Decisions, Decisions

It has been my experience that where decisions are concerned, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who make snap decisions and those who don’t. Those who don’t like to spend time looking at every single facet of the decision, the possible consequences and the consequences of those consequences.  These folks usually make very good decisions, however when they don’t, it is terrible for them and they take it very personally.  Snap decision makers do a quick analysis, maybe think about a few of the consequences and then leap.  Not as many very good decisions are made this way, but then the snap decision makers don’t beat themselves up as much. Both of my wasbands were not quick decision-makers and this drove me crazy.

When we lived in Milwaukee, first wasband and I decided we wanted to purchase a stereo. Wasband #1 spent a few months scouring the resources, reading reviews, checking out issues of Consumer Reports from the library and mulling.  A lot of mulling.  He finally decided and then found a place to purchase said stereo system.  Unfortunately it was in a little strip mall in north Milwaukee and we didn’t have a car; being new to Milwaukee, we hadn’t cultivated any friends to borrow a car from either.  The little strip mall was on the bus line, although it was two transfers from our apartment.  So there we were with our several big boxes, lugging them on and off buses.  It took the better part of five hours for this project.  It was a very nice stereo but I know that left to my own devices, I would have bought something more quickly and from a company that delivered.

Second wasband was the same kind of decision-maker. For his birthday one year, his grandmother sent him a nice check and he decided that he needed to use it to purchase a saw.  But what kind of saw, you say?  There’s the rub.  He thought of himself as a handy person and wanted either a band saw or a circular saw.  Like Wasband #1, he researched and reviewed and mulled.  And mulled some more.  Three years later when we separately, he still had not purchased a saw.  Sigh.

Now that I’ve had a lot of experience, I can tell a muller from a snapper fairly easily. I should probably apply it as a metric to any future romantic entanglements.  Forget whether you’re tall, good looking, well-read and rich – how fast can you make an important decision?

What was your last big decision?

41 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. My last big–really big–decision was to sell the home I loved and leave the state I loved in order to pin my future to my daughter’s family. I’ve faced formidable decisions since that one, but they are best understood as follow-on consequences of the original decision to sell my home.

    Let me amend that answer. The most recent big decision was to attend an exercise class that I feared. I am still working to understand the ultimate impact of that.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Husband is sort of a muller. I am a snapper. He usually follows my lead, though. I guess our last big decision was to tell Daughter that yes, a trip for the three of us to Austria in December, 2020 would be a good idea, in celebration of my impending retirement. That meant, though, that we had to plan a trip later with son and his family, just to be fair. They don’t want to fly anywhere with their little one for a couple of years, so we are going to Winnipeg with them in the Summer of 2021.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I think I fall in the middle of the snap—-muller continuum. I often look like I make snap decisions, but in truth I consider the facts and how I feel about most things silently for a long time. That said, never have I held on to a generous birthday check for three years trying to decide which saw to purchase. That would never happen.

    An example is my knee surgery. I had known for many, many years that the right knee was wonky. When I felt the knee change from too loose to occasional pain to more frequent pain to “this is not going to hold me up anymore,” I started shopping for an orthopedist to consult. The first one I saw about 20 months ago. Then a close friend had the same surgery with a minor complication (an adhesion developed). She advised me and I could see and experience what this was like for her. After a year she could kneel on the knee and is completely mobile with no pain, but progress was slow and steady—no miracle. Lots of PT. I consulted her orthopedist who I really like a lot.

    Then on April 11 a big storm came through and produced more pain in the compromised knee than I could tolerate. I called the Dr’s office and made an appointment and set a date after gardening season, and before travel season. After monitoring this knee and the possible treatments for years, the decision came easy. (This includes the hot tub advise from a fellow AZ condo owner who advised me to go to Mexico for a combo DNA injection/knee surgery. Mexico? He says he gets all his dental care there because it is cheaper. I don’t know that cheaper is always better).

    So here I am 2 months post-surgery, having made good progress, but not ready to kneel on my right knee. The post surgery knee got me through the airport Saturday. I was tired the next day. So far I think it was the right decision.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. In the grand scheme of things, choosing a stereo or saw is relatively trivial. One wonders how a muller would handle buying a house or a car—especially a house, where the window of availability may be only a day or two.
    That sort of indecision speaks, I think, to a compulsive need for certainty. In many of the biggest life decisions, like getting married or having children, certainty is in short supply. No amount of research can tell you how things will turn out. Far more important is the willingness to adapt and to make it work.
    Most of our big life decisions have been snap ones. No regrets.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. “Big” is a relative term. I agree with Bill that buying a stereo or a saw isn’t big in the grand scheme of life, but I recall agonizing over my first stereo purchase, as a college student, and music was THE focal point of my life. So it WAS a huge decision for me considering my desire for the best quality at the lowest price. Buying a “stereo” today? Pfft, a few minutes searching Consumer Reports, checking prices at the main stereo outlets, and a likely trip to the nearest Best Buy and it’s done.

