I wonder how many decisions we make a day on average. Five? Fifty? Five hundred?
The small ones have never been of much consequence. Brush my teeth or not? Wear pink high heels or brown loafers? Watch The Nature of Things or 22 Minutes?
The larger ones are the tough ones. As a teenager, they were pretty easy. Hear what my parents had to say...and do the complete opposite. In my twenties, I winged it, thinking I was invincible, capable and brutally independent. But when I became part of a pair, a marriage, I began to forget my desire to make plans on and of my own.
I grew to need the sounding board and the agreement from my husband. The comfort in knowing that I was not the only one who thought I was 'right' was immense. Even when we didn't agree, I was able to voice my feelings and listen to the pros and cons from someone I trusted.
Now, learning again to make decisions alone is daunting and uncomfortable. I want someone else's agreement, validation and support. But who do you ask for this? Your parents?! You friends? Your neighbours?
I am just beginning to feel the exhilaration of 'choosing' on my own. I am still frightened and nervous, but I am feeling again that glow of confidence in myself and the choices I make for our family. I am secure in my knowledge of Jeff's morals and views on many things. I can use these remembered traits to guide my decisions....or I can do it how I want.
For now, I take comfort in following the path that we had chosen together....But I am thrilled to be able to load the dishwasher how I want to and leave the car in the driveway begging for gas.
Since Jeff died, the largest decision I have made alone was the choice to trade in our car for a mini-van (something he was loathe to do). I am proud of myself....and I think he would be proud of me too (once he got over the shock of driving around in a 'mom-mobile').
I am working my way up to bigger and better things. One day, I am sure I will make a decision that I have no guidance from him through my memories. I will be flying solo. And those choices will be mine. All mine. Terrifyingly, excrutiatingly, possibly excitingly mine. And I know he will smile down on me as these rusty wings of mine fly again.