I realized something this morning, after a night of being up at 3:30am, unable to fall back to sleep. This after several nights of being awake in the middle of the night, my mind whirling. I had an AHA moment.
Years ago, I became aware of a trait about myself. I see both sides of everything. This makes it very difficult to make a decision. Or take a stand. Or believe unequivocally that something is true. I will see both your point of view, and mine (even if I don’t agree.) I see the disadvantages and advantages of each situation.
When someone asks how I am, I can say with equal truth, “I’m good. So grateful that I have a beautiful home in Annapolis. My kids are doing well, Arthur is stable. I have a job that pays the bills.” or “I’m hanging in there. I wish I had more space; an art room to paint. Arthur doesn’t have a lot of energy and I wish we’d go out more.” Each statement is truth. It’s not just putting a positive spin on my life instead of a negative one. I AM grateful and I DO have a beautiful home. And I wish I had more space.
This duality applies to decisions as well. When our kids were young, my friend Alisa and I would have a phone conversation about going out for the evening and it looked something like this,
“Do you want to get a bite to eat? Some dessert somewhere?”
“Maybe. Do you?”
“I’d like to get out and see you. I need to get out. But it means getting dressed and making sure the kids are okay and I’m fine with staying home too.”
The desire to get together was not greater than the desire to stay home. And this is my dilemma. And my light bulb moment this morning. Either is good. Both are good. There’s not right/wrong. Best/Worst. Many choices are good.
I have a free weekend coming up. I tend to be anxious with too much time on my hands. What are my kids up to? Should I reach out? What do I want to do? Should I invite friends over or plan a day trip with Arthur? Oh my, so much to do at home! Taxes still need to be done. I need to do more writing for the next book and contact a few more podcasts; set up another book signing but do the research first.
What do I need? Do I need to go out or stay home? These are the questions that plague me. I don’t always have concrete answers. Because I may need both alone time and social time in equal measure.
So I thought it was me. That I am just a discontent person. Always wanting more, seeing the other side, paralyzed making a decision. When I shared this with a friend, she said, “It seems to me that you’d be happy either way. You’re okay alone and you’re okay with plans. You appreciate time with your kids and you appreciate time to do your own thing.” WOW.
I can be content going out or staying home. Time bears this out. Other weekends when I have nothing to do pass quite pleasantly.
I can be happy being with the kids or doing my own thing. I love the freedom of seeing what develops, of having open spaces that sometimes turn into friends that call. (It also causes me anxiety, as I mentioned above. Duality.)
The PROBLEM is when I think there is ONE right thing to do this weekend. ONE decision. That’s what freezes me. I want my kids to invite me over. I want a friend to ask me to a specific event so I don’t have to make a decision about all the possibilities. I want both freedom and solid plans. And I want someone else to make the decision for me.
Having one thing means not having another thing and that’s a whole other article – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) Having to make a decision and stand by my decision is digging deeper in another article.
For now, it’s enough to know that I will be okay with whatever transpires. There are few 100% right or wrong answers. Very few absolutes. I can be content whatever I choose to do if deep down I believe that I will be okay. No matter what I decide, no matter what happens, I am okay.
Now readers, comment below and let me know if you relate!
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