When it comes to stuff that matters, I am a decision-making queen. At work, if you need someone be clear-minded and decisive, I’m your girl. In sales, I can quote rates confidently and immediately. In management, I could pull the trigger on any operational decision that needed making. If coming to a conclusion is important in any way, it is honestly no problem for me.
But somehow when it comes to my personal life, and small, inconsequential life choices, my deciding skills turn to mush.
I hate this about myself, because it reminds me of Spongebob and Patrick walking down the street saying “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?” “III dunno, what do YOUUU wanna do?!” Which means I have roughly the same cognitive capacity of an animated sponge in a children’s show… But I can’t help it. Sometimes it’s the littlest decisions, BECAUSE of their trivialness, that are the hardest to make.
Like, dinner for instance. For most of the earth’s population, “Where would you like to go for dinner?” is a relatively easy question to answer. Even those people who would identify themselves as “indecisive” could probably come up with something in response here. “Let’s go somewhere where we can eat outside” or “Somewhere I can get a big salad” or “Somewhere we haven’t been in awhile” – even if they can’t settle on an EXACT restaurant, they are able to narrow down some general idea of what they’re in the mood for.
These people are my heroes.
Because that’s not what happens when you ask Susie these kinds of questions. It seems so simple in theory:
Hey, Susie’s Brain! You have 24 years of life experience under your belt. During that time, it seems logical that you would have developed some idea of which foods make your tummy happy and which ones don’t. PICK SOMETHING.
Instead, when you ask me where I want to go for dinner, my brain does this funny thing where I go to access the mental file folder entitled “preferences” and for some reason the entire thing is empty. I turn to other folders, like “cravings” and “recent recommendations” – tossing files behind me as I go, and they are all empty. I then resort to just pulling the “ANY RESTAURANT WITHIN A FIVE-MILE RADIUS” folder… but there is nothing. No ideas, anywhere, absolutely no earthly idea where we should go. I scour every corner of my brain for something, anything to respond with – but I inevitably, shamefully, come up short.
…I do not know. I do not know what I would like for dinner.
I AM SURE that on some level of consciousness I do have some contribution to make to this conversation. At the very least, I could probably come up with a list of things I do not want for dinner. I probably do not want to go anywhere that exclusively serves endangered species, for example. I do not want to go anywhere that would require me to board an airplane, because I have work tomorrow… that type of thing. But starting from there and trying to narrow my way in seems like a time-consuming and largely counterproductive process.
So Taylor and I have come up with a system to combat my crippling indecisiveness. Instead of giving me the option of EVERY RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD and overwhelming my poor feeble brain, he narrows it down for me by randomly selecting just a few restaurants, from which I have a much easier time of making a selection.
60% of the time, it works every time.
…The other times we just order pizza.