Options and Contentment

Okay, first of all, I have to tell you about my lovely weekend! This past weekend I was able to have the honor of seeing my best friend play in her senior recital (she’s a piano major) and we got lots of time to go shopping and eat Thai food. It was just an awesome weekend. Also, her (actually down-to-earth and very sweet) sorority sisters welcomed me right in with their hall and sat with me during the recital and basically I feel like I made about 25 new friends this weekend. They were all super excited that I was engaged, even though they didn’t know me, and it was great to feel instantly brought in by a great group of girls. The bottom line is that my bestie is awesome and an incredible pianist and has great taste in friends (I mean, obviously!).

Now for the think-y stuff.

Even though I’ve only actually been back in my own house for about an hour an a half, I’m beginning to feel some anxiety again. Yes, a lot of it has to do with wedding planning, but most of it has to do with things I can’t control – people who I know will or won’t be willing to attend, the distance between us and my amazing photographer of an aunt (leaving us with only one weekend as an option for engagement photos by her, conflicting with other plans), and the fact that I have to just nail down a date and run. I’ll be touring some more reception sites this week (and hopefully choosing one) and I’m just hoping I can be guided to know when all of my upcoming decisions are correct. For example, I really hope it’s as easy as falling head-over-heels for a venue that seems too good to be true and they just happen to only have an opening on one of the two main dates we’ve been considering.

This brings up a whole philosophical discussion and struggle about whether or not people are happier with the more choices they have. Personally, I don’t think so. I firmly believe that more choices and options lead to dissatisfaction, second-guessing, and discontent. I’ve even read a couple studies that have backed this up.

Another example of this that happened today is that I submitted a take-home final exam for one of my classes. Two days early! Initially, I was all, “Go, me!!” but then I thought, I had more time. Maybe I should have proof read it again. Maybe I should have checked my math. Maybe I should have added more to the essays. It’s not like I was rushed. I could have done something different. When I submit assignments right on time, I feel more able to accept the fact that there’s nothing else I could have done – that I did what I did and had to submit it when I did. Having extra time makes me feel so anxious and like any points I get marked down are just all the more shameful and ridiculous because I could have theoretically put more time into it and should have (theoretically) no excuse to get any point at all taken off. It’s not like this for in-class exams because the moment the test starts, there’s a sense of calm I get when I know there is nothing else I can do – no cramming, no studying, no flashcards. I know what I know and I’ve done what I can and the only thing that is left is to answer the questions I know the answer to. But take-home tests, with all of their glorious benefits, still have that subtle, strange different layer of pressure, because they’re take-home.

I don’t know – am I the only one like this?

Put all of these feelings on top of getting to plan the biggest party I’ll ever throw, and there are so many decisions and different ways everything could go. I have to learn a new coping mechanism for making decisions other than “well, I finished it just before the deadline so it’s not like I had any more time to make it perfect.” This contentment strategy will not fly in the real world, and planning my wedding is my first big taste of it.

Really, I plan to commit to just sitting and writing any time I feel like I have to talk about or debate different decisions in my head (or when I’m laying awake trying to figure it all out in my head). Like, right now I need to go type up a specific conversation with myself about photography sessions and dates. I obviously also call my mom and friends when I need it, but there are so many decisions where there’s no real right or wrong way to do things, and they can’t really make the calls for me.

Do you experience this dissatisfaction with increased options? What’s your go-to decision-making strategy?

Just so we didn’t go the whole weekend without getting pictures together, I made sure to wake her up with some before I left!

3 thoughts on “Options and Contentment

  1. Hey Daughter-in-law-to-be! Signed up for your blog…hope that was ok. It’s a great insight to get to know you better too. I just wanted to let you know that while there are lots of decisions to be made regarding the wedding, I know that you will pick all the “perfect” things and it will be beautiful! It is going to be a wonderful occasion of the union of two people in-love and that’s what really matters. I am excited to call you “daughter.” Looking forward to the grand event and seeing all the plans come together for you. I know it will be a lot of work, but I know you are up for the challenge! If there is anything I can do to help out, I would be honored. I also know my place and will not intrude. I am here if you want to include me in anything, but will stand by and support your decisions and also know that it is a special time for a girl and her own mom and I am good with that too! However much or however little you want to include me is fine with me. I would love to share in any of the upcoming events that you feel you want to include me, but I want you to know I will not be offended if you choose not to include me in any of the upcoming planning. I am praying for you as you embark on this journey of planning. Lots of love, Mother-in-law-to-be ❤

    • Thanks for the support and encouragement! And yes, it’s totally okay that you subscribes to my blog! I even appreciate it. It’s definitely a good way to get to know me and how I think, especially since we don’t get many chances to see each other.I’m definitely excited about having you as my second mom. =] love you!

  2. Pingback: Falling Together | Creatures of Contact

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