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Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I am indecisive. Completely, totally, and utterly unable to make a decision. (It doesn't help in the least that my husband is the same way - together we are virtually useless.) I tend to waver on issues for months, never really coming to a concrete decision and never really feeling at peace with my choice. It's a vice with which I've learned to live, I'm afraid.

I have, on occasion, tackled the omnipotent pro/con list. I used to love to sit down with a clean, crisp piece of white paper and sturdy pen in hand, armed with all I needed to make this decision thing into a piece of cake. Into something that could easily be figured out on paper, thus eliminating the actual thinking aspect of the process. All in all, I found it to be a trying task that hasn't afforded me a great deal of satisfaction in the past. I tend to haphazardly fling items on each side until they inevitably even out and I end up having exactly the same number of pros as I do cons. Not the best method to help someone like me make a decision.

So, for now, I have resigned myself to the fact that certain things in my life are going to be difficult.


Damn near impossible.

Like ordering pizza. Choosing what to wear out to dinner. Determining which discipline method to use upon the Things. And I always feel that making the *wrong* decision, in any case, will send my life spiraling out of control. Like if I ordered extra cheese, with green pepper, but no bacon, and maybe someone didn't like that particular combo, on this particular night, that somehow the earth would falter slightly from its axis and things would just simply not be the way they should be from then on.

What it all burns down to is the fact that I want someone to tell me the way things should be. Then I wouldn't constantly be second-guessing myself, doubting myself and my ability as a grown, intelligent woman . . . as a phenomenal, loving, and grounded mother, and general all-around lucid human being. I fear the unknown, and I fear making the wrong decision.

Every single day of my life.

As I have recently done some soul-searching and had to make a few pretty hefty-sized decisions, I pressed the rewind button and transported myself back to high school, where I often found solace, comfort, and direction in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.

Stay tuned to learn more about my most recent decision-making escapades.


tiarastantrums said...

great book - hope it helps you!!

Me - very bossy - no issues there!!

dougnlarry said...

Hmm, I'm intrigued.

I like to make pro/con lists too, but I don't think that's always the best way because some things should have more weight than others. ;)

Good luck! I can't wait to hear about whatever big decision you're making.

Phyllis said...

I hate that crossroad of indecision. I hope you can find some solace in whatever decision you're facing.

C! said...

I'm the same way. Exactly. I've found my own personal solution...procrastination. I don't recommend it though. I love Robert Frost though...
Best wishes on making the tough decisions!

Tammi Hayne said...

Shan, I've always thought we were pretty similar in a lot of ways. We're both super organized and thrive on being "in control". I'm the queen of to do lists and can't make a decision if my life depended on it (hence why I'm staring at 36 and just having a baby!) I find decision making extremely stressful and have so many OCD things going on it isn't even funny. Toilet paper has to come from the back of the roll, not the front. Towels have to hang on the towel rack so both bottom edges line up. If these things are not like this I fear something "bad" is going to happen. Realistically I know this is not true, yet I can't stop myself from obsessing over these things. I can't help but wonder if being such high achievers in high school has set us up for a big reality check in adulthood/post-education land? In school we got instant feedback. We got results. We knew we were doing the right things, we were rewarded with high marks, praised, recognized for our efforts which made us strive even more to outdo ourselves and others around us. We liked being on that academic stage. Now that we're adults with real lives and families there isn't any kind of grade given to our decisions, our choices and there's no feedback. We're constantly grasping at life, second guessing ourselves all the time because for so long we thrived on feedback and praise and recognition for our efforts. Food for thought :)

Megan said...

who doesn't want to be in control?? i knew i wasn't the only one that fought that battle!


Donna M said...

Life is difficult. The little decisions are easy, like ordering pizza. With the big decisions, you sometimes have to go with your "gut" feeling, especially if your brain won't do the job for you.

amanda said...

it's so weird sometimes being a grownup. i catch myself sometimes thinking that i don't have to make "that" decision bc my parents will. and then i realize i am the parent.

can't wait to hear more about your big decisions...

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