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Decisions, Decisions

Decisions Decisions – March 24, 2016

Last week I wrote about my difficulty deciding on a series for my online art class with Carla Sonheim, “Y is For Yellow.”  I was really struggling with the idea of settling on my project.  At the same time, I was perseverating on whether or not to visit my sons in New York City over Easter weekend.  I’d been to the Easter Parade once before–a crazy IMG_6541gathering of fabulous cross-dressing men and extravagantly dressed women, wild hats and accoutrements strolling along for several blocks of Fifth Avenue, without any particular form or direction.  Just loads of freewheeling fun and spectacle.  I hankered to go again, dressed to the nines.  But for a variety of reasons, I wavered.  Maybe the weather would be better later in the spring?  But one never knows.  We’ve had a very temperate winter.  My boys were here in early March–maybe I’d want to space these two visits with them further apart.  So I waited long enough that flights were too expensive and I couldn’t go.


Some would say I did actually make a decision.  If so, I later regretted it.  Wished I were going.  Felt the need to get away and be there.  Then it seemed as if we could not find a time that worked for all of us.  Oh, I blew it, I thought.  Wringing of hands. But in the end things fell into place and now we have a plan for May.  All is good.  I wrote my sons saying I was very glad they had not inherited my indecisiveness.


As to the other issue, my series or project for the class, I’ve settled that, too.  I’ll do a set of Dog 1 Kay Foleyblack and white drawings of dogs for my upcoming book of dog poems.  This was my first idea and it suddenly became my final one.  I can’t even say how it happened.  It just did.  It fell into place in my heart as the thing I want to do.  So now I’m scribbling away on index cards, drawing dog after dog after dog, hoping for ones I love to appear.


The thing I hate about being indecisive is the huge waste of time and energy, mostly energy.  My brain gets in a rut of thinking–trying so very hard to make a decision–that I think of little else.  My mental energy just pours into these questions, as if I were da Vinci, studying architecture or astronomy, when all I’m doing is making up my mind about something actually quite small.  I want to be using my brain for loftier things!  I would love to be more da Vinci-ish, pondering the big mysteries of life.  (I even own a book called How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb.  Excellent book, by the way.)  I understand that life is short, very short and getting shorter by the day–and I want to LIVE it!  I want to see and do and read and experience and learn as much as possible, all a little difficult to do when one’s thoughts are wrapped up in an endless loop of what if I do thus and such? or what if I do this instead??


But I know enough about myself to understand at least part of why I’m indecisive.  I’m moody.  I know full well that if I plan something in advance, I could easily not want to do it when the time comes.  I’d like to be sure that I will still love the idea when the time comes. This requires seeing into the future, which I obviously cannot do, so I consider very carefully all of the possible ways a thing could go–a pure waste of time.  Even knowing how utterly delicious it feels to have made a decision, I seem unable to make one without the struggle.


Ultimately what I need, I believe, is to first, accept this about myself and not agonize over it. I am fairly certain that absolving myself and allowing things to unfold is my best answer. It is the incessant thinking and perseverating that is the true waste of energy.  I need to allow myself to stop thinking–and just wait.  The answer almost always comes, not as a result of all this crazy thinking, but just from some shift that happens, almost outside of myself–definitely outside of my over-active mind.  I happen upon a quote or a photograph or a song, maybe without even registering it consciously, there’s a softening within me and the decision slips comfortably into place. The aha! was there all along.  It was right there in my heart.  And I was looking for it in my cluttered up brain.




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