Friday, December 28, 2007

Be Clean

Last Sunday we had an amazing lesson by an amazing woman. Topic: "Be Clean"

I have been chewing on it all week.

There was one little part of it that I kept "locked away" during this week. The question was, "How do we prioritize between two good choices?" Example: Saturday morning and you are trying to decide whether to take your child to the library or to the park; which is truly better?

My answer to this conundrum has always been, "First, write your over-arching mission statement, then evaluate your choices against it." In this example, my mission statement includes a bit about conveying a love of knowledge to my kids so, bingo, I would pick going to the library.

Easy, right?

Only sometimes.

More often, the daily choices ressemble a tangled knot, but that's a different post.

During the lesson, I realized that one of the reasons why my solution works only sometimes is because I am looking in the past (a mission statement I wrote in the past) for a decision I am making in the *now*.

The teacher made the suggestion that in order to choose between two good options, we can look forward and consider, "In a week / month / year, which choice will you most regret not making?" This approach appealed to me since I tend to be a pessimistic, roses-through-rain type of girl.

Regret? I can foresee regret. Miss Regret and I are best friends.

So, I tried it a few times this week and wow, the ability to look at both the past and the future makes everything more clear.

I love it when people give out nuggets of wisdom like that, making people around them better and more whole. Her lesson was brilliant.

Reason why: I have had such a hard time making decisions quickly, efficiently, and without an undue emotional tax. Today I was in one of those time-warpy moments when I was making a conscious decision literally every few seconds: "Yes, Aee, you can have that" said while processing two other non-verbal decisions that were acted out with my hands, while communicating another decision to Jee through motion, while actively ignoring two other decisions that are screaming to be made N-O-W, plus (pop) brain cells die from overload.

The choices come at me rapid-fire sometimes and I try my best to keep up. It isn't easy. I need all the tools I can get to combat the negative effects of Decision Overload.

Usually, on a good day, I love decisions. If I can keep up with the flow, I get intense joy from good decisions. I just need the right tools. Backward and forward, look both ways before crossing the street. Ha!

Why is it that the best, most useful wisdom can always be boiled down to such a level of simplicity? Thanks to the teacher who presented it -- you gave one mom a fairly powerful new insight.