Jan 31, 2016

Choosing Which Doughnut.

"A conclusion or resolution reached after consideration."

"A choice made between alternative courses of action in a situation of uncertainty."

"A choice that you make about something after thinking about several possibilities."

I feel like if someone told me I HAD to give a name to the past 5 years of my life it would definitely be decisions. Ugh...that sounds so boring. How could I jazz up 5 years of hard decisions? How about the "Get to know yourself years?" How about the "Figure it out years?" How about, "Days of our Lives"? Oh wait, I know, "Choosing a doughnut." Have you ever been there in the doughnut store choosing your doughnuts and thought about that poor person who works there? Every day, all day they stand there behind the counter with a box and a little tissue in their hand waiting for people to make up their minds about which doughnut they want. I ask them so many questions. I change my mind....no wait I want the maple. I wonder if one of the questions when they interview is "How do you feel about people who can not make decisions?" Do they make you feel annoyed? :) It is such a little decision and yet we all falter when filling a box of doughnuts.

I am in the doughnut shop right now. Standing there. There is a long case of all the choices. There is whether to try to date or not, there is where to live, there is what to be when I grow up. Everything looks good. Do I want my life with cream in the middle? Do I want my life covered with maple? I tend to prefer the cake doughnuts, is that what kind of life I want? And sprinkles are definitely given who would not want some sprinkles in their life?

The sad part, well it could be the funny part, is that decision years are not over by any stretch of the imagination ...oh no, we are just getting going. I have always been amazing at sleeping. (yes, sleeping does have to do with decision making, bear with me :) I ALWAYS sleep through the night. I can sleep anywhere....floor,couch, chair, Amtrack train....anything. I am a morning person and a night person. I do not need much sleep. oh and wait there is more, I can fall back asleep easily. Brag, brag, brag,...Jennifer is a sleep Ninja. I honestly have always felt so sad and bewildered when people tell me about their insomnia woes. But this new round of decisions are doing their best to keep me up and teach me about not sleeping.

Maybe if I tell you about some of my decisions I will understand them better. You see I really do not have anyone who has the time needed to listen to me and help me so it really is just blog and me....which is never good....for you. So bear with me. I will see if I can narrow it down to the top three decisions Jennifer is facing...I mean I would not want to have you not getting any sleep either. But trust me the magnitude of it all is daunting sometimes....okay, maybe more than sometimes.

#1. What to be when I grow up.

I am trying to take this one slow and easy. I am in school. Moving towards a degree. I need to make a decision before May because that is when I need to apply for a program. I am trying to inform myself of all my options. Every week I go online and I look at the list of online degrees available to me at BYUI. I look at how long it will take me to get them. I look at how much money I will make when I am done. I look at what classes I would have to take. I try to imagine myself doing various jobs. I try to notice what I gravitate towards. The problem is I am not very realistic and they all sound enormously fun. Ooohhh look at this one, oh wait look at that one :)

But at this particular moment I really want to be a high school teacher. BYU Idaho offers a Bachelors Degree called Applied Management and if I got this degree I could teach business classes but I would also have all I needed to have other options just in case high school, as a teacher, is not for me.There is a lengthy list of other options you can pursue with this degree and they all sound exciting, things like; Accounting, Business Administration, Office Supervision and Management, Financial Management Services, telling everyone else what to do, and ruling the world (just making the list more interesting). There is a list of about 11 options of what I could be when I grow up with this degree and I like that there are options. I am at the age where I can not spend years figuring things out. I have to make a good decision the first time and I figure getting stuck in history is probably not smart....although I deeply long to teach history.

#2.Where to live.

Yeah, I am probably worrying about this prematurely but in my mind I have three options; Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Yes, now you know I have a very serious thing about Alaska. I have lived long enough to know that you never end up where you think you will so I am trying not to set my mind on something but I do have a ridiculous vision in my head of a small, older, yet impeccable house on a little bit of land with lots of character and a view. A place to garden. Rooms to paint how ever I want. A fireplace. I really do not want much. It is weird to realize that the world really is all mine. I just have to be brave, have an open mind, and listen carefully to know where I need to be.

