Friday, March 17, 2006

Too Many Options--Free Again

On the wall in a classroom at my high school was a sign that said
Not to decide is to decide.
I knew what it meant. At least I thought I did.

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to keep my options open. Even as a child, I had a hard time with the decisions that other kids took for granted. I didn’t have a favorite color until I was 31. I still have trouble saying that I have a best friend or deciding what I think good looking is or choosing my favorite ice cream. I’m that one who could answer every question on the SAT Test with two words, “It depends.”

However, this morning I came to a learning, a lesson that surprised, startled, and somehow set me free. I realized that open doors can contain me in the same way that closed doors can.

The waiting and wondering whether an option might happen stops me from moving and making choices. I get involved in the possibilities of the futures I might make. The more options I start to consider the more I start to get frozen in one place. I become more and more like a deer in the headlights. Until finally, I am one.

Today I stopped. I made a choice from the options, and I told the rest to go away. As soon as I did, I felt relieved and ready to move forward again. It was like walking through an open door out into the sunshine. I feel free, light, and joyful again. My feet are no longer nailed to the ground. I’m in control, and my life is my own.

Holding on to too many options meant not having any.
—me strauss Letting me be

12 comments:

Cheryl said...

Amazing - a friend treated me to a book this month (one that I never would have chosen because of the title) and it is teaching me exactly the same - that you can push towards a goal (stress stress) or drift (not choose, give the direction to fate and other people) or there is another way.
So, clueless about what I want, I had to start with a list of what I dont want (and one of what/who I don't want to be) to work out what, in my terms, was the opposite of that. I have a place to aim for now, and it sounds like you might, too.
Even more coincidental, I now keep a little 'things are better today because' diary - just like this post of yours! Its like summer is coming, and every day a little more sunshine gets through the cracks.

Hugs hugs hugs (I'm in a positive, huggy mood today) :-)

ME Strauss said...

Yea! Cherl,
I'm sure it's true that you and I worry about things that other folks don't even think about and don't worry about thinks that other folks fret and tear their hair out over.

We must be psychic twins. Of course I am the evil on. You're just too wonderful for that to be not.
Liz

Kelley Bell said...

It's funny, when my husaband and I decided to marry, some 15 years ago, he had just completed a Franklin Planner three day seminar. We took his fancy leather planner and planned out our lives one night over a nice bottle of Chardonay.

It was all fun and games at the time, but that unification of thought, mutual comitment to goals, compromise of style, and written clarity of values,

has become the roadmap of our lives.

In 15 years, we have never had a "really big" argument. I am quite sure it's because of our silly Franklin Planner night.

ME Strauss said...

Wow, I bet that was really fun to plan your future together that way. How you must have delved into such detail about your thinking and desires--at such a perfect time, when you were both open to compromise and listening. That you did it on your own and not in some class is probably what made it work best . . . that and the wine, of course.

smiles,
Liz

Kelley Bell said...

Of Course... (grin)

ME Strauss said...

I thought so. Wine makes us incredible thinkers.

Sassy said...

That's kind of how my life is right now. I didnt have any options so I had to move on and leave my marriage behind. It was the best thing for me. I try not to plan too far ahead. No matter where I go...there I am. BTW...I love your blog!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Sassy,
Options are a crasy thing. I think the leave me room and then they end up penning me in.

I'm glad you found a doorway out. Now you'll find a path to follow . . .

Thank you for coming to my blog. It's the people that make it a great blog, you know.

Atul said...

I like your blog, and I have a similar one. As for the post, whether it's personal life or as a consumer, having too many options can be paralyzing, especially for people like me who see different sides of the situation and are not single-minded in exactly what they want. Once you decide and commit to something, a burden is lifted and life becomes easier in a way. You just have to have the confidence not to second-guess yourself or listen too much to what other people say.

ME Strauss said...

Atul,
You have so perfectly described the situation I had allowed myself to get in, and yes I'm the same way as a consumer--I much prefer boutiques to shopping malls. :)

Thank you for stopping by and adding your wisdom to the discussion. It was a breath of fresh spring air for my dusty thoughts.

Liz

bradford said...

. .destiny means the choices have already been made! my kids act as my destiny and I really enjoy being along for the ride . . if you want something done ask a busy person to do it . . momentum can allow an intuition to over-ride thinking, but I accept regrets as the by-product of choice or (what if) I'm not being considerate enough.

ME Strauss said...

Bradford,
You have too many options too answer with I think. :)
Liz