Permission To Make A Decision

Current Construction Project: No. 15 

No. 5 and 7 were the same house, as was No. 11 and 14; No. 3, 4 and 6 were all in the same building.

No. 3, 4, 6,11,12 and 13 were coordinataed from afar – No. 12 being in a different country where the contractor spoke no English….. we spoke no Spanish.

We lived in the house throughout Project No. 1, 7, 10 and 14; No. 3 went on the real estate block before construction concluded in favor of No. 4, where we lived for a long time.

The developer had run out of money on No. 2 when he moved my husband and I, two teenagers and 3 dogs into his 7,000 square foot, 2-story bachelor-pad penthouse while he sorted things out.

Each one has been an adventure and each one complete with a million gazillion billion decisions.

Calvin and Hobbes Ponder
Calvin and Hobbes Ponder

The project itself dictates some of the decisions. For example, 5 out of the first 6 projects were on various levels of high-rise buildings where there is no decision about moving the toilet – you just don’t.

We were on our 7th project before the first decision came about regarding roof shingles or exterior paint colors.

The current project, on the other hand, affords a decision about everything.

The decision-making process is somewhat different for everyone. My husband makes a very good decision, and then makes it again…. and again, and again. He tends to second-guess some decisions to death. My Dad once told me I decide to do something, figure out how to do it, and have already done it before other people decide what to do. Patience was no doubt the lesson he was hoping to teach. That lesson was put to good use during this past week’s decision…..

The contractor paints a sample of the new color scheme over the well-worn exterior of our lovely, old home.
The contractor paints a sample of the new color scheme over the well-worn exterior of our lovely, old home.

Our current beauty of a project has donned a warm, buttery exterior color for almost 90 years. The contractor was saying she assumed we would use the same color roof shingles when I suggested a different color scheme altogether. Her eyes grew wide as saucers and my husband’s frustrated remark was akin to over my dead body. Remembering my Dad’s advice, I did not let my wings ruffle. I knew they’d come around.

Indeed they saw it my way, and my husband and I sat on the floor of Lowe’s matching the best roof shingle color to the new exterior color samples I held in my hand.

The decisions continue week after week. We made a list of this week’s decisions – there were 26 altogether. Some will be easy while others may push one, or all three of us, over the edge of sanity.

We have learned a few rules of play over the years that may come in handy with the decisions of your life…. as well as ours:

  1. When logic fails to prevail, or sometimes in lieu of logic, follow your gut. Even current research claims intuition turns out to be a legitimate approach.
  2. Remember my Dad’s advice: Be Patient. Give them time to digest your decision before you cram it down their throat.
  3. The hardest decisions may be “opportunities” in disguise. Think outside the box.
  4. Collaboration can improve the quality of a decision – listen to one another.
  5. At the end of the day, don’t sweat the small stuff.

In this case, we can’t say it’s all small stuff, but pick your battles and don’t sweat the rest. It’s called give and take.

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