Saturday, January 02, 2010

decisions, decisions



last week, i went to a fabric store with a friend. she's making a new bedspread for her bed and i've been helping her design it. she had bought some lengths of beautiful cream-colored silk and we had settled upon a strip of colored silk for down the middle of it. we went to the fabric store and she quickly found the bolts of silk and grouped them into two possibilities - one with bright jewel tones and one with more muted autumny colors. we talked about both possibilities for a bit. then, she took off her necklace, which has an interesting silver symbol on it that i didn't recognize. she held the chain between her thumb and forefinger and asked, out loud, whether the bright colors were the right decision. the necklace hung still for a moment and then began to move in a counterclockwise circle above the brilliant blues and greens. then, she stilled the necklace and put it above the bolts of autumn tones and asked the same question. again, the necklace was still for a second and then began to swing back and forth, as if on a pendulum. she smiled and said the circle was a "yes" and the pendulum swing was a "no." so the necklace thereby confirmed her own leaning towards the bright colors. and she bought them.

sabin was along and has said several times since that she wished she had such a necklace. and we've talked about what decisions it would help her make. she apparently wants most to be confirmed in the order of her favorite lesson horses at the riding school, which right now is zidan, lizette, felix. whereas my order of them is lizette, felix, zidan. and i suppose that's what makes her doubt her own order. so we also talked about how it was her who rides them and who knows best and how she really didn't need a necklace to tell her that.

and it got me thinking about how i make decisions. because we make decisions all the time, having no idea of what the ultimate outcome might be. if you think about it too much, you could actually become quite paralyzed by the whole thing.  and i find that i am a very quick decision-maker, especially on big decisions - divorce, marriage, houses, jobs. and once i decide, it's quite a short distance from decision to action. on the other hand, i can be pretty indecisive - especially about little things like what to make for dinner.

husband is a more considered decision-maker than i am. we went out driving past the two farm places we've been looking at yesterday. when we started out, husband was pretty sure which one he prefers, but after our outing and our ensuing conversation, it's now switched. me, i'd be ok with either one, but since we're not ready to make an offer right now (we MUST sell our own house first, we are NOT sitting with two mortgages), i don't feel any strong need to make a decision about it right now. i have this confidence in the back of my mind that the right decision will be crystal clear when the time comes. so i'm quite content to endlessly discuss the possibilities of both properties and even flirt with other properties (like one with a big riding hall and stalls you could rent out or one with a vineyard - mmm, wine).

of course, all of these discussions and husband's endless drawing of plans of the properties and where he'd build and change this and that (his father was an architect, so he has an inner draftsman), are surely part of our decision-making process. but how do you know when you've reached the right decision?  maybe in the end, it's no different or more scientific than swinging a necklace above printouts of the two properties and seeing whether it goes back and forth or round and round.

how do you make decisions in life? both little and big?

20 comments:

CatLadyLarew said...

I'm horrible at making decisions and often fall into the "not to decide is to decide" pit. I could really use one of those pendants, myself!

CatLadyLarew said...

Another gorgeous photo, BTW.

Char said...

my sister goes by, if you can walk away from it with no remorse, then you didn't need it. i'm more of the impulse person. i'm all about it, but then i feel guilty about spending the money.

but...for big decisions i'm a list maker.

Cyndy said...

Ah, the unknown...

For me, it is make a decision quickly and be slow to change. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, and if that means that I have to work with a "wrong" decision, so be it. Better than no decision at all.

DH often makes some decisions that many would question, but when it comes to vision, he has always been spot on. I have learned to trust. Except when it comes to logistics; that is my department...

Most of all, just believe in trusting your gut. That necklace? I am sure it is swinging its answers through the subconscious, not magic...

Trina S. said...

it takes me a long time, but once my gut reaches a feeling that is either yucky or good then I know. My biggest tale tale sign is if i am planning something, anything and the plans just seem to keep falling into place, EASILY, then I know I am doing the right thing, if I seem to struggle and nothing seems to work, its all a fight and wrong, as much as I try to make it right or work, then I stop and notice that path is not the right one!
Enjoy!

