Years ago, when a friend was graduating from law school, he found himself conflicted about his job search. “On the one hand,” he said, “I want a lot of job offers, because honestly, it would feel good to be wanted by a lot of people. But on the other hand, I’m not very good at making decisions. So I kinda just want one job offer….but a REALLY GOOD one.”
I understand that thought process completely.
There’s something weird happening in the Universe. For whatever reason, in the past few months, I’ve been asked to make several relatively big choices about school, work and priorities. Some for my family; others for myself. On the one hand, it’s such a luxury to have options. Even as recently 20 years ago, some of these options wouldn’t have existed. But the thing about options is, you can only pick one.
To be sure, these are absolutely first-world problems.
But my life feels like I’m standing with Monty Hall, and he’s asking me to pick a door. Behind one could be pretty fabulous stuff. Behind another could be a goat. Or there is no substantial difference behind any of them. And there is absolutely no way to know until we pick a door.
I thought the hard part of being a grownup and a mom would be sleepless nights, peer pressure, algebra homework, managing generational responsibilities between aging parents and my son, making enough money to cover the whole month, and other obvious obstacles we will all face. Those things can be extraordinarily difficult, but they’re not what keeps me awake at night.
The hardest part about being a mom and grownup are the choices. It’s standing here looking at two or three options, all which seem good, with no idea what unforeseen consequences each could bring because it really feels like even odds if any one of them could be a success or a failure. It’s the gut-twisting fear of choosing the wrong door.
The enemy of best is not worst. The enemy of best is good.
That proverb is in a prize-fight in my brain with another principle I also know to be true.
Perfection is the voice of the oppressor.
One way or another, pretty soon, I’m going to have to put on my big girl panties, take a deep breath, pick some doors and hope for the best.