This is a battle I wage daily in my own head. So many decisions I make are mulled over with all possible considerations – the outcome, what could happen along the way, what my friends may think – and I am working on changing this behavior within myself. After all, this is my life and I only get one shot, so why make any choices based on what others may think instead of what I think? I have gotten very good at taking quiet time, taking time for myself, increasing the amount of down time I have in my day. But one thing I haven’t gotten very good at is making decisions solely for me – and that is going to change this year.
Why do we let what others think of our decisions dictate our life? Why do we live somewhere we may not want to or live a certain lifestyle we may not be interested in? Are we afraid of being judged? I know that’s my problem that I am working on for myself, finally, at 37 years old. I was thinking of getting rid of a piece of furniture in my house this weekend that I really had no use for anymore. While contemplating what to do with it, I heard a little bird in my ear say “But you paid so much for it! Why would you get rid of that? That’s just wasting money!“. I had to really work hard to push aside that voice and decide for myself what was right for me. Not for anyone else – for me and me alone. Too often, many of us make decisions like this based on what others think is right because we are afraid of what they may say about our own choice. And this is no way to live, and I am just beginning to figure out my own way of dealing with those feelings.
Take wedding registries, for example. Most everyone who gets married ends up filling up gift registries for stuff that wedding guests can purchase for them. Extra set of “good” dishes? Check. Bar ice buckets and fancy potholders? Check. I fell for it too. We were “supposed” to register for another set of dishes – “It’s what everyone does!”. So we did. And ended up with another full set of dishes that sat unused for the better part of 4 years, until they came in handy in the divorce. (But that’s an entirely different subject on simple living, isn’t it? ) After it was all said and done, we kinda looked at each other and said “why do we need all this stuff? why didn’t we just ask for cash so we could put it in a savings account or towards something more expensive?” I am not begrudging the fact that we got gifts for our wedding, but rather we fell into the same trap that most everyone does – it’s what you do when you get married, that’s why. And because we let other people influence our choice, our houses fill up with dishes, appliances, and pot holders that never get used. AKA unnecessary clutter and maintenance.
If you haven’t started already, it’s time to start living your life – not someone else’s. Sure, they may not agree with your choices. And you may have to fight the urge to tell them off if so. But this is your time on earth, and you only get one shot. So who’s going to call the shots? You? Or them? It’s your choice.