Prompts For The Promptless : Approach-approach conflict is the psychological conflict that results when a choice must be made between two desirable alternatives.
Oh for a life filled with nothing but approach-approach conflicts! Should I read a book or take a nap? Pick up an actual paperback or flip open my Kindle? Read inside or outside? Or upside down?
I think I was born to read. Time on my own with a book is one of this life’s greatest pleasures. I’m always just one good book away from an excellent mood.
Books are time travelling magic and sometimes it’s hard to start a new book when I’m still living in the last one. And sometimes it’s equally hard to read just one book at a time. I will be in the middle of something when I decide to download the next great read, and then I’m impatient to get into that as well. Often I have three open books in three different places and my kindle collection in hand. My head is full of delicious choices.
What authors mind and voice and soul will speak to me today? Decisions, decisions.
“I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!”
“Everyone has choices to make; no one has the right to take those choices away from us. Not even out of love..” Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes
Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely? (Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors) Yay, an ice cream question! But it could just as easily be saying – Black or White, Right or Wrong, or a million shades of grey?
The minute we open our eyes in the morning we’re faced with choices – simple, complicated, life defining, meaningless. Sometimes we think we don’t have a choice, but that just means we’ve already made up our mind about whatever it is. And that’s our choice. Other times the shere number of choices available is overwhelming and paralysing, so we cross our fingers, close our eyes and point, hoping for the best.
On the grand decision-making scale, which starts at wishy-washy and goes all the way to carved in stone, I like to think of myself as being somewhere in the middle with a fair and open mind. (Hey, it’s my choice to believe whatever I want about myself, even if I’m wrong, right?) But I do think it’s important to listen to more than one side of a story, to consider sources, and to respect the choices that other people make. None of us that I know of has reached the point in life where there is nothing left for us to learn.
I once read off all the flavours listed on the board at a Baskin-Robbins store at the request of my then five year old daughter so that she could decide what kind she wanted. I thought she might choose oreo cookies and cream, pink bubblegum, rainbow, strawberry shortcake or cotton candy. She was a little girl in love with hot pink, lime green, every shade of purple, and eating drink crystals directly from the package. But what do mothers really know? Not everything, that’s for sure. Except it’s a given that their kids will constantly surprise them. When I finished reading the long list I was prepared to make a shorter one to help her decide, but she only needed to hear it once. I’ll just have vanilla, she told me. (Really? That’s the perfectly white ice cream with nothing in it, you know.) I know, that’s the one I want. And so that’s the one she got.
I suspect it was the one she knew she would be getting in the first place, and the recital of the ice cream flavour list was merely to satisfy her curiosity as to what else was out there. Or purely to make her mother do something time-consuming and ultimately useless in the name of love. Now she’s much more an adult of the “something else entirely” genre. But still making her own informed choices and living with them. It’s all any of us really want for ourselves. My own ice cream choice has always been boringly predictable – chocolate in some form or other; fudge brownie, jamoca almond fudge, tin roof, rocky road. It’s lovely to have some chocolate choices, but it’s all still chocolate at the end of the day.
What a luxury it is for us, to live in a world where there are so many choices and where we are free to do what we want to do, and be who we want to be. Even when there are limits imposed, no one can tell us how we must react, or make us feel any way other than how we ultimately choose to feel. Maybe one of these days I’ll go way out on a limb and try baseball nut. or lemon custard. Or maybe I won’t. It’s my choice. And how wonderful it is to be able to make it.
What a long day this has been – and it’s not over yet. Not until I’ve finished my mug of Christmas Cheer. I’m rewarding myself for making poor choices. I decided tonight would be a good time to pick up some stocking stuffers, after working until 8:00 p.m. Most sane people would have headed home by then, wouldn’t you think? It is now going on eleven o’clock. I’ve been out there mingling with the crazies.
Actually it’s nobodys fault but my own for taking so long. I have a really hard time making up my mind about things, as if the fate of the world rests on my decisions. As long as there’s something funny and something to rot their teeth, kids are generally happy with whatever they get. I know that. But it doesn’t stop me from agonizing over things like tooth-brush colors. Because God Forbid someone should get a green one when they prefer purple.
Even though they come in only one color, I hope no one is going to ask me for a hippopotamus this year. I’d gladly sing the song for them though. This has been one of my favourite Christmas songs forever. No Christmas is complete without hearing it at least once, preferably by someone other than yours truly. Enjoy.