I once burst into tears, because I could not choose what to put on my sandwich - ketchup or mustard. I was too hungry to decide, and it seemed really important to make the RIGHT decision, but I didn’t know which decision was the right one. It was excruciating.
I once had a panic attack in a supermarket, buying food to binge on, but not being able to decide what to binge on. Do you realize how many binge options there are at a typical supermarket? Like… many. Sooo many.
Analysis paralysis and I are frenemies. We are totes on a first name basis, but also sort of hate each other.
“Do you think that maybe you are… overthinking this?”, Italian asks.
Friends ask. Coworkers ask.
OMG, OF COURSE, I AM OVERTHINKING THIS.
I am 100% overthinking this.
I am ever NOT overthinking this, please call the hospital.
In fact, I’m a little offended that you’d even ask, because it just shows that you don’t know me at all.
Cue “I’m all alone, there’s no one here beside me” soundtrack.
It’s before 9am, and I find myself paralyzed with indecision, while sitting in the driver’s seat of my car, parked at the new daycare center. Previously, my children attended a home daycare, where I pulled into the driveway, unclipped my oldest kid, and let her run across the lawn towards the house and knock on the door, while I walked around to the other side, unclipped the baby, and carried her to the door. Simple enough.
Today, as I pull into the parking lot, I realize that I cannot simply do the same thing. The setup is different. This daycare is at a school, which means the entrance is facing the main parking lot. There is a locked gate in front of the entrance. There are cars and trucks pulling in and out of the parking lot, dropping children off. Letting a three year old run to the door is not an option.
I am stumped.
The baby in the back starts to grumble and the three year old demands a donut with sprinkles, as I perform mental gymnastics, trying to figure this out.
If I unclip the baby first, and carry her to the other side of the car, I’d have to somehow undo the car seat belt buckle for the older child with one hand (impossible).
If I unclip the three year old first, and walk over to the other side of the car to get the baby, I would risk the older child running across the parking lot, and dying a horrible death at the hands of a fellow parent.
There is no solution.
I am staying in the car. Forever.
Tempting, but… thankfully, not an option.
I have a meeting, a workout, and another meeting. I have to fold yet another load of laundry (which keeps multiplying when we sleep), while kids are out of the house, AND wash the dried banana off the floor (for the fifth time this week). I have to call my doctor’s office to schedule a one year old check-up for the baby. I have to… I have to…
So, I get out of the car and get the baby. I walk over to the other side, and awkwardly put her on the ground between my feet, using the car door and both of my thighs as bumpers of sorts, while I unclip the three old. I hoist the baby on my hip, I take the older child’s hand, and we make it to the daycare center. Unscathed.
The next day, I change tactics, as I get out of the car, and unclip the three year old. I hold her hand, as we both walk over to the other side, at which point I let go of her hand, but keep her close. I tell her firmly to NOT MOVE, but prepare to dart after her, if she does decide to throw herself under an approaching car. Luckily, she does not move, while I unclip the baby, hoist her on my hip and take the older child’s hand, as we walk to the daycare center. Phew.
The thing is… there is no perfect decision.
But what helps is NOT having an option of NOT deciding.
What I am saying is that we often do not have the option of staying in the car all day, as tempting as it might be. We have to unbuckle ourselves, and then… pick a kid, and unbuckle them too, and then, focus on keeping them both alive, as we get them from the car to the daycare center entrance.
The worst instances of analysis paralysis are those when we DO have an option of staying in one place. We consider plan A, and plan B, and plan C. We brainstorm the pros and cons of each plan. We write a proposal. We hire a coach. We process. We journal. Meanwhile, we are still sitting in the car.
Sometimes, having the option of staying in the car is actually the worse outcome. Hugs,