Monday, October 01, 2007

on hold

I used to have a roommate who never seemed able to make a decision. She was constantly flipping coins and reciting "eeny meeny miney moe." I was always impressed that she could leave her fate to the toss of a coin, even for small things like what to have for dinner. I think I've always been fairly decisive and also fairly able to live with the decisions I've made. I'm not much for regret, generally, preferring to use those occasions for learning and making different mistakes later on.

It didn't take me long to realize that my roommate wasn't actually leaving her fate to the toss of a coin. She often overturned the result, using the coin toss as a decision-making tool. If she didn't like the way it landed, it helped her figure out which path she actually wanted.

Not long ago, an old high school friend was shocked to learn that I was not a T (in Myers-Briggs), a thinker like her, but an F, a feeler. She's always seen me as an intellectual, so I guess it follows that an intellectual would be a thinker. But no. I make every single decision based on feelings: either I imagine myself on the other side of the decision and imagine how I feel with different results, or I go with my gut, an intuition of rightness. The problem with this approach is that feelings are fickle. You can mourn the passing of an old way of life at the same time that you rejoice in the new. And fear can be tricky: is it the kind of fear that you should overcome, the kind that keeps us from growing or doing things that are good for us but scary; or the kind of fear that keeps us from doing dangerous things, the kind that is correct and should be heeded?

I haven't really blogged much about it (mostly because I haven't had the time), but I have really been struggling with the decision of whether to move to Toronto. I said we're going to do it, and we've been taking all the right steps in that direction. But I have this niggling feeling that we could get to Toronto, swept up in its excitement and busy-ness, and find ourselves longing for the quiet pace of G-town. I worry that we're being hasty, that moving to Toronto will in fact make for less family time than more, and perhaps we should take more time to consider the options and give the local job market more of a chance to hire Sugar D.

I keep searching for cues from the universe, trying to read the signs of where we should go, but it seems like the universe just keeps throwing us more options, more choices. There is a reason that I prefer to shop at our tiny little liquor store with only five choices of South African wine; the big box liquor store is dizzying, and no matter how long I spend trying to choose, I usually end up going with one of the five choices offered by the other little store. Clearly, I don't do well with a lot of choice. (But mmm, wine...)

I keep hoping that at some point with this move things will take on a life of their own and we will just have to go with the flow, to live with the decisions we've made. But it seems like just about every moment is a new decision point. Stop or go forward? Yay or nay? Today or tomorrow or next week?

Just over a week ago, we decided to throw ourselves into Toronto, that we could probably make ourselves happy in our either place, but we may as well go with Toronto, that the uncertainy and indesiveness is what's stressing us out. The very next business day, my manager announced that a new position had been created in my unit, a more senior position that I would love to apply for. Four days after that, Sugar D got an email about a job prospect not too far from here. Needless to say our earlier decision to focus on Toronto is null and void. We're back to oscillating.

However, these recent developments have shed some light for me. Imagining the possibility of staying in G-town with Sugar D only using an hour a day for travel to work instead of his current four feels like heaven. I feel almost euphoric thinking about staying in our home, proceeding with the rest of my ten-year plan for the gardens, proceeding with the bathroom and kitchen reno next summer, working for the current employer that I know and love, staying with the current daycare, to which Swee'pea has finally adapted enough that I'm not afraid to say it, and having enough time and energy to send good food with him, to stay with our current scattered and lovely family doctor, and the young and smart pediatrician, to have family mornings again and eat Sugar D's curries during the week... that's what I want.

This weekend we fixed and painted and purged and cleaned and hung pictures in preparation for the virtual tour filming tomorrow morning, which we're still going ahead with. Maybe all this is just the universe's way of getting us to declutter our house, to finally throw out the dead dryer in the basement and the picnic table impersonating the Leaning Tower of Pisa in our backyard, to put up a fresh new house number on our old bricks instead of the pathetic scrap of wood twist-tied to the wrought iron railing of our porch, to put out various belongings that we no longer use on our front yard and watch neighbours cart them away to new usefulness. (especially sweet was the young student who knocked on our door this morning and politely asked if he could rescue our tropical house plants, sitting out there nearly dead, and nurture them back to life -- yes please, we've been horribly negligent since Swee'pea was born! -- AND politely introduced himself and shook my hand before going on his way, and the other students who were laden down on their way home from the grocery store yesterday but still found the wherewithall to take away our four seventies chairs that I grew up sitting on every summer at the cottage... I can't tell you the pleasure I get from having neighbours choose to take on these things of mine.)

Which isn't to say that we're definitely not moving to Toronto. Only that we're putting our plans on hold, to explore the possibilities that may allow us to stay here.

Fingers crossed this local job comes through for Sugar D...

23 comments:

Mouse said...

There is something to be said for the pre-move purge, even if you don't go through with the moving.

My fingers are crossed for you that things work out in the manner that most resonates with your gut.

Suz said...

I'm not much for decision making myself. I make decisions just fine, but I have a tendancy of reversing them just as fast.

I agree with mouse, pre-move purges can be good things!

Kyla said...

I hope you get exactly what you want. It sounds like you really know what that is, and I'm rooting for you to get it.

niobe said...

