The cold, snowy winter seems but a distant memory now that we’re in the throes of summer. The Northeast United States is hot and humid and we find ourselves seeking relief in air conditioning and bodies of refreshing water.
The heat is most definitely on but this is true beyond just the temperature. Though summer suggests and often presents some leisure time the pressure to make important decisions is not often on hiatus. The day-in and day-out of life’s demands have few vacation days, if any. How can we enjoy the beauty of this season that rings of lazy days while at the same time cope and manage the demands of living? Putting one’s head in the proverbial sand and pretending that an immediate decision on an issue can wait seems an appropriate option for some; however, if not, how can the immediacy of a choice be balanced with hanging it out to dry on the line as we try to come to a decision. While pretending that a decision isn’t required, for instance, you may have missed out on opportunities that would have been available if there hadn’t been procrastination. Perhaps a job offer is rescinded if an answer isn’t given quickly enough or a scholarship deadline passes or the potential life partner becomes the one that got away.
It’s true that decisions can be overwhelming. Compounding this is that we live at a time when options are boundless, leaving us feeling that if we were to make a choice we might miss out on an even better one later. Too many available choices can lead to indecisiveness. How do we temper our emotions and not become overwhelmed by the many choices? How can we sensibly prioritize the possibilities we are presented and feel secure in our choice? How do we know the decision is right, for unlike a thermostat, the effects of a decision can’t often be measured.
Living with a minimum of regrets in the decision-making department is most often our goal along with making the right or best choice given our options. We are often our own worst critic and are quick to look back and second-guess each decision made. Realize, though, that you made the best decision you could based upon the information you had at that time. It’s easy to look back and play the “could have/should have” game but it’s pointless to do so. Hindsight always provides an advantage but look at it as a learning experience rather than a regret.
So while the air temperature continues to rise, use it as reminder that the heat is on in life, too. Don’t become overwhelmed by life’s big decisions, but through researching, planning, reaching out to others and weighing the options, you can feel confident that the decision made was made with care.
After all, it’s our toes that belong in the sand, not our heads.