Monday, January 28, 2013


Everyday we make hundreds of these. Today is no different. Or is it?
Today is Sunday. The day when every decision is to relax and regroup for another week of hard work. Most of today’s decisions will be not what to wear or where to ride or even when to sleep. All this is routine. From the decision to open my eyes and accept another day, to recognizing the time by what is on the radio is a decision. The next big decision would be to go down the hall and then get dressed or get dressed and then go down the hall. The left sock goes on first then the right. No decision there. The same long underwear and the same dirty jeans as yesterday. The same six-year old t-shirt that was worn yesterday and slept in last night and then today and tonight and tomorrow. No major decisions here.
When I was a kid all the decisions were made for me. Get up at a certain time, wash, brush teeth then a good breakfast. Well, maybe not a “good” breakfast, but it was the only time the family sat down together. Put on a suit and tie and wait for the parents to do the same. Arrive at the church at the same time, sit in the same pew, follow the same rituals, sing the same songs, attend the same teachings with the same kids (some of whom you only see in this setting), gather after services, go to the same grill and have the same meal for lunch. Returning home at the same time, the suit and tie were hung up in the closet and weekend wear (not school clothing) was put on. The afternoon was occupied with being stored away in a dark room watching black and white monsters, cowboys, cartoons and newsreels of how we won the war. All the decisions predetermined and accepted as family ritual.
Through the years the decisions of the day were handed over to teach how to deal with life. Some decisions are tempered by emotions, some made out of panic, and many influenced by the lack of or availability of funds. With all the bumps and bruises decisions of life moves us on our unique path. Maybe the sum of life is the decisions one makes?
Should I call the girl who gave me her number? Should I buy that car even though I know I can't afford it? Should I move beyond what is acceptable? Should I stay or should I go?
The decisions, whether agreed upon or solely decided, can affect others. Decisions made due to outside influences can be reactions. Some are knee jerk responses to an unexpected occurrence and some are plotted with previous planning. Some decisions can change a life or can be regretted at a later time. No matter what or who may be to blame, one must take responsibility for his or her decision and live with it.
Today will be another day just like all the other days filled with possibilities.  The decisions of the day are totally my own to make without discussion or approval.
What will be the big decision of today? Leave the house at the same time and observe the yard before following the usual path out to the street. No big decisions there, just habit formed motions. Waiting at the light for the traffic to allow passage but that is not my decision only a survival technique. Taking long deep breaths and widening the eyes behind the dark glasses to clear the head of the nightly mucus build up which is only a daily health function the body adjust and wakes up to the chill. Park the pony, take off the gloves and put them in the saddle bags, take off the helmet and latch it to the body, pull out the lock, find the correct key and lock it to the stop sign. Take a breath, look around, grab the multi-colored cloth bag and walk through the electric eye doors. All these actions are just habits of everyday living and they happen in the same pattern everyday.
Now comes the BIG decision of the day. “What should I have for lunch?” Walking through the deli area viewing what has been on the plate for most of the week, tasting the thick dry bread or the overcooked chicken, I move on. The produce is appealing in the colors but without a refrigeration unit, there is no place for storage. Besides cold weather does not raise the taste buds to lettuce and carrots. Pass the dead animals and canned food to the icy storage section, a pause at the veggie steamers seems right, but is passed for today. Instead the stop at the appetizers to pick up the same frozen mini-burgers that I had yesterday. Not the healthiest decision of the day but it is easy and quick and only requires the additional purchase of mustard.
There are so many reasons not to make a decision. Sometimes we just want to delay the inevitable or sometimes so confused with all the different possible options the decision is not made and just kicked down the road to another time. Leaders of industry make decisions that will affect workers livelihoods, make or break shareholders bankrolls, and possibility the economy of the nation. Generals make life and death decisions everyday. Proper families make decisions on raising children, adequate education and housing, exposure to natural and cultural events, and possible thoughts of retirement. Some fall into misfortune and make bad decisions about those who influence or succumbing to the weakness of the flesh.
Have you ever watched an elderly person? Not just old guys like me, an elderly person living in an assisted care living establishment. What does he or she decide during the day? At that point in life what one wears or what one eats or where one sleeps is out of one’s control. Life’s decisions have been made by now and the day-to-day survival usually depends on another. If the mind is aware, he or she is still trying to make decisions but may not be able to succeed in accomplishment of thought to action. Maybe there is only one more decision to make? And that decision may be out of our control?
So what will tomorrow’s decisions bring?


TripleG said...

Dubya Bush said he was "the decider." That worked out real well.
The decision not to obey is the most dangerous -- you will probably end up in a situation where you can make no decisions at all.
It's a puzzlement, all right.

Art said...

Nicely written, CML. Sometimes habits allow the brain to wander off & work on "issues" or "problems"