This morning on my way to work, a chipmunk struggled in the middle of the road; irrational with indecision. Left or right? Forward or back? I can’t be sure, but I thought he had to know I was coming at him, 30 miles per hour in my middleclass SUV, in my middleclass clothes, to get to middleclass office.
Had I made this decision? This life? Or had I, too, been a chipmunk in the middle of the road, incapable of making a decision until the decision had been made for me? How many times in my life had I waited too long to make a decision and let the decision be made for me?
I should have left my first job before the decision was made for me. I should have written and published that book before a better author got to the idea first. I should have broken up with that boyfriend before my indecision led us down an irreversible path that neither of us could take back.
I wonder, again, whether not telling the right man at the right time, in the right moment that I loved him was a decision, or the lack thereof.
How many times in my life had I been the chipmunk?
If the chipmunk had made a decision, either right or left, his life may have been different. If he had gone right, he may have found a nut or a hole, or whatever it is he may have been looking for on a Monday morning in rush hour traffic. If he had gone left, perhaps he would have found something better or something worse, but the point is, he would have found something. He would have committed to a decision and had something to find on the other side.
It’s possible that had he gone right, he would have wished he had gone left, but isn’t that better than feeling like he hadn’t made a decision at all.
“Monday is off to a terrific start,” I said out loud to myself as I wondered which was slightly more insane, talking to yourself in the car, or comparing your life choices—and non-choices—to a chipmunk.
I looked in the rearview mirror when the moment had passed, and the chipmunk was still there in the middle of the road. Still frantically moving his head side to side trying to figure out which way he was meant to go on this Monday morning. He had avoided the tires of my car making the decision for him. There’s still hope, I thought, that he could make a decision that would alter the course of his life.
What about me? Is there still time? The moments I refused to make a decision and allow a decision to be made for me were gone and I wasn’t going to get those moments back. But maybe today, I can choose to make decisions and stop frantically flailing in the middle of the road refusing to make a decision.
I am an attorney, struggling to make decisions on a day to day basis; blogger at http://describingmysocalledself.blogspot.com/