Cash or credit; paper or plastic; wheat or sourdough; grande or venti; bootcut or straight-leg; warm or cool; volume or length; matte or gloss; MSNBC or CNBC…It’s not even 8AM and these are just a few of the decisions I’ve had to make just to get in gear. And I’m retired now – what was my morning like when I was working?
If this is indicative of the ‘new minimalism’, I don’t get it. I consider it a paradigm for insanity. I don’t want to make any more decisions, it’s hurting my brain and making me cranky. Perhaps this is why I find shopping malls so punitive – just parking is an exercise in over-stimulation. And once you walk inside (choosing one of a hundred different alternatives for egress) there are too many stores, too many people, too many colors…If I go to Nordstrom, am I an ‘individualist’, ‘savvy’, ‘tbd’, ‘petite’? Do I want firm control or moderate control? Anklets or tube socks? Yes.
This is my response going forward. Yes. Do with it what you will, but it seems far better to me than just responding negatively to everything and winding up with nothing and never leaving my house. Yes. I cede all decision-making authority to the salesperson, grocery store cashier and Starbucks’ barista. It’s all fine with me. I just want a cup of coffee, the perfect pair of jeans, a blush that brightens my face so I look naturally healthy and a moisturizer that erases wrinkles. I want a handbag that holds everything and weighs nothing. I want to know which is better – counting calories or protein loading. Are we Lin-ing, Tebow-ing or Winning this week? Yes. Just tell me the lexicon-of-the-moment so I can feel like I know what is going on. It’s fine. I’m overwhelmed with choices and underwhelmed with the results. So whatever you choose, it’s fine with me.
No wonder people don’t feel like working once they arrive at the office. I always thought that the deferral of difficult decisions was a result of a collective abhorrence of provocative dialogue. Wrong – it’s exhaustion. It’s easier to have a cabal of ‘yes’ people around. Ok – it’s exhaustion and ennui, but the latter is a topic for another day. Of course here we are expending all of this energy just to get to wherever we need to be, and if one pauses for a moment it’s clear that none of the choices made along the way really matter. In hindsight, all of these decisions are elevated to a level of importance prompted by the urgency of the moment, not the urgency of the matter. It’s all a bit embarrassing. When I consider the offenses I may have caused by being thoughtless, I’m both rueful and redeemed. I now have an excuse. I had run out of mental energy.
So I guess this means that when we really need to step up to the plate and connect with the ball, it very well may be a swing and a miss. I don’t want to miss the next pitch. From now on it’s ‘yes’ to everything that really isn’t going to matter to me tomorrow. And in response to the more thought-provoking questions? I’ll get back to you on that.