All of you seem to have it figured out. I have no clue. Should I do this? Should I do that? My 2012 race schedule is totally non existent. This is due to my lack of decisiveness, an issue for me since I slid out of my mom’s you-know-what.
Something occurred in my childhood so repeatedly that it will forever be etched in my mind. And, I’m not talking about coming out of my mom’s you-know-what.
The memory goes like this: I am sitting in a restaurant. I could be 6 years old, 9 years old, 16 years old. I am holding a menu. I am scanning it and starting to panic. So many choices, so little time.
The waitress comes to get drink orders. “Phew,” I think. I’ll order a Coke and buy myself a few more minutes. She comes back with the drinks and I know it is “go” time. I hang back, letting everyone else order. Since there are only four very decisive people in my family, my turn quickly arises. My dad stares me down. It annoys him to no end when I can’t make a decision about what to order. I stall a bit, maybe asking a question to the waitress like, “What is your favorite sandwich?” I start sweating because I feel my dad’s eyes on me and can hear him sighing with complete frustrating and annoyance. I quickly scan the restaurant because it helps if I can see the food in real life. I am grasping at this point. I impulsively blurt out, “I’ll take the egg salad sandwich!,” immediately knowing this was a huge mistake.
My fears are very much confirmed when our orders arrive. Everyone else’s looks better. My mom’s crispy BLT, my brother’s gooey grilled cheese, my dad’s juicy patty melt. I made the wrong choice! Not only that, but everyone else made better choices. My life will never be the same. Freaking egg salad.
Funny thing is, I still do this as an adult. The other night, in fact, Ken and I were out to dinner and I bet I looked at the menu for 20 minutes. Smothered burrito? Nope, too rich. I’ll be up all night. Greek salad? Sound good, but totally unsatisfying. At the last minute I went with a burger, still questioning my choice.
Yes, we are talking about menu choices. Yet, my life is one big menu choice. Sometimes I am so afraid of making the wrong choice that I either don’t do anything or, I pick something and fret that I’ve chosen the wrong thing. One of my favorite tactics is to put off making a true decision by doing something else like having a beer. Sometimes I will ask someone else to make the decision, “No, you decide, I’m good with whatever,” but then their choice sucks. Ever do that?
Over the years I’ve tried to tell myself, there are no wrong decisions. I don’t really believe this, but it sure does make me feel better.
When we choose something, we are doing our best based on the information we have in front of us. No choice is ever a death sentence. If it doesn’t work, it can usually be undone. But, it is important to give it a chance to work.
I usually don't plan a year of races in advance – I just decide stuff as it comes. Last year Boston and the 70.3 were my biggies and I did register for them way ahead, because well, duh, you have to. This year, I’m just not sure. I’m toying with the idea of entering the lottery for the NYC Marathon. It opens on January 2.
Do you have a tough time making decisions, even about what to order or what movie to see?
Do you plan your whole race year in advance?
Ever run NYC? Is it worth all the fuss?