How do we make decisions?
There is a lot of research out there, a lot of books written. It depends doesn’t it, on the type of decision to be made. Do I eat that extra chocolate biscuit versus do I give up all I know here – my friends, career, life, and move to another country so my husband can take up an exciting position with his workplace? Well the two types of decisions don’t really compare do they? Or do they? Some people would just go ‘hey, yeah let’s do it’, while chewing on the biscuit.
What I know is this…
For me it has not been a terribly hard choice to make – the moving o/seas thing, not the chocolate biscuit thing. Really there is no choice there, chocolate speaks to me, if a biscuit is in my eye-line, well it’s a no brainer. Of course I will eat the damn biscuit! Only a person with crazy self-control would not eat the biscuit….why am I talking about chocolate, oh man! Now I feel like chocolate…….
Ok I’m back, I have eaten chocolate, now I can focus again on what I was talking about…..what was it, oh yes decision making.
Some of our decision making is done with our conscious mind, a fair bit of it is done with our unconscious mind, so no matter how much research you do on the decision, how much thinking, talking, pondering….your instincts play quite a reasonable part in the end point. I know this is very true for me. I am a big believer in always trusting your instincts. The challenge of course, is when you are thrown a curve ball and you have to work it all through to figure out if it is fear holding you back or if it is actually your true instincts.
So this is where my story begins and I am going to write it as I go.
I should get you up to speed
One day, quite some time ago – hmmm, six months? I’d need to go back to my diary but definitely at least that long, SB returned from a work trip overseas and mentioned his boss had asked if he would consider moving to the Philippines. We had a brief chat and the anxiety in me rose like a tidal wave. It built up and exploded and I didn’t sleep well, and I felt very sick for a few days, expletives were yelled out clearly…The consensus in this very brief discussion was we could consider it, but all decisions made must be in the best interests of the children. No matter what. At this time BB was seeing his therapist and was going to be starting with another round of Speech Therapy, so the idea of moving to the Philippines, a country I had not travelled to, did not have any context around – was not high on my list of things to think about. Could my boy get the support he needed in that country? Where would I buy food??? (Yes I know, of course you can buy food there, I was being reactive and emotional and dramatic – I am a bit of a drama queen, I try not to be but I am and I’m over apologising for it – I am who I am)
Despite my outbursts I started researching (I research pretty much everything!)
Fast forward a few months and another work trip happened for longer. On his return, SB’s boss asked him again if he would move there. This resulted in a longer more serious discussion. I asked SB how serious he was. Is this just a thought spoken out loud, or is this him asking if we could explore this? He wanted to explore this. I gave this message: You need to be very clear what you are asking of me. You are asking me to give up my work, my volunteer work, my friends, my family – my whole life. This is different than what it is to you. You have your work, your friends and colleagues and a daily connection to our life here. I am willing to do this but only if you are totally committed to it, not just faffing around. SB said he was serious. So we sat down with a map of Manila, he showed me where things were and I got cranky from worry.
The next thing I am being told we are all heading over to Manila for a ten day scoping trip.
For the first part of this process, I had a resounding NO going around in circles, on repeat through my head. I could physically see the word in big bold red letters in front of my eyes. It partnered the sick stomach feeling and the tight chest. I had a nightmare one night and woke with the start of a mild anxiety attack.
How did I get through this to be where I am now – super excited and exhilarated by the adventure?
I caught up with a friend who is excellent at telling it like it is, and after I offloaded to her she told me to change my attitude. It was the wakeup call I needed. She helped me see that I had become the person I really didn’t want to be. I’d become someone afraid of risk, so used to focusing on the detail, I’d sidelined the ability to dream. You know, I have always been a dreamer. When did this happen? When did I stop? I was very upset but so appreciative of her being honest with me. From that moment of reflection I was a changed person. I was able to step back, reflect and reorganise my thoughts and low and behold – the clouds cleared. It really was fear talking. This opportunity is just what I need right now and my instincts were singing their song.
So here we are, just returned from our scoping trip, I have found a lovely school for BB and he was so happy. He has come so far in six months that I have no concerns about him at all, except the usual ‘how do you help your children transition to another country, away from friends, the cat, family blah blah blah’.
Next steps, we are sorting the details and I am desperate to start sorting this house out to get us moved…. and Ok we aren’t the Swiss Family Robinson. Where we are going is into another civilised world, different, new, and relatively unknown. But this is our story and I will write it as we go.