Making Difficult Choices

achieving my goals difficult choices financial freedom Nov 29, 2022

At the age of 59, I’ve certainly had to make my share of difficult decisions.


How come it never seems to get easier? The level of difficulty does vary based on a variety of factors, many of which are often uncontrollable. Recently, it seems that the number of difficult decisions I need to make on a regular basis has been rapidly increasing.


Sometimes the situation requires an on the spot or quick decision and others you have time to mull it over. I tend to do better with the quick ones. The more time I have, the more confused I get. My mind is constantly working trying to figure out every pro and con of the choices that are before me. I imagine each of the different scenarios  and how they might play out. I vacillate between the options and am basically tortured until I’m forced to decide.


There are other times when deep down in my gut, I know the decision I need to make but I don’t like it. I then play this game with myself where I try and convince myself why the option I’m feeling in my gut is wrong. I list all the reasons why I shouldn’t listen to that voice buried deep inside. I even get quite creative with my arguments.


Over the last several weeks, I’ve been faced with such a decision. One of my current long-term goals has to do with money. I need to get my financial house in order. I’ve laid out a series of steps to do that and one of the steps involves curtailing my spending. I’ve been paying more attention to what I’m purchasing and am becoming more aware of when I am impulse buying versus buying something I actually need. It’s a work in progress but building awareness is the first step.


A couple of months ago, I had made plans to take a three day getaway with friends at a sensational, high end spa this coming March. I had visited this spa about a year ago and it was the most relaxing, reinvigorating trip I had ever taken and I have been counting the days until I would be able to return. I was thrilled to finally have a date on the books. After all, I have been going through an unusually stressful time in my life and I deserve this trip. Not only do I deserve it, but I need it.


And here’s where my gut kicked in. I might deserve and need this trip but is this a decision that will move me toward my financial goal? Clearly the answer is no.


I’m reminded of a quote from Albert Einstein. “ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results.”  I get it, but isn’t this situation different? I think the trip to the spa is an exception to the rule, at least this is what I had been telling myself. This is a necessary expenditure not a frivolous one.


The decision was made and I paid the hefty deposit to book the trip, despite the voice in my head that continued to persuade me to listen. Every email or conversation I had regarding the spa would cause Einstein’s quote to repeat continuously in my mind, reminding me that I knew what I needed to do, I just wasn’t doing it.


I began to try and digest the idea of not going. I envisioned myself telling my friends that I wouldn’t be able to accompany them. I hoped that something might shift allowing me to still go. Maybe I’d win the lottery. Clearly that wouldn't happen since I didn’t even play. I knew the time would come when I would have to pull the trigger and cancel, I just didn’t know when I could or would do it.


The moment snuck up on me when talking to my friend the other day. She was reminding me to book my spa services and the words unexpectedly came tumbling out of my mouth. I told her I just couldn’t go. I was completely honest and explained how I’ve been tortured by this decision. I explained how I wanted to go so badly but I could no longer be led by my impulses. Instead, I must make decisions with my goals in mind. She was disappointed but understanding and supportive. I was shocked that I had actually done it and the sky didn’t fall down.


A big smile appeared on my face as I realized just how proud I was of myself. Proud that I had made a very tough decision and had chosen to support my long-term goals instead of my short-term pleasure. I made a decision that will lead to a more financially secure future. I made a decision that proved  I am not insane according to Einstein's definition. I chose to try something different than I had done in the past.


I know when March is here and my friends are enjoying the spa, I’ll be sad and wish I was with them. However, I will not regret my decision. It will reinforce the fact that I am changing. I listened to that voice in my gut even though I desperately wanted to pretend I didn’t hear it. I’ve ignored that all knowing voice many times, not liking what it was saying. Those days are over. From now on, I’m letting that voice deep within be heard because she knows what she’s talking about.


My only job is to listen.


Until next time,

Morning Sprinkles of Goodness: Journal Prompts to create more Joy & Happiness in your life!

Download your copy of this free guide to help you find more time for YOU by inputting your information below and we'll send it directly to your inbox.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.