Are you the type of person who makes a decision quickly or are you the type of person who takes a long time to decide? One of the things I love about my husband is that he is quick to make a decision. He doesn’t hem and haw about what the right thing to do is. He just decides. He told me, “You don’t have to be right, you just have to decide.” I think that piece of advice has helped throughout the years more than he knows. Sometimes I take way too long to make a decision and I drive myself crazy. You need to keep a momentum going and when you are stalled with a decision you aren’t moving in any direction. Let’s talk about some decisions.
My daughter was sick on Wednesday. She missed school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She had a fever all weekend. She woke up normal this Monday morning coughing all over the place telling me she didn’t feel good. Is she milking it? Yes. Is she 100%? No. Aren’t they supposed to be fever free for 24 hours before you send them to school? Am I the only person who follows this rule? I hope not! I decided to let her stay home and I didn’t agonize over it. It’s not worth my energy. Agonizing over decisions will drain you and it’s unnecessary.
Let’s move on to the Color Run at my Temple. I woke up Sunday morning after hearing downpours of rain all night. I was not a happy camper. It was beautiful the day before and the day after the Color Run. Come on Buffalo!!! I have lived in Buffalo for 43 years and you can never count on the weather to cooperate. You should never plan an outside event in Buffalo. You are gambling with mother nature and I gambled hard! It was the end of October and wind and rain were predicted that morning. I should have gone with my instincts and waited until the Spring to do this run but here we were. We put it together quickly and we needed to run with it. My co-chair and I wanted to postpone it but the weather was being confusing and somehow we landed on playing it by ear. Is that even a decision? Not really. Right at 10:30 when the kids were beginning to walk out for the run it started pouring. I had to hold back my laughter. This is better than falling on the ground and crying.It is always better for me to giggle than cry. I will take laughter over crying any day. The rain slowed down and we ventured to the outdoors to get this color run completed. There were kids who had a fabulous time and there were kids that hid inside like my son and didn’t take part in the run. All that time that I put into this event and only one of my children ran. Lillie was home sick, Max was hiding inside and Ella was a trooper and went outside and ran. I just ordered Ella a gift because she is so sweet and easy and how about a gift just because I love and appreciate you! I am a little upset about not following my instincts that day and pushing to postpone it, but it’s over and hopefully the kids had a good time. Following my instincts when making a decision is always a good thing to do. If we are quiet with ourselves, you can hear that voice in your head. That voice is usually right. I don’t know why I ever try to push that voice aside.
Speaking of instincts, lets talk about the first time that I was engaged. For those of you who don’t know, I was engaged to another man before my husband. In my heart of hearts, it didn’t feel right. If my main goal was to have a happy marriage, I didn’t think this decision was going to lead me in that direction. It wasn’t a healthy relationship on so many levels. I could give you a list of reasons as to why this wasn’t the man for me, but that is a whole different blog. As we chose a wedding date and began to plan our wedding, I started to have visions of running the other way at our wedding. If that isn’t a sign, then I don’t know what is. This story thankfully has a happy ending. I followed my instincts and moved on from that relationship. I can’t stress enough how important it is to listen to yourself. Also, if all your friends and family don’t agree with a decision you are making, you need to step back and take a good look at what is going on. The best thing is to always put your pride aside. You do not have to be right, you need to feel good with the decisions that you make in life. I would have been very upset with myself for following through with that engagement. I have made many mistakes. When you make a decision and it turns out to not be the best decision, it is ok to be wrong and figure out how to fix it. We are allowed to make mistakes and we are allowed to change our minds. One of the best things that my mother taught me is that I am allowed to change my mind about something!
We are currently trying to make a decision at school as the PTA Executive Committee. We have discussed as a group what the pros and cons are, and we are getting multiple perspectives. We have talked to our administrators and we are getting feedback from the teachers and the parents. A decision hasn’t been made yet, but we are leaning in a direction. The list of pros and cons and involving others in this decision is being very helpful. I can’t promise that we are going to make the right or the perfect decision, but we will do our best and we will make a decision. We have also given ourselves a deadline as to when this decision needs to be made by. Agonizing for months and months about something will only be stressful. If you are trying to decide something: go make a list of what the pros and cons are, go ask some of your good friends and/or family members, and set yourself a deadline for when this decision needs to be made by. The biggest question that I ask myself is what am I trying to achieve?
You have collected data, you have spoken to people, you have set a deadline, you have chosen a decision, and you have ran with it. What is next? Whether I am making a decision for my child, myself, or for school, my next step is to evaluate.
My husband Seth and I decided to get our family a dog. As you know from earlier blogs, it took me a long time (15 years) to convince him to do this. I have to admit to all of you that I was extremely nervous about this decision. We had two kittens at home, and my family was completely content with our two sweet little girls. I was really the only one in my family that wanted a dog. I told myself that it is ok to be selfish sometimes. I spend most of my time taking care of and worrying about everyone else. This time I was going to worry about me. Can I do that? I was worried that I wasn’t making the right decision.
Let us fast forward to almost a year later. My daughter Ella who was very afraid of dogs took less than one day to fall completely in love with Tanner. My husband who never had a dog and didn’t want one absolutely loves Tanner. My son Max loves Tanner and my daughter Lillie finds him annoying but really loves him too. Thankfully Tanner is so good with my cats. They were kittens when we brought Tanner home. My hope was that if they were all babies, they would grow up together and become good friends. They are Tanner’s tribe.
Tanner probably thinks he is as big as my cats, but I am guessing he is close to 90 lbs. I can’t wait to find out what he weighs when I take him to the vet. The cats circle Tanner to give him hugs and he gives them so many kisses all day. If I evaluate this decision it worked out well, but I knew that it could go sour. What if Ella was afraid of Tanner? What if Seth didn’t enjoy having a dog? What if my cats didn’t like him? There were so many factors. Had this not gone well I would have involved others to help me make this work like dog trainers, etc. We have had multiple people we know bring a dog home and not have it work out. They had to rehome their dog. You all know how hard that would have been for me. I took the plunge and it worked out. Decisions we make don’t always work out but thankfully this one did.
I like to jump into things. My husband likes to gather as much information as he can before making a decision. Seth likes to be completely prepared. There are times like this that I take the plunge and I am so lucky that it worked out.
Decision making pointers:
- Think about what your main desired outcome is. What is your goal?
- Gather information.
- Weigh the pros and cons.
- Picture yourself with the decision you are leaning towards. Picture yourself with other options.
- Get multiple perspectives – family, friends, coworkers.
- Follow your instincts.
- Give yourself a deadline.
- Think about possible consequences to your decision before you make it.
- Evaluate the decision you made.
- If it’s a great decision congratulations. If not, tweak it, change it, fix it.
Now go make a fabulous decision that you feel good about.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene LCSW-R