Dominoes

I’ve made a realization today.

A big one.

In the past 6 months alone, I’ve made some really big decisions.

In the last 24 weeks, I’ve had to think ahead, consider options, ask questions and research for a number of really tough, very big decisions.

This realization made me both proud, awestruck and close to tears in the same breath.

I am but one person and I’ve had to make more big, weighty decisions for two in the past 6 weeks than I have in the past 6 years of becoming a single parent.

In July of 2005 I learned of my pregnancy, unplanned and uncertain. I chose to become a mom because, after considering my other options, I knew I wanted to meet my first born. So I did.

Since then I’ve been the main decision maker in our little family. The decision of when to start solid foods was mine. I researched the daycare options and my job options when the time came to change. And it was me that kicked around the idea of private pre-school over public pre-school.

Each decision, researched and made with care and concern for the impact they would have on our little family, didn’t seem that big of a deal at the time. They were necessary and simple, a yes or a no.

Times have changed.

Sitting today wondering why I was feeling so sensitive and why I was feeling so low and drained of my emotional and mental energy, not to mention the physical exhaustion I was combating, I started to catalog all of the decisions and their weight on our lives for the past 6 months.

First there is the decision of housing. Should we stay and sign for another year? Or is it worth the stress to move to another location? Could I find another place that would be worth moving to? Signing another lease for? Or could I afford to buy? I really didn’t want to move unless I was to become an owner because the idea of uprooting us again just to rent was not ideal.

Then the decision of school. Can I do another year like this? Do I have the ability to commute back and forth, paying the price both physically and financially to continue at this academy? Is the relief for me worth the risk of putting my son into a public school? If I change where will his before and after care come from? Can I afford that change? Will the move to a school closer to home in the end pay off in stress relief for me without risking my son’s well being?

Money decisions are always tough because in this economy, income is so fleeting. Having a steady paying job is hard to find and even in our industry, we’ve seen a change over the years. So I questioned what to do with the money I had? Did I have enough to make these big drastic changes or would there be some negative financial impact that I couldn’t foresee? If I left it where it was, was I doing the best with what I had? Could there be another option that we could benefit from with little risk?

Then smaller things came into the equation like making the jump for a bigger car, whether used or new. Could I manage a new car payment? I haven’t had one for years and it’s spoiled me. But my son’s long lean soccer legs and all the goodies at he comes with have begun to crowd our little backseat. With the age of my current set of wheels, I’m risking extra costs to maintain it. Might as well put that money towards a bigger space, right?

And the always present questions about relationships and friendships. My social life in general has big decisions littered in between all the small ones. Who can I speak to when things get rough? Am I ready to begin something so important and something so big? Can I trust again? Are these friends in my life real and honest with me?

Looking back, I see the last 6 months have been a game of dominoes. Lining up my research and the choices and the outcomes and the impact of it all, I pick my path ready to push the blocks. Down they’ll fall cascading into each other, bumping and pushing each other into the ground to mark a road to take. If there is a hitch, then the pieces don’t line up and the path is broken. Something goes wrong. A hole opens up in my plan.

So here I sit, rows and rows of dominoes waiting to be touched, waiting to be picked. Waiting to be selected. But I’m hesitant. I’m worried that I’ve missed something, somewhere. That a block is out of place, that a domino isn’t in the right spot.

There is no real way to tell if all your dominoes are lined up perfectly. If all your Ts are crossed and if all of your Is are dotted.

You can only close your eyes and pray.

Hoping to all your dominoes are in a row as you reach out and put them into motion.

Where do we go from here?

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