Paralyzed by indecision

Today I think I discovered why I am such a planner.

The reason is because if I don’t plan ahead I am paralyzed by indecision.

In theory the idea of vast amounts of time to do whatever I want is ideal.

No responsibilities!  I can go swanning around this way and that.

But in reality when I don’t have a plan I just end up stuck in a time wasting time warp.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but today I didn’t have a dinner plan aside from my default plan which was to go to Life Alive for every meal this week in Cambridge. (See? planner.)

However, as a food lover I felt that it was my responsibility to try some other restaurants in the area.  So, I went on a run and when I came home I started to think about food. I decided i wanted. Indian food. No, Korean. Nope, how about some good American food. Well actually what sounds good is Chinese. Dumplings? Nope. Indian. No- how about ….

Anyway. You get the point.

By this point I had decided to order in since my run went longer than I had planned and I had already walked miles today. So good. Decision made. I will order delivery from Maharaja. And they no longer do delivery.

Back to the drawing board.

Finally 75 minutes later – I kid you not- 75 minutes- I ordered Indian food from Nirvana. And I was so hungry I had to eat a banana while I ate.

What the heck? Why was I so stupidly paralyzed by indecision?

Too many choices?

Am I just a bad decision maker?

I think it relates to the post I made last week about repetition. I will circle back to that for a minute. The idea is to make the most of something that you naturally do in your life over and over. Or something you want to incorporate into your life.

This food ordering situation is the opposite of that. It is a new experience for me. Not that I have never ordered food for delivery. But I don’t know the restaurants around here, and I am not accustomed to the ability to be able to order whatever I want and have it show up on my doorstep. Wow! So exciting. But also too much for me to handle apparently. I can’t seem to make a simple decision and just go with it. Typically I don’t have such a hard time with decisions. But I simply didn’t want to miss out on what could be a positive dining experience. And I ended up using up a lot of time and decision making power on this one small thing. (We only have so much decision making power in each of us per day! Who wants to use it all on dinner?)

I enjoyed my dinner (Mysore dosa and Malai Kofta in case you were interested) and I even have some leftover- thank god no decisions at lunch time tomorrow. But the point of this whole story is that we need some boundaries in our lives. Not that those boundaries or habits or self imposed rules can’t change sometimes.  But those patterns and habits can help us to grow, whether because they help make room for the other more important things in our lives (think eating the same thing for breakfast every morning) or doing a painting every sunset (You don’t have to decide if you are going to paint or what you are going to paint. You just have to decide what colors to use).  It is important to look at those habits and routines occasionally and analyzing them to make sure they still serve you. But to have no rules or structures or boundaries can paralyze you just as much as too many rules or boundaries can.

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