Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm a Second Guesser

Hello.  My name is Caitlin and I'm a second-guesser. 
[Hi, Caitlin!]
You might wonder why this is a problem.  I spend so much of my life second guessing my decisions.  It's a really stressful waste of time and thought.  There are the philosophical second-guesses, like should I have gone to grad school without assessing whether or not I could truly afford the student loans?  Well, it's too late.  I did go to grad school, so stop the griping.  Then there are the daily second-guesses, like should I really try to make Laura eat this noodle even though she's being a picky brat and I'm tired of dealing with it?  If I give up on the noodle, am I failing her?  Should I try harder with the noodle?  Should I care less about the noodle?  Yes!  No!!  Worry!  Don't worry!!  I feel like I'm worse than a worrier - a worrier has some conviction!  None of this back and forth!

This year for Lent, I am giving up second-guessing.  Maybe I'm adding conviction.  Oh, I just don't know!  Maybe I should give up candy instead?  NO.  Second-guessing.  End of discussion.

Lent happens at a really good time of year for me.  It starts right in the middle of the Winter Doldrums, when life is grey and dreary and starting to feel a little lost.  The fun holidays are over, but Spring is still worlds away.  Easter often marks the first happy inkling of Spring, with bunny rabbits and pastel candy and cheery daffodils and crocuses showing their petals.  Easter is hope for me.  And since today is the start of Lent, Easter is a mere forty days away.  I can manage forty more days of Winter Doldrums.

Last year, I gave up saying "Laura's driving me crazy."  Which realistically meant that I added patience to my life.  If I couldn't say the forbidden phrase, I needed to reflect on what Laura was doing that was making me feel crazy.  And nine times out of ten, it wasn't Laura's actions at all.  So in short, Lent made me more patient and my life was better.

Second-guessing is an exhausting see-saw, and I want off.  It's not making me a better mother, wife, friend or human.  It's just making me anxious and tired.  I'm giving up second-guessing.  Que sera, sera.  What will be, will be.  Maybe Laura will eat grapes for dinner every night for the next forty days.  Or maybe pigs will fly and she'll start eating like a normal toddler again.  Oh wait, that means she'll be eating grapes for dinner every night for the end of time.  But it doesn't matter, because I'm not going to second-guess any of this.