The Ideal Life Round-Up: Wise Decisions

I am over here rolling my eyes because, when I first started my detailed explanation of the Ideal Life Exercise, it so happened that this theme was the first one I ended up writing about, in an article entitled, “Getting Bossy with Myself.

I hated this theme then, and I still hate it now. So apparently I’m nothing if not consistent. But I took this horse outta the barn, so let’s get down to business. In my Ideal Life, I am a person who:

  • thinks before she speaks
  • considers all options before making a decision
  • does not commit lightly
  • thinks about the unwanted consequences of a bad decision
  • is not swayed by urges and impulses
  • trusts herself to make good decisions
  • forgives herself when she makes a wrong decision

Where are you coming from?

Did I mention I hate this topic? I hate it because I don’t have to think back very far to find my last bad decision. It could, perhaps, have only been two minutes ago. Certainly not more than a day ago.

If you’ve been with me any length of time, you know that I don’t like to self-flagellate. I find no benefit in it. What does eventually happen though, is that I end up knee-deep in consequences and end up having a come-to-Jesus moment with myself through the means of my imaginary fairy godmother, who writes me letters and talks me through what I’ve been doing wrong. I know it’s convoluted, but generally it works.

I can come up with but one wise decision I made this year. Remember when I was so excited about getting offered a contract to publish my novel, but there was something about it that didn’t sit well with me? I declined that offer, and even though there have been no nibbles again since, I still stand behind that decision. I can find nothing to regret about it.

Which is crazy, since publishing that book is the thing that I want to do.

So…maybe in one big thing this year I did all right making wise decisions.

It’s those daily things, both big and little, specifically in which inaction would be preferable but I acted anyway. I find it much harder to resist action than to make myself do things…yes, we are entering into the virtue definitions of Self-Control and Self-Discipline. Notice that we have not taken those horses outta the barn yet in our virtue talks, because I am well aware that I would be a wizard standing behind a curtain pulling levers to make smoke and move mirrors.

But since I did mention those two little virtues: Hey! I did go all year without buying any new clothes. So I did resist a few urges. That’s self-control, isn’t it? And I did do my Mise en Place nearly every night, didn’t I? So I did practice some self-discipline.

Ugh. I hate this topic.

Where are you going?

I need rules. Rules are the only possible solution to guide my behavior, because I still don’t trust myself to naturally make a good decision. I flounder, often, in situations where I have no rules established, and therefore let myself get caught up in the moment, distracted by something as simple as a cup of tea and the little proverb written on the tag.

So…as I head into the new year, I will be attempting to identify the areas of distraction and at least corral them into designated periods of time I want to dedicate to “being distracted.” Whether this means cutting off my social media notifications, or setting limits for my tablet, I need to explore ways to create an inviolable “bubble” so that I can get stuff done.

I love some of the rules I set in place this year. I love that they forged routines and habits and I don’t want to lose them.

I dread the thought that at some point in the next few months, some big important decision might creep up that I will need to make, and that I will be ill-equipped to make it. That’s why I need to start small and be intentional.

Have mercy.

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

One thought on “The Ideal Life Round-Up: Wise Decisions

  1. You’ve certainly made a LOT of good decisions this year, Lily!! Be kind to yourself!! You followed your challenge to wear everything in your closet, you followed thru with mise en place. You reworked some garments to make them more suitable! You made the concerts happen!! And now you can buy sox with abandon!! in 11 more days!! You deserve those socks!!
    I know I struggle with all the same things you do. We certainly can’t be the only ones outta 8 billion!! ❤ ❤


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