Do you ever wonder who decides things? General, omniscient things I mean, not whether Mariah Carey is interesting enough to be the cover story of a Sunday supp magazine. (I would suggest the correct answer to this is no, but evidence would prove otherwise.) Who decided the bus routes, the national fear of spiders, that Brussel sprouts are only eaten at Christmas? Under duress?
Maybe it’s an eldest child thing, but decision-making is close to my heart, and I consider myself pretty good at it on the whole. I’m certainly prolific. I can decide all day, sometimes for fun, sometimes to avoid actual activity, sometimes to annoy my family, and occasionally to progress our lives in some meaningful way. But mainly it goes unnoticed I think. When people expect you to be decisive, it becomes a bit lost as a skill.
I’m trying to put some positive ticks on my CV of self-belief and inner confidence at the moment (at the moment, right…) and I think, as long as it doesn’t overflow into bossiness, that being decisive is a good trait. Some people are professionals, social and cultural deciders – those people who commit to a book, or a TV show, or a new season’s colour, and their decision is the tipping point for that thing becoming universally acclaimed. It’s not just that they have personal success in their particular field, it’s that their mind is revered for being made-up well. I’d like to give you some examples, but Simon Cowell is as far as my January mind will take me. He surely has the Deciding Factor.
January is a hard month for being decisive. Your general will to live is a little deflated, your alcohol, sugar and caffeine intake dangerously low and shaky, rookie decisions easy to fall into. TV adverts are my downfall. Everything looks like an essential purchase when you’re cold, hungry and skint. I’d be happy to pay a small premium to be allowed to watch Channel 4 without adverts in January.
Anyway, I think I’m going to have to make a really difficult life-work balance decision soon, and it’s making me feel like a complete beginner in the game. If God had meant us to be indecisive and just try and have it all, why did he bother to invent guilt? Or was that Eve? Is that the truth about original sin – the temptation bit is easy to live with, but the guilt of having made the wrong decision is crushing.