SURVIVE: Making Choices

By Susan "Honey" Good

It is 3:12 am and I am wide awake in our apartment in the sky. I lean forward quietly, so as not disturb my ultimate concierge and my pooch, Orchid, while reaching for my laptop.

I ponder as I slowly begin to open it up, ‘Should I muse about something or should I close my eyes and force myself to fall back asleep?’

I decide I’d prefer to write. I have two topics in mind and ask myself which one? We all make several choices throughout the day, so I decide to write on that topic.

The first thing that came to mind was the difficulty I had last night choosing an entrée at dinner. As I read the menu I kept wondering, ‘Should I order fish because it is healthy, a juicy steak because it is delicious or pasta that is a carb?’ 

I could not for the life of me make a choice, so I asked the waiter to please take the other’s orders while I made a decision.

As I perused the menu I asked myself, why am I spending so much time deliberating something as silly as my entrée choice when…

I didn’t deliberate for a second in my decision to marry my ultimate concierge (my only date) after I was widowed. I easily chose the breed of our dog, a soft coated Wheaton Terrier. When I needed a laptop, I went right to the Apple store and not only knew the brand, but the style without deliberating. 

…and I can’t make a choice on what to order off a menu? 

As I sat in our dark bedroom listening to my husband and pooch breathe in rhythm with my fingers on my keyboard, I came to my layman conclusion.

1. How to easily make unimportant choices — Set a time limit on your pondering and go with your instinct. You will stop wasting unnecessary time and emotions.

It is ridiculous to waste time on ordering dinner or deciding if I should write or sleep. These choices were short lived with little consequence, so there is no reason to take a lot of time wrestling with my decision. By the way, I chose salmon and my musings.

 2. How do you make important choices? Apply your intuitive sense over your emotional feelings. 

A woman over fifty and beyond cannot let her emotional feelings lead her into making the wrong choice. For example: She knows when she is in a doomed relationship. She knows she should be saving her money. Let the situation, and not your emotions, guide you into your answer. I know it is hard, but the alternative will likely prove disastrous and you already know it.

3. Reduce your options. Let your experience be your guide.

We have too many options at our disposal. I was in the aisle of Walgreens looking for Tylenol and could feel my heart begin to race and my mind become perplexed as I stood paralyzed by all of the options. I made my choice by letting my experience be my guide. 

4. For choices of magnitude, remember this — It is not what you know. It is who you know. Make your call with no hesitation.

This is just a little tutorial to start you on your way. Making choices for everyone, even those of us over fifty, is difficult. But, the choice of starting is far better than that of procrastination.