On rebooting 2019

I’ve become pretty terrible at making decisions.

It’s not that I make “bad decisions”—in either the classic definition or the one that stems from 90s-era church camps. It’s that I almost never choose anything wholeheartedly. I choose, and then immediately reevaluate. Even while I’m choosing I’m usually doing a fair amount of background processing to find the back doors out of the decision, just in case I need them. I’m the poster child for “keeping my options open.”

This isn’t the best quality. It means I second guess everything. That I’m always only half committed.

I recently chose to go all in on a full-time job again. (For the record, this was a rare easy decision, no emergency exit plans needed.) My contracted position is now a real 9-to-6, benefits-and-401k, paid-time-off kind of job. It’s kind of amazing. Bonus: it completely aligns with this mantra from the beginning of the year.

If you’ve known me at all over the past two years, this choice likely comes as a bit of a surprise. I’ve been very “down with the man!!!” when it comes to conforming to the schedule and demands of full-time work. It’s mostly because I want to run a slant on our work-first culture that prioritizes productivity above everything else, but I also just want to be the kind of person who fits work around life, not life around work. Freelancing is a great option for that. So when I left my last full-time job, I was pretty sure I’d never return to that world.

This is why “never say never” is a thing.

There are a bunch of reasons why I changed my stance on full-time work. The job itself was a huge one. A few of the other most self-centered but also most real: I need a little financial stability. I need a little order and routine. I need to learn from other humans who are better humans than me—personally and professionally. And, as per the subject of today’s post, I need to hit the reset button on the rest of life, and having stable, salaried work allows for that.

I wouldn’t call the past two years highly unstable. I would call them a little loosey-goosey. Lack of real choice—the kind that’s left me half-committed to everything—leads to this strange mix of apathy and anxiety.

Current problem areas:

  • Decision making/choice, obviously (for the time being, I’m exploring this through the lens of time management)
  • Health (see: every single time I’ve said I’m going to start running again)
  • Food (meal planning right now looks like Something Easy + any flavor of Kettle Brand chips)
  • Faith (question mark)
  • Finances (now that I have them again, I should probably figure out how to best manage them)
  • Writing (the eternal question)

My usual (and highly ineffective) method of change is CHANGE EVERYTHING, so I’m going to try the one-by-one method instead, as I’ve narrowed this list down to six areas and there are six months left in 2019. I’m not entirely sure what this reboot will look like yet, aside from the fact that there will be books and podcasts and reporting back here in some form. I just know I want to start 2020 like a better version of my 33-year-old self, not this current “whatever, man” version of myself.

So I’m choosing to do this. Not with one foot out the door. Not while simultaneously coming up with alternative options if this doesn’t work. I’m choosing this right now—and when I inevitably start to question it in 27 seconds, I’ll choose it again.

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