Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
Oh sugar, please; wise decisions are generally not my forte. I cross streets without looking, insist on wearing flip-flops into November, make lefts on red arrows and have even been talked into running a half-marathon (which I did, just to prove I could). I’m ruled by instinct and whim (and sheer bull-headedness), and while I will replay a situation over and over AFTER it’s happened, thinking it through BEFORE disaster strikes never crosses my mind. This past year, though, gave me an opportunity to change a pattern.
2010 threw a lot of bullshit my way, but perhaps the largest, and most consequential, was the near-failing of my five-year marriage. My wisest decision, looking in from the outside, COULD have been staying married. But it wasn’t. Time and further reflection proved that without another, WAY more important decision, remaining a couple would have been the stupidest thing I’d done out of stubbornness in a long time. There was something else remaining, that, unexamined and unresolved, would have rendered my resolution to remain hitched futile at best.
By the time the big D became a viable option, I’d just about worn out my resolve and strength to keep going. I had a vision of what I wanted my life to look like, and it was time for me to get around to making that happen. I was weather-beaten and tired and just plain weary of constantly getting shoved backwards. In the end though, (and after a pretty big transgression on my part) we remained firmly, and officially entangled.
As I said, though, deciding to stay married, and having it work out are two mutually exclusive concepts. I still resented him, I still hated living here and I was still regularly getting mad about things that had happened BEFORE. And there we were: it was make or break time, and I had yet ANOTHER decision to make. THE decision. And I did. I held my breath, squinched my eyes, and jumped in, feet first:
I decided to forgive. And for real this time.
I thought I’d forgiven before. But forgiveness is a tricky thing, you know? It’s slippery and elusive. You may think you’ve done it, but then he’s asked for something, and you’re mad. Not mad at what he’s asked you to do, but mad at the fact that YOU’D asked HIM to do that SO MANY times in the past only to be ignored. So FUCK THAT! Why should you? Or he complains constructively about something you’ve done. It’s a valid complaint, it’s something you can work on, but WHY? Why when LAST YEAR, if you had asked the same, he would have laughed in your face? It’s then, that you realize, you haven’t forgiven at all.
And it’s standing in the way.
But not anymore. Instead of replaying old hurts over and over again, I forgave. For real this time. Once more, and for the record, I clearly and precisely gave vent to what I hated about before; the things that hurt me, the Deal-Breakers, the stuff that I’d no longer tolerate, the aggression that WILL NOT STAND, MAN! I enumerated the things that I wanted, needed, HAD TO HAVE in my life. I listened to the same things from the other side (this may be MY blog, but the marriage is OURS). And then I forgave.
And so far, that was the wisest decision that I could have made. I laugh more now. WE laugh more now. I’m not so despairing about our future. There’s a light there now that I thought had burned out. It flickered at first, but it’s turning into a warming blaze. I still click “Place Bid Now” without knowing that I’m bidding in British pounds, and I’m frequently found outside the house with clothes too light for the weather, but I’m pretty sure that when it comes to the big ones, my decisions can be counted on as sound. Especially this one.