I always end up with a severe case of buyer's (or seller's, as the case may be) remorse. So I can make decisions, no problem. I just immediately regret them.

Funny to hear about your friend, because I, too, wrongly assume that anyone smart must be a T rather than an F.

metro mama said...

It's such a hard decision. Good luck!

b*babbler said...

Moving is a really difficult choice. I definitely can understand. We're currently making the decision as to whether or not to to stay deep in the city, or to move to a suburb. It's a scary scary decision.

I really hope things work out for the best for you and there is no remorse with your decision, whatever it may be!

bubandpie said...

I've been mulling over a post on T vs F decision-making for awhile now, but I could never figure out how to make it work. And now I don't have to! This is exactly my decision-making process as well. For what it's worth, I like to think of you staying in Guelph - I think those kinds of feelings need to be paid attention to.

Aliki2006 said...

I don't do well with lots of choices, either. I can so understand your longing to stay where you are--change is scary, and uncertain, and I know you feel a real love for where you are.

I hope the universe gives you a sign--but I think you've given yourselves that very sign you're looking so hard for!

Denguy said...

I hope you are all okay with whatever decision you make.

Dude, I told you about Toronto, you can stay in your own little neighbourhood and things aren't so hectic.
My local LCBO is tiny. Villages, Cin, villages.

cinnamon gurl said...

Den,
I wasn't thinking that where we live would be busy but more about where we work and getting to work. Right now, I can get to work by either: a 5-minute drive, a 15-minute bike ride, or a 30-minute walk. I think that because of our budget, in Toronto we'd both be looking at a minimum of 30 to 40 mins on the TTC if we're lucky. And if the main reason we're moving is to have more family time, I'm not sure it's going to give us what we want. That's my fear.

Beck said...

Hey, I'm an F too - I think if a decision FEELS wrong, often there ARE things that we aren't acknowledging that are bothering us, do you know what I mean? Sometimes we talk ourselves into something intellectually when it's not what we actually want.
(how you can tell I'm an F - nonsensical comments.)

Bon said...

oh wow. i sympathize with that oscillation, that uncertainty, scanning of the weather for signs and fortunes. i use the coin trick too, just to tell me what i really want.

i think that - if the two new job opportunities come through - staying sounds like something that might make you happy. certainly, it's not too far to occasionally get a taste of the big city (i envy you that), but it wouldn't require upending your entire life...

i wish you a sense of peace whatever you decide.

Bon said...

oh wow. i sympathize with that oscillation, that uncertainty, scanning of the weather for signs and fortunes. i use the coin trick too, just to tell me what i really want.

i think that - if the two new job opportunities come through - staying sounds like something that might make you happy. certainly, it's not too far to occasionally get a taste of the big city (i envy you that), but it wouldn't require upending your entire life...

i wish you a sense of peace whatever you decide.

Bon said...

my mac has doubling issues with blogger. sorry. once again.

Nancy said...

Fingers crossed for you, my friend.

kgirl said...

Listen, you gotta keep your options open, right? That means that if there is an opportunity in Guelph, you take it... if things look brighter in Toronto, than you go for it.

I've always said that I could do anything for a year. One year, with the option of going back if it doesn't work out. Makes the big big decisions a lot easier to make.

Either way, you get a de-cluttered house out of it. You win already!

DaniGirl said...

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, and I'll go to great lengths to avoid change if I can, so I totally relate to this post.

FWIW, I'll bet you'll be happy with either outcome, in the long run. But the deciding can be agonizing... inertia is bliss!

(One of these days, I'll have a Myers-Briggs done. I've always been curious about them.)

Mad Hatter said...

Sin: Like B&P, I have a hard time imaging Guelph without you and you without Guelph. That said, I know that either decision would be fine.

I also make decisions very much in the way you describe.

Dani: you can do the Myers-Briggs online. It only takes about 10 mins unless B&P makes you do it twice b/c she disagrees with your numbers. Tee hee.

ewe are here said...

I don't know where I fall on the Myers/Briggs chart... it's been so very long since I took it.

As for moving or not moving, I suspect things will work out how they're meant to... :-)

Christine said...

i love that image of the students taking the plants and the chairs. so perfect.

i wish i had advice about the moving thing. but i don't. it all has to work out somhow. has to.

Alpha DogMa said...

We've contemplated a move. Have. Are. Will. Whenever there is a lull in the conversation, the chance of moving fills the silence.

What has just recently occurred to me is that for us it would be just one more move in a string of houses and apartments and towns and cities and provinces that are beginning to blur together in my memory. But for the boys it would be HUGE. This is their home. Even if we move this place will loom large in our personal mythology as the home of many firsts.

nomotherearth said...

Well I won't lie and say I wouldn't be disappointed if you ended up not coming to Toronto. However, you gotta do what feels right. Right? And Guelph is supposed to be one of the top (if not THE top) places to live in Canada according to an article I read. I believe these things always work out for the best in the end. (Does that mean I believe in Fate??...)

crazymumma said...

There is something about a purge that can give clarity....

give yourself whatever time you need. Its a big decision.