days when the poll results are in."


Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

What is difficult about making choices is that we are led to believe there is a right and wrong answer to everything.

There isn't.


11:14 AM  
Blogger ChairmanTao said...

When I am in the USA, I am always amazed at the dizzying array of choices in everyday life. Even to order a sandwich, I am forced to choose from lists of breads, spreads, meats, fillings, toppings, wrapping and low fat, low carb alternatives.
As an Englishman I never know where to start.

Just give me a bloody ham sandwich !!

I'd presumed that this trained your average US citizen up for making all the big choices when they came.
Maybe not ?

11:52 AM  

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