Decisions, Decisions

The country has decided, and now the countdown begins. The last days of the Decider-in-Chief are at hand.

What to do, what to do?

What to do, what to do?

And, in something totally unrelated to politics, I have made my own decision:

I don’t want to make anymore decisions.

This is the latest part of the Crisis, coming after several weeks of our trying to decide exactly what to do. Of my trying to decide what will make me happy as we make this move back East in the midst of economic uncertainty. Of wondering if taking the trip beforehand is smart. And today it came to me in a satori-like flash – big decisions, little decisions, I’m tired of ’em. I’m done, it over, finis. No more decisions.

From now on,  I’ll let Samantha make the big ones. For the small ones, I’m going to take to throwing dice, even if it means digging up some of those 20-sided thingies we used back in our Dungeon & Dragons days. (I can’t speak for others who indulged in that 30-plus years ago, but for most of us, it was really about the third D – drugs. We could smoke pot without retribution in the friend’s basement where we played. Who really gave a shit about dwarves with magic battle-axes?)

It’s not like I haven’t made my share of decisions these past 48 years. From when to begin and end relationships to which brand of canned artichoke to buy, I’ve run the gamut. And yes, at times I’ve waffled in a not-very-attractive way. Especially with the relationships (I’m a little more conclusive with the artichokes): Break up, get back together, break up, get – ai yai yai!

I suppose being prone to anxiety makes the whole decision thing a lot harder. When you dwell on all the possibilities of the future – a key part of a really finely tuned, gut-busting anxiety – you see how each decision you make could end up badly. Oh, sure, it could turn out well too, but if it doesn’t…all hell could break loose!

connery(A nostalgic aside: Ah, anxiety. Makes me think of my first panic attack, some 22 years ago. somethingwild06Sitting alone in a movie theatre watching The Name of the Rose, I was convinced I was having a heart attack. Drove myself to the hospital – I guess a good decision. And, as I now know, a pretty good indicator that the ol’ ticker was just fine. Started my first individual therapy soon after. Then the Ativan. Never did see the end of the movie. Thankfully, no further attacks during other Sean Connery movies; I like Sean. Though there was one during Something Wild, and I’ve never felt quite the same about Melanie Griffith. And I hold a lingering suspicion that there is something evil in the work of Umberto Eco.)

I know relinquishing my deciding duties puts a big load on Samantha. And of course it sets her up for all kinds of crap from me if her decisions turn out to be less than stellar. But that’s not what this is about. I vow not to question any outcome from decisions made about the move, the trip, her job, anything. At least, that’s my intention. I just want to be free from the constant back-and-forth in my head, the questioning of a decision made, and then rescinded, and then made again. I’m just tired.

It’s like with the playwriting: I’m gonna quit, I can’t quit, what’s the use, I have to write, no one will ever produce it, that’s not the point, the solo show was a waste, no there’s still something there – enough! Ugh, I have CBS – Charlie Brown Syndrome, marked by chronic wishy-washyness. Not usually fatal, but sometimes debilitating. And really annoying to others.

But maybe it’s not being wishy-washy. Maybe it’s just good ol’ ambivalence. Some of the best people feel ambivalence. Our new Decider-in-Chief admitted in a recent Newsweek article, “There’s a certain ambivalence in my character that I like about myself.” And here’s the good stuff: “It’s part of what makes me a good writer, you know?” Yes, yes Barack, I think I do know. I have ambivalence, so sometimes it’s hard to decide. But that’s OK, because it might mean that I’m a good writer too! A sign of intelligence and good character to boot!  And now the words of another politician/writer enter my head: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” (Results still uncertain in that race.)

So instead of walking away from decisions because they’re so hard, dealing with the consequences so stressful, I should embrace my inner ambivalence? Yes, yes I should! I guess. But it might not always work

Have I chosen...the wrong brand?

Have I chosen...the wrong brand?

out. Maybe – I don’t know, it seemed like kinda a good idea a few seconds ago, but now…where the hell is Samantha when I need her? She’s got a decision to make.  And suddenly I’m no so sure about the artichokes anymore.

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~ by mburgan on November 7, 2008.

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