So, I have explained my disdain for change. That was just a warm-up for my explanation about my hatred for making decisions. I am absolutely horrible at making decisions. I am a smart, educated, independent woman, so there is no real reason why I should have such difficulty when it comes to making decisions. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if they are big decisions, like refinancing my house, or little decisions, like what to order off a menu…I will agonize over what to choose or what to do.
I think it boils down to the fear of making a mistake. The best example I can give relates to my divorce. I filed for divorce once in April 2009, withdrew the paperwork from the court in July 2009 (6 days before the court date) to try to reconcile, only to refile again in November 2009 and then finally get divorced in January 2010. I remember going to the lawyer’s office to “cancel” the divorce and I asked my lawyer if other people have done so. She said yes, but almost every time they were back to refile. But…maybe I would be one of the lucky ones! I wasn’t.
I loved my husband. I really, really did. I loved him the day I stood in front of a judge and answered the appropriate questions to dissolve our marriage. I wanted to scream “STOP!!!” and throw myself on him, but what it came down to was the very basic fact that I loved myself more. That sounds selfish, but I had lost myself in my marriage. I also believe my husband still loved me, but he had so much resentment and anger built up that he would have never changed and treated me the way I deserved.
But this blog is about decision making…and in the end I made the right decision, I have NO doubt about that. I would have been miserable had I stayed married. But I put myself through hell trying to figure out what to do during that time. It wasn’t a matter of ordering something off a menu and not liking it…whatever I decided had permanent consequences. I tormented myself every day leading up to the divorce (both times) with questions like, “am I doing the right thing?”, “can I stay married to him?”, “should I leave?”, “have I tried everything?”…out of every 60 minutes in an hour, I probably thought about this for 45 of them. I drove my family and friends crazy asking their opinions and telling them all the different scenerios repeatedly. I was a mess at work. My lovely high school students probably thought that my whole family died or that I was diagnosed with some terminal disease. They made me cards saying “we love you” and “things will get better” (listen, teenagers can be jerks sometimes, but they can also be so sweet and sensitive).
I do not think about my decision to get divorced anymore, I know I did the right thing. Now I have OTHER things to decide…”should I let my boyfriend move in?”, “should I get another degree?”, “should I buy that sweater at The Gap?”…you know, all equally important things 😉
I don’t think I will ever be good at making decisions. And I hate that it makes me feel like I can’t trust my gut instincts. One year I even made it my New Year’s resolution…and like all resolutions, I did great until about January 11th.
I like this quote and I try to think about it when it comes time to make a decision: “It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” Sometimes I just have to let go, stop thinking so damn much and allow myself to just fall off the fence and see what side I land on.