Decisions, decisions, decisions

This is an actual sign in the middle of Nevada.

My husband stumbled upon this photo that he took on one of our camping trips. He suggested I write a blog post on it.

“Yeah. That’d be cool.” Feigned enthusiasm.

“You could write about choices,” he says.

“Yeah. That’d be cool.” More feigned enthusiasm. In my head, I’m thinking something else.

Choices? I don’t want to write about choices. Acknowledging choices means having to make them. And I don’t want to. (Whine and stomp added for effect.) My natural tendency is to set up camp in front of the sign. Indecision begging me not to commit. To cling to the hope that I don’t have to chose.

However, upon embarking on this blogging journey, I committed to embracing it. I chose to write on life, faith and writing. And since I didn’t specify whose life, that leaves my life by default. Blah.

So fine. Choices it is.

“This way” or “that way?”

It didn’t take long for me to recognize what choice I am currently facing. In a nutshell, I am forced to chose what I will do while I am waiting. My agent recently submitted a proposal for a novel I wrote. And I’m waiting. I’d like to think I’m waiting for a book deal. Then reality sets in and I realize I’m probably waiting for numerous rejection letters.

When I’m waiting for my children while they are at piano lessons, I read a book. When I am waiting at the grocery store, I pretend not to read the magazine bylines. When I am waiting for the lasagna to cook, I check Facebook. But this waiting, this is different. I’m not waiting for an hour. I could be waiting for months. Life must continue in that interim.

What will I chose to do while I wait? And the two choices appear like a neon sign in the arid dessert.

This way or that way.

On the one hand, or this way, I can choose to be content. I can chose to live in the moment. To lay down the outcome and trust. To recognize, book deal or no book deal, all I have is today. Or I can go that way. I can chose to wrestle for control of the future. To attempt to hold the unknown in my hands and mold it into something of substance. Like holding water in my hands and squeezing it until it becomes ice. Not improbable so much as downright impossible.

Perhaps both paths lead to the same outcome. Perhaps, next week (that’s called optimism), my agent will call and say a book deal is on the table. Perhaps the choice isn’t where I end up, but who I have become by the time I get there.

But either way, this way or that way, I get to choose.


2 Responses to “Decisions, decisions, decisions”

  • John Says:

    Liked it! You triggered a thought in my head. When you said, “My natural tendency is to set up camp in front of the sign. Indecision begging me not to commit. To cling to the hope that I don’t have to choose.”
    My thought was that when you plant yourself firmly on indecision, isn’t that making a decision? You are deciding to do nothing verses going right or left. I’ve seen people (including myself) firmly planted at this spot unable to commit to something, but by doing so then the option to go right or left may not be there a moment later and thus your indecision is actually making a decsion. For example, I’m in Disneyland and all the lines are long and I can’t decide which line to commit to and I just walk around and around in circles unable to decide which ride I want to wait in line for and before I know it the day is over and I never got to ride any of the rides because I was too afraid to commit to investing my time to waiting in a line in fear that commitment will cause me to miss out on something else that’s even better. I’m stuck in the trap thinking maybe the next ride will have a shorter line. I just couldn’t decide to wait in one line over another and by not committing I ended up unknowingly deciding to walk around and around in circles doing nothing. Before I knew it the day was over and my opportunity to choose expired. I think every decision has an expiration date and that must be factored in otherwise you’ll just be aimlessly and unknowingly making decisions to do nothing and before you know it you’re old and wondering how or why you got wherever you are.

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Great analogy John! Very true. Our inability to commit becomes a decision in itself. Which is ironic because in our attempt to avoid making a decision, we are making a decision. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

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