Monday, October 6, 2008

Decisions

~Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio ~ October 1998

Regardless Of Outcome - There Are No Wrong Decisions

Many of us have a hard time making decisions. We fear that if we choose the wrong partner, then we'll be stuck in an unhappy relationship. Or, if we make the wrong financial decision, we'll make a bad investment. Yet, there are no wrong decisions. Perhaps we could, at times, make different choices regarding our relationships, personal pursuits, careers, or the right color of paint we should buy for our bedroom. Yet, regardless of the outcome, we always gain valuable experience or insights from any choice we make.

Making a decision is always better than making no decision at all. At least we had the courage to decide, take a chance, and make a move in a particular direction. We can't take action unless we make a decision first. And, a decision is never wrong because we always gain something from it - whether we get what we thought we intended or learn a valuable lesson. Sometimes, we need to follow through on a decision to realize that we don't really want what we thought we did.

For instance, maybe you always wanted to live in a big city, so you leave family, friends, and a secure job in a small town to move across the country. However, once you get there, you find out that you don't really like city life. You never could have known that unless you tried it. So, you move back home, all the more appreciative of small town living. Rather than constantly wondering what else is out there, you are now able to fully embrace your surroundings and the direction your life there is taking. Your decision to move to the city did work out - just not in the way that you envisioned. While our decisions may not always lead us to what we thought we wanted, we always end up with what will ultimately make us happiest. Being able to make decisions is one of life's privileges. Exercise your right to fearlessly decide. ~Daily Om


I had a fitful night's sleep, awoke feeling down and out of sorts without knowing exactly why. A bit of soul searching delivered the answer: its about choices, decisions, mine and those of others close to me.

You see, right now two of my daughters are in a bit of turmoil, big decisions looming before them. Both are forced to make difficult choices - one between two loves, the other between love and education. Lily wants to move about 3 hours away and attend college there, experience life on her own, but she'll leave her family and her boyfriend behind. Bambi is pouring over college brochures as well, trying to find the best fit for her while also being torn between two boys whom she loves equally, yet in different ways; one is exciting and fresh and new, the other a warm comfortable soul mate. Both girls are muddling through, thinking long and hard about what to do, and I believe have come to a decision..but it's hard, so hard. The "what ifs" tend to take over, rule our minds and hearts, cause sleepless nights and restless days.

As their mother, I am supposed to have wisdom to share, life experience to impart. And yet, I have never found myself in those exact situations. And if I did, I would surely have opted for safety. I've lived most of my life in fear, choosing the safe route, the merry go round instead of the roller coaster. I got married instead of going to college, took jobs that were convenient and easy instead of pursuing my life's work. The only areas where I took leaps were in my romantic life, and then only after much hand wringing and self-analysis, hours of conversation with friends and therapists.

And now, I too have some thinking to do, find myself in a position of change once again. I won't elaborate much yet but if the economy does not make a positive turn I may be making a big move within the year, may be forced to move out of my beloved castle to another town, away from family and friends. It's not definite, is in fact a last resort but it may become a reality and this chills me to the bone. I don't do well with change, I say it time & time again, especially when it comes to stability, or the lack thereof. I have lived here for 40 years, and I am not ready to take on a new address, not ready to give up what is safe and comfortable to me. Not now, not yet..I just want a bit more time to recover from the divorce and subsequent lifestyle changes, ok?

So you see, I am not qualified to help my girls with these choices, I am not equipped with the skills to lead them into college life. I can only sit by and watch, listen, support as best I can but oh, how helpless I feel! And how disappointed in myself that there's not more I can do. I feel as if I'm watching them grow up and leave the nest before they are truly ready, that I didn't teach them to fly properly on their own. I am terrified of the outcome of their decision; oh, I know on some level that the Daily Om is true, there are no "wrong" choices..Lily will succeed on this new venture or she will come back home and try something new. Bambi will survive this romantic drama and go on to love again, and again...yet it is heartwrenching as a mother to sit and watch, knowing that I must let them do these things on their own, I can not decide for them. I must let them fly even when all I want to do is lead them back to the next, tuck them in amongst the comforts of home and keep them here under my watch and protection. Just a little bit longer, please....

6 comments:

Teacats said...

Dearest! Decisions are so hard for me too! Just the thought of another BIG change or decision -- and I'm awake all night staring into space! Came from a heritage of of folks who chose the safest route -- and always worried about the sky falling! And I do see all shades of gray in all so called "black-or-white" decisions. No right ones nor wrong ones -- but its hard not to keeping looking down those other roads and alleyways and think "Maybe I SHOULD have picked THAT way!!" No words of wisdom here -- just know that whatever decision you pick -- that your friends will be there too!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Susan said...

Hey, M ~

I remember when you took that trip to Ohio (not too long after I met you) - lovely memories... and a tangible photo to accompany!

First of all, you are such a great mom - just because you haven't experienced certain things, doesn't mean you can't continue to be the best listener and supporter you can be (which you already are). It's a learning and growing process for everyone - you will be there for them, and we will be there for you, whatever happens...

I'm loving Dar's new CD... but especially this song, all about the transformative power of change - it's only natural to be fearful (no "iridescent grateful butterfly" indeed)... but so empowering to arrive at the "bring it on" stage...

http://www.poplyrics.net/waiguo/darwilliams/086.htm

I am not going to think/worry about the possibility of you moving until I'm faced with it - in the meantime, sending good thoughts for the best outcome possible... <3

mrsb said...

Even if you had some profound advice to give them...would that stop you from worrying? I'm thinking no. That's what mom's do best - wish we could make it easier, keep them from suffering, wring our hands as they make choices that might cause them pain.

In the end, all we really need to do is be there for them - to pat them on the back or offer tissues and hugs. That's what they'll remember in the end :O)

I hope things work out for you on the financial end. Change is hard.

Rapunzel said...

Jan, thank you, my dear friend. I can totally relate to what you are saying!! Big hugs...sigh...

Rapunzel said...

Susan, yes, that was a wonderful trip! It seems so long ago, doesn't it? Leave it to Ms. Dar to understand..sigh...thank you for being there, my friend, as always!

Rapunzel said...

MrsB, you are so right - the listening and hugs is what they will remember. I just wish I could do more, you know?