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Obedience School Dropout

I was a weird kid. When girls my age were playing with dolls and listening to Mariah Carey, I was playing basement hockey and listening to Nirvana. They wore floral prints and bows; I wore black and begged my mom for JNCOs.  As they began experimenting with makeup, I was covered in dirt and still rocking backwards hats.   I've never been afraid of being different.  My parents taught me from a young age to do what I want to do and resist peer pressure to fit in.  Fitting in is overrated.  You can fall in with a group who doesn't like you for who you really are.  You can lose your true self.  You don't get a chance to find what you truly enjoy.  Basically, you waste time, and time is the most precious resource that we have.  You don't get time back.  So why in the hell would you spend that precious, rare time with people who don't know or appreciate you?  Or waste it doing things that you don't enjoy?  We get so little free time because of all the responsibilities

How to Address Big Life Questions Without Mental Gymnastics

There are so many decisions to make on a daily basis.  It's easy to get decision fatigue.  I'm not only talking about the simple decisions: 
What are we having for dinner?
What am I wearing today? 
Am I actually hungry or just bored? 

I'm talking about the big decisions.  Those nasty, deep, life-changing decisions: 
Am I happy in my job? 
How will I pay off this credit card debt with student loan payments restarting? 
Should I take this medication even though the side effects are scary? 

We have to make decisions every day of our lives.  It's exhausting, and my brain loves to do mental gymnastics over each one.  Even the simplest question of "where should I go for coffee?" can evolve into a 20-minute conversation in my head that results in me just making coffee at home because I can't decide between two places.

So how do we deal with this?  How do we make this easier on ourselves? 

This may not help with the small questions - like what to make for dinner or if I really need that Starbucks venti iced Americano - but it will help with the big ones.  It will hopefully make your scary, anxiety-inducing, world-imploding decisions a little easier. 

Have you ever stopped to evaluate your priorities?  Not just think about what's important to you; actually rank them in order of importance and make decisions based on that information. 

With all the turmoil and darkness that I have experienced lately, I've been doing this, and it provides incredible clarity. 

- Health and safety for me and my family are the highest priorities.  This includes creating a stable home environment, maintaining a stable job, having stable income, stable medical insurance, etc.  Stability = Safety.  
- Happiness for me and my family
- Happiness is closely tied to my ability to live an active life - lifting, running, walking, basketball, hiking, traveling
- Spending time with my husband every night, having dinner together, watching a TV show or movie 
- Spending time with my cats 

Notice what is not on my list of priorities: 

Work is not a priority.  It's a necessity.  It's what allows me to live the lifestyle that I want. 
This may be sad or offensive to some, but friendships have never been a high priority for me.  I've always done my own thing, and if you want to come along for the ride, great. (For the record, most people choose not to come along, and that's why I'm usually a lone wolf traveling through life.) 
I'm a 34-year old female who has been married for damn near 11 years, and I don't want kids.  OMG THE HORROR. 

As someone who suffers from extreme anxiety, it's common for me to overthink everything.  I've had to come up with hacks to make the decision-making process easier because otherwise I talk myself in circles.  

I hope this exercise works for you the next time you're facing a big decision.  It's not applicable in all cases, but in most you just have to think about what is truly important to you.  Does this path allow me to address my priorities?  Will I be compromising on anything?  Will I be deprioritizing something that is important?  Will I be putting anything at risk? 

If you try it, please let me know.  

xoxo BB 


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