Decisions

Decision making is not taught well in school. My first memory of a conscious effort to learn about making decisions was during high school. My social studies teacher attempted to teach me about the development of culture and the nature of people. Its value in forging my own decision making process was negligible. My parents taught me about values, about good and bad, right and wrong.  

The craft of good decision making intrigues me. Am I making a wise decision to discard so much of my past and to respond to the calling of an unclear path ahead? What informs my decisions?

I needed to identify what I wanted. I wanted to lighten my load and open my eyes to a less tethered life. 

Then I inquired about what motivated my decision. My wife, Sarla died in 2020 at 68 years old. I’m 68 years old. Sarla’s untimely departure brought forth acknowledgment that I don’t know how much more time I have on the planet. I want to make hay while I can, while I’m still vital, and while I feel that I’ve got another run in me.

I considered alternatives. I couldn’t reconcile myself to complacence. Staying put in a comfortable home surrounded by nice things isn’t satisfactory. I needed to move on, to move out.

I weighed the issues. Would I miss my friends? Some of these relationships are close and decades old. How will my absence influence my relationship with my grandchildren during their key developmental years? Will I long for familiarity? Will I yearn for the hours that I typically spend in my garden, especially during the spring, summer, and fall? What if I travel for 3 months and settle in one place for the next three? What if, what if, what if? Long ago a friend introduced me to the concept of “Going to the circus with the whatifskis,” following a stream of endless questions. Some are necessary. but most obscure clear judgment.

Sarla introduced me to the concept of “choiceless choices.” It’s a variant on following your muse. If the choice is obvious, then turning away from it would be a mistake. I need to go.

I took action. I committed to buying my rig on December 17, 2020. I committed to selling my house at the same time. I considered downsizing my residence and keeping a base in Memphis. The scant supply of homes on the market didn’t produce a suitable replacement home. I elected to make my rig my home. I decided to store enough furniture for a two bedroom house at some point in the future.

I reflected on these decisions. Thus far I’ve not received warning messages from my internal dialogue. I’m comfortable at this moment in the “not knowing,” a concept taught to me by friend, Cyndi Lee.

“The world is your oyster” is a quote often associated with advice given to a young person by someone older. In spite of not qualifying as a young person, I can still find something special, the proverbial pearl in the oyster. It will be guided by the questions discussed above and the decisions that are made from that process.

Published by jmlewisjr

Hello. This is Jimmy Lewis. I'm in Memphis, Tennessee. My golden doodle, Lola and I are leaving on a North American tour in May, 2021. We'll be traveling in a 2021 Jayco Melbourne 24L motorhome. We have neither time constraints nor exact destination specifications. We'll spend May in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and then head north through New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. If Canadians resume the practice of putting out a welcome mat for Americans, then we'll cross the border.  The seed for this journey began after my wife, Sarla passed away in May, 2020. Sarla was a yogi. An early yoga teacher of hers implored her to "Have what you need, and use what you have." As I prepare to close on the sale of our home on April 30, 2021, I'm deciding what I need based on the likelihood of using what I have. I give some things away without a flicker of feeling. When more meaningful items like the piano I inherited from my parents leave the premises, I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend for the last time. Sarla's death lessened my attachment to the home we had enjoyed for 15 years and life as I knew it. I didn't need and couldn't possibly use a house that could satisfy the needs of a family with four children. I'll no longer experience residence, a concept identified with staying in a specified place, as I've heretofore known it. Life will never be the same, nor do I want to attempt to shape my future into a likeness of what I once knew.   I've set my sights on adventure. I want to be challenged by not knowing who or what I'll meet on the road. The outdoors is one of my default antidotes for stress. Other than my rig, I won't have an indoors base. Whereas others might opt to downsize so that they have the stability of a landing spot, I won't be able to go "home" as I've known it. I'm jazzed about the prospect of being at the whim of the muse, to go where my finger lands on turning pages of the Rand McNally atlas. My dog, Lola is indifferent even though I've been talking to her about the journey every day. She looks quizzically at me when I enthusiastically say we're hitting the road together. I'm confident that she'll do well. We've previously driven together to and from a destination 12 hours from home. She curiously gazed out the window and occasionally snoozed in the passenger seat. She didn't express displeasure about the podcasts and music selection that I chose to entertain and inform me while driving. This trip isn't driven by personal goals. Will I learn more about myself? Will I take advantage of the opportunity to reflect? Will I be lonely? Will I be uneasy? I'm motivated by a curiosity to follow the questions.

4 thoughts on “Decisions

  1. So many of us would love to have the courage to do what you are doing. It is so exciting and also scary. What a fabulous new milestone in your life. Having had all the experiences of your life and now moving forward on a different road with more challenges, is admirable. Keep writing my friend! xx

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