Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

I was perusing my usual blog reads today and came upon an entry at Danklife; (http://danklife.com/blog/) quoted was Edward Abbey (whom I am sure I should know but don’t) on the “preparatory” life. It really hit me so hard I actually forgot to breathe for a few seconds. The description of this lifestyle, “. . . enduring present tedium or misery for the sake of something hoped to be better in the future, on which the eye of the mind and the inner eye of the heart are constantly fixed. . .” is such an apt picture of how I have lived it scares me. It really scares me.

What kind of person lives this way? What kind of person is so paralyzed by indecision that they float from day-to-day in body but live for the future in their mind? Why are we so caught up in the future that we don’t enjoy the moment? For me my thoughts have always leaned to the “grass is always greener” syndrome but with a twist. I didn’t necessarily think the grass was greener in someone else’s life I just knew my grass would be greener in the future—always in my future.

I suppose once again I am a walking contradiction in the sense that while I have always lived, in my mind, in the future I did/do not always a plan to get there. Thus I teeter back and forth between the future and the past seldom actually living in the present always caught in indecision.

Ok, I’m lost. I am sure you are too. Let me try to explain. I was brought up with an inordinately healthy sense of consequence. Mother’s mantras were “you reap what you sow” and “if in doubt, don’t do.” I think most of my life has been spent somewhere wondering what will happen if I make a bad decision. How can I avoid bad decisions and the thus the consequences of the bad seed I have sown? I teeter back and forth. “If in doubt. . .” I have “doubted” and double-checked everything in my life so many times that sometimes the “decisions” in my life were simply a lack of decision.

On once such decision-less occasion I remember standing grocery store, frozen foods section, staring at orange juice. Choosing a breakfast beverage would be a seemingly simple task would it not? Holding open the door I could feel the rush of cold air against my face, stinging my eyes. I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights as my eyes zig-zagged across the cardboard cylindrical containers whose outsides were covered in frost and partially frozen to the silvery metal bins in which they sat.

There were so many to choose from. Should I buy Minute Maid or Tropicana or Texas Gold or Indian River? Should I buy pulp free or extra pulp or country style or low acid or extra vitamin C or calcium fortified or enhanced with zinc and vitamin E? Or, maybe I should not buy the frozen kind and instead buy the orange juice that comes already mixed. ARGGHHHH!! CHOOSE DAMMIT! After what must have been 15 minutes I finally I just closed my eyes, grabbed one and left that aisle.

My whole life I walked around so scared of making a bad decision that it even permeated my ability to choose orange juice. I find it odd that my decision-less occurrence took place in a grocery store. Saturday as I was sitting in my den, reading with my cat in my lap and my dog at my feet, when I had an epiphany: I use grocery stores to make decisions about innocuous things when my hands are tied in life. Over the last three weeks I must have gone to the grocery store ten times. Why? Because I can go to the grocery store, wander up and down a few aisles and within an hour I have made as many decisions as there are items in my cart. Decisions equal control. What if the choices I made were bad? I can just throw the item out when I realize I made a mistake. No harm done. No everlasting consequences, except to my hips if I actually eat all the brownies!

So, now what? I suppose I need years of therapy for my issues (Yes, Mr. HMO!) but for now my brain is lacking the seretonin (sp?) it needs to keep me blogging so I must bid Adieu. Perhaps I will pick up tomorrow. But then again,…. maybe that is a bad decision… should I continue on this path….or should I travel another? ……

*Sigh* Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.


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