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Friday, 31 May 2013

Decisions for you

In life, we all have many decisions to make. Sometimes they are things that don't matter: what to wear and what to eat. Sometimes they are more important but are fairly easy decisions to make (for most people): The shop attendant forgot to charge me for x so you decide to go back and pay for it. I have found though that most decisions we make are discretionary - we make our decisions based on our personal circumstances, not everyone would do it the way we do it, and you'll usually get open or not-so-open criticism from someone along the line.

So - here's another decision - do we do the things that we perceive will be most favoured by the people around us, or can we be true to ourselves and make the choices that truly are best for us and the family or others our decision effects? I would have to say I have probably done a bit of both in my life, but I am happy that in the moments where these decisions have mattered most I have gone in the direction that was best for me. And it's becoming easier.

One example of such a choice for me was to put my girls in daycare once a week. Admittedly I don't recall anyone really saying I shouldn't do it - it was more what I perceived that other people would think - but I did it because I knew that having that one day to do things I was finding hard to get done and also have some time to myself would make me a better mother for the rest of the week. Actually I felt similarly about what people would think when I decided to leave school part way through year 12. Those are small examples and you can probably think of bigger decisions with more real that perceived opposition, but it illustrates my point.

Everyone has different reasons for doing things the way they do. Some of the experiences I've had have taught me that, and have given me more pause to stop and think before I make a judgement on someones actions and choices. When I was pregnant with Natalie and was planning the sort of mother I wanted to be I thought that I would never ever for any reason put my kids in childcare... short of some tragedy that left my husband unable to provide for our family perhaps. Now, even if I really just don't understand why people do certain things and just can't bring myself to agree with them, I hope I am better at stepping back and trusting that they are making their choices based on personal circumstance that I may not even be aware of... and even if they later decide that they were wrong - that's part of life - we do the best we can with what we have and we live and we learn.

In high school, people might have criticised us for what we wore, what gadgets we did or did not have, how we spent our Saturday nights, or who knows what... now people wonder why you would marry so young or why you wouldn't marry, why you wouldn't have kids or why you don't have more, why you took the job with the lower salary or in that field of work... 

Here is my hope: yes, we need to be careful in the decisions we make. Some of them will have a huge impact on us and other people in our live... but at the end of the day if we have deliberated, weighed options, prayed for guidance, and know that something is right... I hope that you will be able to hold to what you know is best for you and be happy. Because you deserve it.

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