Life has definitely been a little stressful lately. I can tell I am stressed because the other day, I noticed that I was struggling to make even the tiniest, most insignificant of decisions. Decisions like, should I take my kids to the movies or not?
After snow days and bad weather, the kids were bored and getting on even their own nerves. The only movie that was playing and appropriate for kids was A Dog’s Purpose. I hate animal movies. I can not stand it when the animals dies, or gets hurt, and that always happens. I have serious anxiety, and if I see an animal getting abused, my brain fixates on that image and I can’t get it out of my head for days.
Plus, from what I could understand from the trailer, the movie is about a dog dying and being reincarnated over and over again. I didn’t have the energy for the multitude of questions my little deep thinker would inevitably think, or the deep feelings my little deep feeler would inevitably feel. So I sat there, opening moviefone.com and closing moviefone.com over and over again.
My hair is another example.
I leave for a conference in Canada a week from Thursday, and my hair was a tangled mess of stray grays (bastards) and split ends. I knew I needed a hair cut and color. The options: I could attempt (and most likely fail) to get an appointment with my stylist, which would take a minimum of five hours of my life, which is why I only do this twice a year. Or, I could dye my hair myself and go grab a quick trim at the mall, which we all know might mean I’ll emerge with something that practically resembles a marine buzz cut or a Salvador Dali painting.
Between the movie and the hair, I was an agonized little ball of tension, pacing back and forth in my kitchen. My inner dialogue went on for hours and went something like this:
Five hours at the salon. I probably won’t even be able to get an appointment. I’ll just dye my hair myself. Plus there won’t be time for a movie if I go the salon. Do I even want to take the kids to a movie? Do I have the energy to answer all those questions?
But then if I dye my hair myself, Ava the Stylist will yell at you. She told you not to do that anymore. There’s popcorn at the movies. That’s a positive. I am kind of in the mood for popcorn. I am not in the mood to sit at the salon for five hours. But I am in the mood to have nice hair.
Fine. I will just go to CVS and get one of those Splat boxes and put a pink streak in my hair. I’ve been wanting that pink streak for a while now. And that might leave time for the movies.
But what if you bleach your hair too long and it just cracks off? That’s been known to happen, you know. I’ve seen it on YouTube. Besides, what about the greys? And what about all the questions about dying little E will ask you? And will D get those big puppy dog tears in her eyes when the dog dies five million times? That’s not worth popcorn.
OMG Okay FINE, I’ll make an appointment.
But FIVE HOURS?
I walked around like this, in a big ball of anxiety, wondering whether I should take the kids to the movies and whether I should dye my hair, when all of a sudden I noticed that I was struggling with the most ridiculous of decisions. One second, I was smack in the middle of all that anxiety and the next, I was standing outside of it, looking at it, and thinking, That is some true crazy right there.
Right then and there, I decided to stop. And I decided to move into action.
I opened movifone.com again and bought tickets to a 5pm showing. Then I got dressed and headed to the mall, where I submitted in trust and surrender to a stylist I did not know and her scissors. I got my eye glass prescription filled, and quickly decided to go with the red frames because I was in decision making mode and it felt AMAZING. Then I went to CVS and picked out a color that would cover my grays, deciding to let the pro handle the pink streak when the time was right.
It got me thinking about the decisions we make, or at least the ones I make. How so often, so many of my decisions have been uber-safe, but they also don’t really let me experience much.
Everything turned out fine. Great, actually, because I got so much done. I got my hair cut, I colored it, I got new eyeglasses (finally) and took my kids to the movies. And in my head, I started making a list to remind myself how to live life the next time I get frozen in the decision-making anxiety loop.
- When buying new eyeglasses, go for the red ones instead of the same old tortoiseshell. You’ll only have them for two years.
- Go ahead and dye your hair. It’s only hair. It can always be fixed. Or cut. And it will always grow back.
- Go to the movies. Don’t be afraid of the feels. Feel the feels. They make life worth it.
- Go ice skating.
- Go to Jordan (or somewhere else) when you have the chance.
- Go to Canada (or somewhere else) when you have the chance.
- Have lunch with your cousin, and your friend, even if you are busy.
- Eat the ice cream.
- Play in the snow.
- Play card games with your kids.
- Sweat when possible.
- Go back to school. (Yes, you can.)
- Take every opportunity you can to laugh. Watch Melissa McCarthy play Spicey at least twice.
- Feel scared.
- Cry when appropriate.
- Get dirty.
- Go for the walk even if it’s cold.
- Go for the run even if it’s hot.
- Drink wine (unless you’re in recovery. Then drink the fancy iced tea.).
- Run for office.
- Use your voice to say the things that are in your heart, and in your soul, and on your mind.
This is just a smattering of ideas, but my guess is you get the point, and there’s a probably one or more of these kinds of decisions you’ve struggled with yourself. I’ve determined that if I’m going to live this life, it might as well be an experience, and so in those moments that I wake up and notice that I’m stuck in indecision, I’m going to default to the experience, rather than my couch.
It makes me think of that scripture — He came to bring us life in all it’s fullness.
I try to remember this, and to really think about what it means. I think it means to take deep breaths, and to feel deep feels. To think deep thoughts and drink in the experience of being alive. This is something I forget to do often, what with how busy I am all the time.
I want to start paying attention, and do the scary things, the things that make my breath come quick. I want to get dirty in my garden, eat earthy food, drink wine, feel feels.
This also means I want to connect more. So, connect with me, okay? Tell me in the comments what decision you can make to live your life to the fullest. Also, connect with me on Facebook, where we can chat more! I want to know more about you.
And seriously? Thanks for being here. For reading. For giving me your ear, and your time. We’re fighting the good fight, you and me. Let’s keep going.