    As for my latest big decision (I prefer ‘latest’ over ‘last’ because it’s not so final-sounding. I like to think I have at least a few more big decisions left in my life. 🙂 ), it’s probably deciding that “Straight River” was as good a manuscript as I could make it and sending it to the publisher. That’s always an agonizing decision because no book can possibly be perfect. so the writer has to decide when to stop fiddling around the edges.

    I’ve decided that my benchmark for my books is more or less a “99th percentile.” Remember the standardized tests we took in school that were impossible to get 100% on because the scoring only went up to 99%? It probably came about when lots of students had “perfect scores” so no one was the best, just in the top 1% of scores. I don’t know. It’s Monday. My brain takes a while to get up to speed some Mondays.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think stereo decisions for young adults is about the right level of decision-making. At that age I was urged by the previous generation to make decisions about marriage. I was not ready for that level of decision. Uffda. A stereo would have been much more appropriate.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. One of my theater mentors says “Just get the paint down”.
    I can stand there and agonize over what the floor treatment should look like and how to go about it, but, the floor isn’t getting painted. “Just get the paint down!” gives you something to work from and often pushes the process as needed.
    I use it for lots of things. Just get the paint down.

    I enjoy making decisions.. I say it’s why I like playing solitaire. Lots of decisions to make.
    I hate dilly dallying. I’ll do research and hope I’m making the best decision. And once I’ve come up with that, then get going already.
    I’ve said before; building a set or home remodeling; if it’s clear, I can get it done. It’s when there’s a bit of an issue or it’s not clear in my head; that’s when I need to just get the paint down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ben suggests, rightly I think, that muller/snapper isn’t the only continuum that applies here. There is also decisive/indecisive. I know a family where making a decision is harder than reversing global warming, and every decision made is subject to endless revisions and retractions.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Essentially I agree with Bill. Of course, we all want to get the best value for our money, and so a modicum of research before making a “big” decision is wise. But even most “big” decisions aren’t disastrous if they turn out to be mistakes.

    This time of year, the decision that I’m giving some serious consideration is choosing the best Medicare supplemental insurance for me. I’m lucky, I only need to see my doctor once or twice a year, and have only a couple of generic prescriptions to contend with, but I know I need to have cataract surgery next year, so I’m contemplating switching from the insurance I have had for the last ten years to another plan. I’m grateful there’s a deadline so there’s a limit to how much second guessing myself I can do.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. OT: Following up on yesterday, , saw a FB post (It won’t let me copy it) titled “Cures for Every Sickness I Had as a Child” that showed 5 pictures:
    Vicks Vapo-rub
    Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
    Canada Dry Ginger Ale
    Nabisco Saltines
    Jeopardy on TV

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The last big one was whether/when to move to Winona, and luckily circumstances presented themselves such that we were in agreement about almost everything.

    I’m a snapper, and Husband is a muller. I’m happy to let him mull all he wants, unless there’s a timeline. When we needed to make our reservations for Hawaii last year – since it involved spending so much money, it just wasn’t going to happen in time unless I took the reins…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I may have mentioned here books by Barbara Coloroso on raising kids. One of her big things was letting them make decisions early so they learn how and learn the consequences when they’re minor. Nothing life threatening or against the law, but clothing, haircuts, movies; minor things. And then they learn how to do this and aren’t paralyzed or making (too many?) bad decisions when they’re older.

    Like

  11. My big decisions were mostly made when I was in my twenties. Which jobs to take and when to leave them. Where to move and when. Now I’m sort of settled and don’t have big decisions to make. I buy things when I don’t really have much choice (i.e., new chimney liner).

    The last decision I made that I mulled and researched was my vote on the St. Paul organized trash referendum.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. i tend to snap but put my level of priority up for a vote
    i’m a democratic opinionated sob
    ideas opinions decisions moves are like bellybuttons
    everybody’s got one
    i make a damn decision and live with them consequences
    watch out whet you’ve wished for
    i’ll give youvall the time you need to decide except if you want me to handle it then get out of the way
    if you want to handle it hobgorvitcatvehstcevercspeedcyoud like but i cant wait and watch my head explodes

    Liked by 1 person

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