#3. To be on a dating website or not.

I tried the dating website for an entire year. I met about 6 different guys. Some were dating lots of girls at a time and could not focus on one. Some neglected to mention they were married still. Some were so very bitter and resentful that they obviously needed to heal from their previous relationship before they could start one with me. Some stayed in my life for many months and we had great times and then without warning or explanation they disappeared. A different, strange, sad story for each situation. I just decided I could not play for awhile. It is not an easy world...single and 47. I have to be vigilant because it is very easy to feel alone, and a little bit sad, and I fight that often. How do you meet people when you live in a town of 9,000 in Oregon? I think I have decided that I need to embrace the possibility that I will be in that cute little house with a view, and a garden all by myself. It is a weird thought. Maybe I was meant to be a cat lady. It seems most people meet someone because they are friends with someone who knows someone and hooks them up. So do I just go on Facebook and beg all my friends to think of all the single people they know and send them my way? Um yeah probably not.

Decisions are what our days are made up of. We really have to make them. I think it is a very cruel trick that even if you decide not to decide you are deciding. I have finally realized a few things, that you all probably already knew;

Decisions take work, time, and lots of effort if you want to make the best one you can. I guess you can just make them without thinking but trust me I know this never works out well I have done it way too much. Now I try to do everything I can to inform myself of all my options so that I can notice if one direction seems clearer than another. It took me a long time to realize the best decisions are made when you are informed of all the options.

Decisions can be changed. I used to agonize over where to plant my bulbs, shrubs, and perennials in my yard thinking I needed to find the most perfect spot the first time and then one day I had a serious AH HA moment when I realized if I did not like where I had planted it, if it ended up shading something else, or being to big, or not looking good with the things I planted it next to I could dig it up and move it....duh. My decisions are the same. I should not be afraid to make one for fear that I will be stuck. You are never stuck. Trust me, I know this without a doubt. Sometimes it is hard to fix it, or get out of it but you can do it if you have the courage.

I have decided to give myself 24 hours when I make a bad decision to dwell on it, fret about it, feel embarrassed about it and then I let it go. I wish I made good decisions all the time but honestly between you and me most of mine are not so good and I can tend to torture myself about those so thus the strictly enforced time limit :)

Of course, as with everything else there is a balance you have to decide which decisions to agonize over and which decisions are ones that are okay to make quickly. I imagine the person in the doughnut store would deeply appreciate someone who knows what they want and realizes that if they get something they do not want they can give it to someone else and buy another one :)


Joan said...

I happened to be directed to this article this week, and I think it might shed some light on your current decision woes:


Also, why don't you move to Rexburg? Then you wouldn't be limited to the degrees offered online. And you would be closer to some of your kids too, and me (selfish little thought). Plus...the regional dating pool...just sayin'.

Courage, dear friend!

Anonymous said...

This is Anne Marie Sorensen, from the Kansas days. I know we were in different stages of life at the time we crossed paths there, but I always admired your sparkly, dynamic, loving personality. I really appreciated you reaching out to us a number of times, Easter egg hunts and Bunco. Thank you for your kindness. I hadn't been on your blog for a really long time so I had no idea that you had had so much going on in your life these last few years. I am so sorry that there have been so many mountains to move. You definitely have the faith and fight to move them, but it takes so much courage and energy.

I just wanted to wish you the very best with the all the decisions you are making. You are such a talented writer and thinker. Humor and compassionate insight all rolled into one. Whatever you do will be filled with the light of the Spirit and the love and fire of your personality. xox

Jennifer said...

Oh darling Anne Marie thank you for your kind words you have no idea how much they improved my day and how much I needed them. You must have been inspired to write to me....thank you for reaching out from my past and helping me. I do hope all is well with you. Were you not in texas?