After not finding a certain pair of sneakers I’ve been stalking on the internet, I ventured out on Friday to an outlet mall about 30 minutes away (give or take 10 minutes depending on traffic). I was running short on time (society frowns upon delinquent moms that don’t pick up their children from school because of shopping). Because of my indecisiveness and the pressure of my time constraints, I left a store without a pair of navy blue sneakers that were 40% off. I had bought two other pairs (both equally kickass) and told myself I really didn’t need the navy ones. Question…when did “need” come into the conversation? Pretty sure I didn’t “need” the other two pairs either, so why did this stop me from getting the third pair? Luckily, I could make another trip out on Saturday.
On Saturday, it was colder and windier than Friday and the thought of driving to the outlet mall and freezing as I walked to the store was enough to keep me from going. Until about 3PM. By then, panic set in and suddenly I was convinced the shoes would be gone. GONE! I love these shoes, little flaws and all. Yet, I left them because of a moment of indecisiveness. Now someone else may buy them and I will never have them because no one makes them anymore. What the hell was I thinking? I have to go back. IMMEDIATELY!!! So I got in my car and started driving. Except I had waited so long, I only had an hour. Now I am unreasonably panicked and again under similar time constraints.
I got about a mile from my house and traffic was at a dead stop. A six car accident along with fire truck, ambulance, and police vehicles all over the road. A cop was diverting traffic through a neighborhood.
I hit a fork in the road. Do I see this as a sign and turn back, or is it just a minor roadblock? I chose to see it as a sign, and I decided to turn back. In a moment of clarity, I realized I was setting myself up for failure again. I was still under the same pressured time constraints, and this time I was letting unchecked emotion guide me.
Today, in a much calmer state of mind with no real time constraints, I went back. The drive was uneventful. I hit no serious traffic. I got a great parking spot. The store wasn’t even that busy. And all the shoes were still there. This time I didn’t hesitate. Emotion still played a part because I bought way more pairs of shoes this time, but when something you really love is right in front of you, why walk away and leave it on the shelf? I did that once already and I regretted it. Not this time.
It’s okay to hesitate, but I have to be ready to live with the consequences of my inaction. This time it was about shoes. If the shoes had been gone, I would be slightly disappointed, but I’d get over it. They are material things.
What happens when the stakes are higher, though? Stay calm, remember the end goal. Impatience, anxiety, panic, worry…those emotions never serve me well. Understand that it’s a balance. It is okay to hesitate, but I better sense when it’s time to act. If I hesitate too long, the once obtainable will have disappeared. And can I live with the consequences? Will I regret the logic I crafted which bound me so tight no emotion could sneak in?
Eventually I will have to act, adjusting to whatever unexpected variables shape my decision. I will face that fork in the road again, a major roadblock in front of me. I will abandon the panic and anxiety and instead lead with patience and a peace of mind, forging past instead of turning back. I will have faith and enough trust in myself to know that I’ve reached my destination at exactly the right moment. Not too early, not too late. And I won’t regret a damn thing.