I am a decision maker. Sometimes this can be a good thing, sometimes it’s not helpful and occasionally it’s very weighty. But it’s who I am.
I was having a time of quiet reflection yesterday evening and I thought hard about this and why it’s an important part of who I am. Now, this is not a moan or a whinge, but a reflection and for those of you familiar with my blogs, it’s an outlet for me to talk about it! Because that’s the downside to being a decision maker and being in charge all the time – I can’t talk about things like this with anyone face to face. It’s much easier to tell a faceless blog….
I started making decisions when I was about 13. What I would be making for tea, when to go and pay the rent, which colours to put together in the washing, etc. As Mum’s illness got more serious, the decisions increased, as did the being in charge. Dad was at work until quite late (deliberately I reckon) so I had to take charge at home to make sure Mum didn’t injure herself or burn the house down! I was in charge of all the housework, the bill paying, the cooking, cleaning, etc. And I learned to accept that I was in charge and I had to make those decisions alone. After I got to 18, I was completely in charge, as Dad would drink when he got home and was good for nothing in terms of deciding what to do next.
In those days, there wasn’t much help about for cases like ours. No counselling, respite care, etc. We just had to muddle along on our own. And without anyone to tell about how awful the situation was, I learned to bottle it all up and to make decisions by myself.
So that’s what I’m still like now! Although I’m sure there are friends who would listen if I wanted to share my concerns, my experience prevents me from doing so.
Now, at work this a great thing – I can make decisions much more easily than many of my colleagues. I can take a risk on buying a £100 000 machine, based on my instincts and experience and not worry that I’ve made the wrong decision. People come to me constantly for advice and decisions on everyday things and I’m good at giving that out. I don’t need to ask for help – I am happy to decide what is best for the company and the staff. I am a good boss – everyone that’s worked for me has said so and colleagues have also indicated it, so I know it’s true. I’m fair and honest; I treat everyone in the way I would want to be treated and all the decisions I make I am comfortable with.
At home, it’s not as easy somehow. I make all the decisions regarding the house, cars, bills, everything. I always have to phone tradesmen to get them to turn up, chase them; I have to deal with all the services, banks, etc. Not that I can’t do it. Of course I can, but sometimes it would be nice to share the decisions.
And of course, there is one major decision I can’t make. Although I”m getting closer…
Sometimes in my personal life, my decisions are rubbish. while I can make good, sound decisions at work, when it’s to do with my own life and happiness, I’m pretty useless. I can advise other people really well too, so I never understand why I can’t do the same for myself. Loads of people come to get advice on their problems from me – it’s another strength of mine. I know this sounds immodest, but it’s just the truth and I am far from perfect. I just happen to know the things I’m good at, so I needn’t pretend otherwise. I’m a good listener and have advised many, many people over the years, with lots of appreciation from many of them.
but when it comes to me – rubbish! I always seem to make the wrong decisions when it comes to my life.
Without casting blame on anyone, I’m pretty certain that my current behaviour was learned in my teens and probably even before that (but I won’t bore you with that too!) But I guess it’s hard to change what you’ve always been, although I am trying.
Very occasionally now, it gets me down that I have to decide something yet again on my own. I’m sometimes tempted to ask for help from somebody, but I find that so hard to do. I’m sure it’s my own fault, but every time I’ve tried to approach a friend to talk things through, the conversation has always managed to turn around so that I end up listening to their worries instead!
I think I am just meant to be the decision maker and while it’s sometimes uncomfortable, most of the time it’s just my normal life. But sometimes, the thing that would make it all so much easier is a great big cuddle – not advice, but just a huge hug and somebody to say ‘It’ll be OK, sweetie!’
So there we go – my next decision – how to make that happen!!