Monday, 4 January 2016

Sitting on the Fence

Ask me if I'd rather summer or winter and I won't hesitate to respond 'summer'. Ask me what I want to drink and most days I'll quickly respond with water, pop or coffee. I don't really consider myself to be indecisive...until I need to answer a yes or no question about something that could influence life in a big way. When that happens I like to take a good look at each side, size up the pros and cons, the what ifs and the maybes. And then I take a seat on the fence. 

If at any point you ask me which choice I'm leaning towards I can easily list off a dozen pros and a dozen cons for each side of the proverbial fence. For the last four months the my fence has divided the line between "not going back to camp this summer" and "sign me up, my bags are packed". There are a lot of good reasons why I shouldn't return to camp this summer and there's a handful of reasons why I feel like I should go back combined with a handful of reasons why I want to return. There isn't a clear, consistent winner though and I know that there needs to be a winner. Sooner rather than later an e-mail is going to appear and I'll have to make a permanent decision. 

Somewhere along the line I read that you should 'try on' your decision and pretend that you've made that decision for a few days and then decide if it fits. So I've taken that advice and on the days I try out packing my bags and heading off to camp I jump into program planning, staff training ideas, brainstorming solutions to problems and let the enthusiasm and excitement take over. This lasts for a few days and then I remind myself to manage my expectations. And I soon as I remind myself of that I get flashbacks of the most stressful moments of last summer. And as soon as I put myself back in those situations I quickly flick the switch and become a firm no. For a few days I wear that decision and feel content, uncertain, but content. 

Fast forward a few days (or sometimes a few hours) of that decision and then I see a throwback Thursday photo or see a cool idea on Pinterest and the switch turns back to "pack your bags" and the cycle repeats. 

I embrace my Type A personality (at least I'm trying really hard because I don't think it's a bad thing, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think). One of my biggest Type A traits is I enjoy following rules and making the right decisions. When there isn't a clear right choice my brain kicks into overdrive, I start feeling (mostly self-imposed) pressure to choose correctly, not disappoint anyone, do what's best etc. etc. which leads to constant anxiety about making a decision and complete terror that I'll choose incorrectly and ruin my life. That might seem extreme and logically I know it's not exactly the reality of the situation. 

The reality of the situation is that if I say no that still leaves me with two options - find a non-camp related job or explore another camp. And if I say yes I head off to camp and continue on with life. None of those scenarios is likely to produce an outcome that will leave me feeling like I blatantly made the wrong choice. But that doesn't make choosing any easier.

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