For most of my life, I have typically been a pretty quick decision-maker. I know what I like, and more importantly what I don’t, and choose accordingly. Some could even say I made decisions too quickly, before taking time to thoughtfully consider the pros and cons that come along with each choice.
Obviously, in a marriage, there cannot be just one person making decisions. I am fortunate that my better half and I balance each other out extremely well. We hear each other out and make decisions together. I just happen to be slightly more assertive in my opinions. It works for us.
Yup, I generally follow my instincts and went full steam ahead with confidence throughout my life.
That is, until COVID hit.
I don’t know what happened. Once the pandemic hit, I found myself unable to make decisions. Maybe it was a side effect from being thrown into a lockdown scenario that I wasn’t mentally or emotionally prepared for, or the responsibility of knowing three small children were looking to us for answers that we didn’t have. Regardless, I felt paralyzed.
Did the weight of making family decisions that could have potentially unspeakable consequences damage my once bold decision-making intuition? The conversations and decisions seemed to be never-ending. Do we send our kids back to school in person or stay virtual? When are we comfortable seeing extended family? Should we resume our son going back to speech therapy? Do we let the kids play with neighbors outside? There was so much to consider as we navigated the pandemic. The answers to every question were so unclear.
I felt myself tense up. It got to the point where I couldn’t make ONE. MORE. DECISION. I would completely shut down, saying “I don’t know!” and shrugging off the conversation until it was absolutely necessary. I was overwhelmed and terrified to make the wrong choice. So I just didn’t want to make any.
Now that life is starting to feel a bit more normal, I expected my inner self to feel a bit more normal too. But it’s not.
I see it spilling over into simple decisions that aren’t a big deal. What’s for dinner? Who is taking our son to baseball practice? What do you want to do next weekend? I DON’T KNOW.
Please don’t make me decide.
I’ve recently heard the term “decision fatigue”, and it really resonates with me. I am so tired of making decisions. Existing high functioning anxiety mixed with a pandemic will certainly manifest some issues. Truth be told, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about for this blog post. I had about three different topics and couldn’t choose. I went back and forth between them, eventually just pushing it off until I couldn’t wait anymore. Writing about my decision fatigue seemed to be poetic justice.
I don’t know how to get back to my “normal”. I’m hoping time will heal and just bring me back. If this is just the outcome of navigating the last year, then hopefully I can learn and grow from it.
Because eventually, I’m going to have to make a decision.