Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's decision-making time

Let me do a quick run through of last week to the present time. For whatever reason, I was simply exhausted from last Tuesday through Saturday. Even my normal easy exercises felt like they took a huge amount of effort although nothing was different. The only culprit (if that's the word I'd call it) I can think of is just due to that time of the month even if it is slightly off. By Sunday, however, I had a load of energy. I took a nice run, felt really good, had a pretty good time, my hamstring had minimal pain, it was just great!

Along with this feeling good feeling, I began to think about that dreaded word FUTURE. It's probably one of the most anxiety-provoking things in my life, and it has been for the last seven years. That was after my first goal of becoming a doctor got put on hold, and I was left feeling like I just didn't have a clue where to go from there. With that came increased low self-esteem and just kind of biding time.

So I finally thought that I really need to step up to the plate. This year my main focus is to face some of my FEARS. Since I'm a planner, I'd begun to think about some possibilities and ways to make it work. I thought about taking some additional classes at a local college or online. I had success with online classes over the summer, and they allow the most flexibility for me. I looked at various websites and their schedules on Sunday, but unfortunately, it was a little too late. I missed all the deadlines for submissions by a day or two. It sucked.

Another possibility was to enroll in an online masters or phd program, however, I'm still a little uncertain of them and accreditability. Plus, I just don't see investing 2-5/6 years when I'm not even sure that is the field I want to go in. The other option is to take the GRE. But again, I kind of feel like if I don't know what field, how would that really help me in a grad program?

It was nice feeling positive and thinking I was capable of this, even if it was slightly in a hypomanic type state. However, today, along with an additional option, has led me back into the unknown zone. Recently, I came across in article in Psychology Today about this sort of thing. The title is "When to Choose to Lose." The idea is how we are overwhelmed to cope with so many ideas and options. If you look an our ancestors, their choices were limited. It was either make the choice and live or essentially perish. There wasn't an A, B, C, Z, etc. There wasn't the idea that you must make the correct choice or you have failed. Or that the right choice is going to lead you to happiness.

Some of the experts in this article say that if we limit our choices, we actually are happier--that accepting limitations and making commitments leave us fulfilled. I agree with the last part of the sentence in terms of commitment and feeling better. I have recently decided to train for my first marathon in May. This excites me, makes me feel like there is a goal, etc. I somehow think all of this positing thinking is related to this. I'll write more on that subject in another post.

Sometimes I think because of all the options available and all the different interests I have, it makes it more difficult for me to pinpoint one *thing* I want to do with my life. I know that there is no time stamp on it in terms of looking at a career as lifelong. However, I think I still live idealistically. I want whatever career I'm doing to excite me, to feel passionate about it, and to also live comfortably. But I think I'm also afraid of making the wrong decision and regretting it. According to this article, it is about "satificing," or aiming to be good enough versus the best, letting go of perfectionism and regret.

So where does this leave me? Again thinking and back to the drawing board. If this one additional option had not come up within the last 24 hours, I'd probably settle on taking some online or correspondence courses. I still may, yes, but it's just more ruminating on my part.

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