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Decisions, Decisions

This is how I feel when I have a hard choice to make.

It takes me forever to make certain decisions. There are times when I’m paralyzed by two choices that both seem too hard. Surely that’s just human, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

My sister had a big birthday this past weekend, with most of the family going to be there, old friends, too, and I was not feeling well. For me, being with all of them for her big day meant travel–by car, then shuttle, then two airplanes, then BART–a big full exhausting day of travel. I’ve done it many times, no problem, but this time I did not feel at all well. Throughout the week, I took six Covid tests, all negative. I wanted a definitive answer. You have Covid; therefore you cannot go. Ahh. Decision made for me. Meaning I’d rather have Covid than take responsibility for my own choices? Hmm.

Here’s the sister who had the birthday party that I missed, and who is now a woman of a certain age.

But no. I had conversations with all three of my sisters, my son, and a couple of good friends, all of whom asked good questions and made wise comments. Still. The decision felt like a choice between me (actually, my body) and someone I love. Ooh. That is hard. Plus, there are Others to think of. I could make others sick! In the end, I stayed home. It was the right thing to do. But not fun.

No one can tell you what to do when you’re caught in this kind of conundrum. You can talk and talk and listen and listen, but eventually you just have to decide. You have to pick one. I suppose I just really didn’t want to choose either.

And here’s the universe, doing its thing, a la Deeprak Chopra (below).

Some people seem to have no trouble making decisions. Sheesh! I know all the tricks. Make a list of pros and cons. Easy. Imagine yourself doing each of the things and note how you feel as you imagine it. Sure, I’ve done that. I’ve advised Others to do it. Toss a coin and notice how you feel about the outcome. Sure. Toss a coin and accept the outcome. No, thank you. There are just times when neither choice feels right, and therefore, it’s nearly impossible to decide.

What I know for sure is that being in that state of indecision is terrible, worse as time drags on. It is the worst. But in the end, I almost always make good decisions. I generally don’t leap at dumb ideas, throw money away on things I have no business owning, or say yes to things I really don’t want to do. But what about my pain and suffering when I cannot decide? Ugh.

Now look, below, at what I just found from dear old Deepak Chopra!

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign–body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on–alters the moment you decide to do anything . . . decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”― Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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