This week’s topic here at the Ball is Deb’s Choice.
I’m pretty sure this idea was meant to be in the spirit of freedom and fun, as in, “Yay!! No boundaries! No limits! I’m free!!”
My response was a little more on the groaning side of things. The fact is, I’m not crazy about making decisions. I mean, it’s great to have wide open choices, so long as I’m not expected to, you know, actually pick one.
Have you ever thought about how many choices you have to make in a day? The decision trees that face you before you even make it out of bed in the morning are staggering.
You’re lying in bed and come to understand that you are now awake. And now, already, you have a choice to make: open your eyes, or keep them closed? Let’s say you choose option one and open them. Now you have another decision – look at the clock or don’t look at the clock. Supposing the situation is then complicated by your alarm blaring obnoxiously – do you turn it off? Hit the snooze button? Hurl the clock against the wall?
Next – to get up, or not to get up? If you choose not to get up, do you go back to sleep? Check Twitter on your phone? Read a book? Snuggle up to your lover?
If you choose to get out of bed a whole avalanche of decisions can threaten to sweep you away, involving issues such as breakfast, clothing, beverage, social media, kids, job, and a million other things. It’s really not surprising that a lot of us are ready for a nap after we’ve been up for an hour. Just look at how many decisions we’ve had to make in that short space of time!
And if you’ve chosen to be a writer – well then you’ve just complicated it a million times over. Now, besides all of the real life stuff, you have to make decisions for your character, and your characters cat, and her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s mother. You have to decide who gets a point of view and who doesn’t, how long your chapters are going to be, what genre you’re writing in and whether to allow a small penguin to make itself at home on the page.
All of this decision making is one reason why I love my morning coffee ritual. I know, every day, exactly what I’m going to do when I get out of bed. I’m going to make myself some coffee. I will heat the kettle, use my favorite fresh ground beans, and use my favorite mug. There will be the perfect amount of cream, no sugar. And I will sit down on the couch and savor it. There’s an unwritten rule that says I don’t have to make any more decisions – not a single one – until I’ve gotten to the bottom of that first perfect cup. (Except whether or not to pet the cat, and that is only the illusion of a decision. What the cat wants, the cat will get. Eventually)
Once I am awake, it is possible to navigate the craziness and chaos of the day, one decision at a time.
It’s always good to know, in this crazy old world, that there are a few things you can depend on. Coffee first thing in the morning is one of them.
Do you have a routine that makes this whole deciding thing easier? How do you feel about coffee? Cats?