Decisions, Decisions: Stream of Consciousness Saturday

This week, Linda’s Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: double/two/bi-/twin or anything else you can think of that means “two.”

Two Cats

Two Cats (Photo: Rena Chen)

I’ve noticed that when people have to make a choice about something, they often during the process, might utter the expression: Decisions, decisions. That title came to me as soon as I was thinking about what “double/two/bi-/twin” stuff I wanted to write about. Without two much thought, I had come up with two idioms having dual (another two-thing) words in them. Once they emerged, the title came along, and it didn’t take long for a story to be created around idioms involving “two.” And I got to explore the consequences of my decision (five years ago) to come to Taiwan.

First up: Of Two Minds

This was the first one that came to mind as I was puttering around with pressing my fabric strip sets for my mystery quilt project. I wasn’t thinking about decisions at that point, but just how when we are considering alternatives or possibilities, it’s often that there is more than one way to think about. And wow, there’s an idiom for that! I was two minds about using that as a part of my writing prompt. It was a cool idiom and it had “two” in it, but on the other hand (sort of a two reference), I didn’t really have an angle. Not that something as silly as that would ever stop me, but I had hope that something else would pop up. And it did.

 

Second up:  A Double-Edged Sword (“Second Up” works for two’s better than “Up Next”)  🙂

Early this afternoon, I was back with the fabric strips to cut them into segments for the next block when my adventures with changing my rotary blade made me think of “double-edged sword.” The places my brain goes when it’s wandering can be a little scary sometimes. Anyway, I thought: OK another idiom with a two-ish thing in it. I started thinking about all the ways that we tend to look at the pros and cons of something, and how rarely things seem to be clearly one way or the other.

So I knew those were my two and I headed to the computer to start screaming streaming (my consciousness). As the blank post came up, that’s when the idea for the title came to me, both because of the “two thing” and the fact that both of the idioms could be directly tied to the way people often make decisions.

Considerations and Consequences

While making decisions, I find myself confused when I don’t have clarity about what I really want.

I use the first idiom (of two minds) during my deliberations–the considerations part.

For example, I have to make a decision about taking on a Saturday morning activity in the fall. I am of two minds about it. It would be interesting, it would provide a little money, and it is something else I can add to my resume. But the other part of me realizes that I have so much to do already, and that the money that would come from this activity probably doesn’t justify the amount of time it would take when you consider travel time. I can offer them another alternative that makes it more attractive to me, but I’m thinking that the time commitment takes away too much from what I am already doing.

I use the second idiom (double-edged sword) when looking at consequences.

My example of this pertains to my decision to come to Taiwan. While I was still of two minds about it, I then had to consider the pros and cons. But beforehand, I could only anticipate and speculate. I could collect information, talk to others, and try to predict my reaction, but I can’t really evaluate how it will be until I’ve actually had the experience. And it’s always interesting, because there are surprises on BOTH sides of the ledger.

I can now say, for example, that my time in Taiwan has been a double-edged sword. Let me speak for each edge of the sword.

EDGE 1: “It’s been such a great adventure to be here. I’ve learned so much. I’ve met people from here and from other countries. I’ve taught exchange students from Japan. I’ve accomplished things I wouldn’t have done if I had worked in the US during this time. I’ve seen a part of the world I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.”

EDGE 2: “Being in a foreign country for five years has meant that I missed the birth of my grandson and many of the milestones of his first four years. I missed birthdays and other family events–weddings, baseball tournaments, funerals, milestones, graduations, holidays, and day-to-day interaction with my family and friends. Technology has helped keep us in touch, but there are moments when I still feel the great distance between us.”

If I could go back in time, I would make the same decision. I don’t regret it. Sure, there have been rough moments, but there is good and bad with everything. But with the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had, I wouldn’t trade these last five years for the world.

 

This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-914/