We make a hundred decisions every day, most of which are so routine, they become automatic, like driving to work. If we’re not paying attention, sometimes we drive to work on the weekend when we don’t need to. In my schedule, a few simple, non-life-altering decisions aggravate me. I loathe making them. I’m wondering if you feel the same way about them. See if these bother you as much as they bother me. I have grouped them from least to most grievous.
- What to wear (especially for a special event). This decision at first appears exciting, so I put out clothes the night before in anticipation of the following day. Problem solved–decision is made. But it’s a ruse. The next morning, my outfit doesn’t look right. I find myself looking lumpy, uncomfortable, chubby, or out-of-balance. I try a range of other options, but nothing looks right. Disgusted, I put on the first outfit. Now, in addition to not liking how I look, I’ve decided I don’t like anything in my closet, and my bed is full of clothes that need to be re-hung. In reality, the only great outfit each day is the newest outfit in my closet.
- What to snack on, or more specifically, to not snack on on something sweet. It’s choosing to deprive and torture myself at pivotal points during the day, namely 10 am, 3 pm, and 9 pm. I remind myself of the nutritional benefits of eating veggies over cookies. I throw away perfectly yummy food or hide it in the pantry. I usually make the healthy decision, but I have to say, I’m not happy about it. The sweets-oriented section of my brain has a memory like an elephant. And I’m not thinking about peanuts, unless they’re in a Snickers bar.
- When to exercise (who are we kidding)–if to exercise. What makes this decision so difficult is the guilt factor. I feel guilty if I don’t exercise, and I feel guilty that I hate doing it. Exercise is obviously good for me; I get energized through the increased endorphins. It doesn’t take too much time. I feel better about myself. But somehow, after I put on my work-out clothes, I feel amazingly comfortable (and I didn’t have to make the big clothes decision) and inspired to work. My brain clicks in to write or reorganize some woefully disorganized area of the house. I begin moving. This will be my exercise, I say. But I still feel guilt.
- When to get up. Oh, the alarm is set, and I hear it. I’m not a great sleeper, so usually, I’ve been awake dreading the abrasive fog horn that is my alarm clock. The decision about getting up is the decision to push the snooze or get right up when it goes off. Then it’s pushing the snooze again or turning it off completely. By that time, my body has slipped into a blissful state called DPSS (deep post-snooze sleep), which will continue until after it’s too late for my child to catch the bus or his carpool pick-up. What follows DPSS is the frantic We overslept! syndrome, the effects of which follow me throughout the day. And make me want–even need–a Snickers to satisfy and energize. (Of course, I didn’t have time to exercise!)
- What to make for dinner. This decision becomes more complicated at 5 pm, when I think about it. All the good options at that point are still frozen. If, however, I make this decision after I’ve decided to get up, exercise, get dressed, and have a healthy snack, this decision becomes infinitely easier. To me, the best answer to this dilemma is the crock pot. Then the decision becomes, what to put in the crock pot, and so I have yet another version of the same decision. Going to the market is also a practical answer, once you get over the decision of what to buy. Grocers have responded to this epidemic of indecision with the rotisserie chicken and the grocery deli, marketing techniques that I highly applaud. The only problem now, is that the deli presents too many choices.
If you are hyper-organized, you have answers to all these decisions. So have I. Meal-planning calendars, daily schedules, gym membership, trainers, diet plans, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
You still have to decide to do these things. So how do you do it?
Right now, I’m sitting in my jammies not doing any of them. Well, I did get up. Kudos to me!
image from kai Stachowiak