Grey Street Girl said...

I make pro and con lists and then I mull it all over. In the end, I flip a lucky coin. :)

Big decisions are tough though. I usually end up just going for it, even if the cons and a little heavy. But I guess I'm a bit of an optimist.

philly5113 said...

That is a novel way of coming to a decision. I guess as you watch the movement of the beads, for example, it give you a glimpse of what is, could be or will, from there you go with the gut. The gut has some wisdom.
Great photo. Happy New Year!

Lynnae said...

Being a religious person, I usually pray about big decisions. Sometimes I still am unsure, but sometimes I get a real sense of clarity- I love that.
Things like little purchases are harder. I will 'take something for a ride' in my cart for a while only to talk myself out of it before the checkout. Or I will leave an item at a thrift store only to think about it all week- then I go back and its gone, of course.

ewix said...

All best wishes for the new year.
I find it pretty easy to make decisions......
though sometimes perhaps I am rash!

Sara said...

For the big decisions, sadly, I know what the right answer is immediately but then I sit on it afraid to act. I then spend up to years (but usually months) until I get fed up with not doing the right answer and then jump all of a sudden. I think it confounds others somewhat because they think I just came to the decisions all willy-nilly. :)

An Open Heart said...

I try to make sound decisions, but I have found that when I go against my first gut instinct, I regret not trusting my intuition! I've learned in the last 5 years or so to trust my gut.


S

beth said...

we just made some huge decisions, also involving property and it took some money and a flight to another state and lots of talking, to come together with a decision that feels right....

total time in the decision process for this specific thing in our lives....exactly one year.

so my answer....it takes time...lots of time....

Meg said...

Wonderful photo :)

& I make decisions based on my instinct. I usually know immediately the decision I want to make, and I usually stick with the first instinct I get.

jacqueline said...

i constantly worry about decisions...i really need to stop. have a good sunday!

Joanna Jenkins said...

First, that is an amazing photo!

As for decisions, I probably should put more thought into some of them but mostly I just follow my gut. Usually I end up okay.

Happy new year

Sammi said...

I'd definitely say I decide what to have for dinner by how hungry I am and how quick something is to make, haha!

Big decisions, I definitely understand what you mean about getting paralysed by them. I tend to talk to a few friends about big things and see what they think first and if they think some things are a bad idea.

Protege said...

Happy 2010 to you dear friend, hope you had a lovey Christmas.;)
As for decision making, I think about it long and then make a decision. Once I do, I never look back.;) I do the same whether it is small or big issues.;)
xoxo
Zuzana

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

My grandmother used to do that with a needle hanging from a thread although she could tell if a person was pregnant with a boy or a girl.

I'm learning more and more to sort of LISTEN to myself and trust that I know what's right. I think you read my post about that rude person I met while looking for retail opportunities - the truth is, I felt it was wrong before I even went into that shop. I said to myself that this was the last time I did not trust my instinct.

Btw, here is a walk through the snow - some more for you to lust for ;) Do people ride sparks in Denmark too? (I haven't been there when there was snow)

♥ Maria-Thérèse blog.afiori.com

Bee said...

The necklace thing sounds a bit Ouija Board-ish, but I think that the question about decision-making is a fascinating one. Like you, I tend to make a quick (probably intuitive) leap into decisions, even really big ones; and it has (often) driven me crazy that my husband likes to mull something over ad nauseum OR put a decision off until the very last minute. We have a couple of really big life decisions to make in the next couple of years, but I keep wanting to make them now -- just for the sake of pinning the future down. Even though the time is not quite ripe. I need to work on that.

Bee said...

I meant to mention your picture, which is gorgeous! I like the visual metaphor of a road; very appropriate. I took the Nikon (!) out on its first walk today, but I only took two pictures. It was so icy that we had to concentrate on keeping upright.