decisions and changes

I have been thinking recently about the decisions we make every day in life; some are small, seemingly insignificant choices like what to have for breakfast and whether to snooze the alarm just one more time. There are medium sized decisions such as choosing to ignore a bad mood and embracing the day with a smile, possibly affecting the mood of people we meet. And then there are the big, somewhat scary, life changing decisions. Those decisions that we take time to mull over: where in the world to live, whether to end a damaged relationship, to marry your loved one, to take a job offered or to quit a safe job and discover the unknown. Our lives are decision after decision.
How do we cope with all of these big decisions? Some of us talk endlessly through the options, risking the boredom of friends as another bottle of wine finishes and we ask ‘so what shall I do?’ Then there are those who write pros and cons lists – a very practical way to illustrate the possible outcomes to a scenario. Many people internalise the conversation and come to a decision by themselves and then of course there are those for whom procrastination is the only way forward, operating under the hope that simply not making a decision one way or another will eventually lead to the requirement to do so evaporating. It seems that while we’re all happy to make the choice for dinner or a holiday destination, when we know that a decision may have far reaching or long term implications we are rendered stagnant. I think we all do this at times; harbor the misguided hope that if we just don’t think about it or don’t acknowledge an issue we then don’t have to stumble around in unchartered territory and can stay where we know it’s safe, where there is no change from the normal.
No adventure was ever started with this attitude but humans by nature are habitual.  Have you ever noticed how you use the same toilet cubicle at work each day? Or how your day is peppered with routine that makes you feel safe and in control? Since I made my mammoth decision last year and created upheaval in my working week I’ve had to create new routines, a new approach for making my way constructively to the end of the day. I did this consciously, fearing that without a structure I would simply vegetate.  Fearing the changes the decision I’d made might bring about.
The changes are rarely as bad as we fear.  And even if they are we shouldn’t spend our lives regretting them but instead focus on what we’ve learnt and how we can use that moving forward with the next decision (even if that is simply reversing or rectifying the original decision!).  I believe that no decision is ever wrong if we can learn from it, although we can often feel as if we’ve made a mistake. Then we have to decide how to change things further and I think this chain of changes is what we fear the most; not the first step but the numerous steps that the first step will initiate.  Certainly for me the first step, once I’d made the decision to leave my job, was fairly simple: write a resignation letter.  I knew I was making the right decision but the unknown decisions that lay further ahead – which courses should I try? Which people should I pester for work experience? How long will my savings last? Will I miss buying shoes? (Yes!)  All these questions and many more tormented me as I made my decision.  But I still made the decision and I don’t regret it at all.  I have learnt so much about myself, my strengths & weaknesses, what I want from a job and from life – how could I regret making a decision that has offered me so much!  It doesn’t make the next decisions any easier.  I still fear the outcome but I can take strength from the decisions I’ve made in the past and the knowledge that a bit of a shake up every now and then is good for the spirit.
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2 Responses to decisions and changes

  1. Pingback: job opportunity | covetandinspire

  2. Aunt Lee says:

    Wonderfully pondered you beautiful Lex! x


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