After an hour of the usual routine to get back to sleep, I’m still awake at 2 a.m. Resigned that I’m up for a while, there are some things I’d like to get done. I grab my computer (yes, counselors make bad life choices) and I poke around on my To Do list.
While researching some info, an advertisement pops up for yarn. Such an innocent little ad. No big deal. Just some hand-spun, white angora heavenliness. The part of me that lives solely to stash copious amount of yarn clicks on the ad.
The world of online knitting looks especially magnificent as the moon shines through my bedroom window. The extraordinary colors, patterns, and fibers. All of the projects just waiting to be created. Fuzzy pink baby booties and Islandic woolen scarves dance in my head.
Another ad pops up. One more click and I have completely left my body. I’m eyeing a sterling silver, Tiffany & Co. ball of yarn. A $9,000 ball of yarn.
Seeing an ad for a $9,000 sterling silver ball of yarn in the light of day, I’d slide right past it. Ok, I might drool a minute, but then I’d slide right past it. I’d have the sense of mind that selling my home for a ball of yarn may not fit in my long term plans. But, in the middle of the night, well…I can make that same acquisition seem totally doable and reasonable.
Timing is everything
Depending on the time of day, specific circumstances, and one’s current emotional and physical wellbeing, decision making skills can vary wildly.
If I’ve recently eaten and decide to go to the grocery store, I come home with what’s on my list for the week. If I’ve not eaten there’s a fairly good chance I’ve purchased 17 pounds of dark chocolate m&m’s and 9 boxes of Cheez-its.
In the same way, there’s a reason why 12-step programs suggest folks not date when they are new to sobriety. Because timing is everything. There is a seismic shift in the core of a person as they enter recovery. Every ounce of one’s being is finding a new normal.
When we are out of balance at the time of a decision, the chance we will make the best decision is slim.
How we decide
It’s an interesting little project to pay specific attention over the course of a day or a week to how we make decisions. Is there a pattern to how we make them? No judgement, just observing. Are you morning decisions more thought out than the ones you make in the evening? Do you make big decisions fast and minuscule discussions slowly?
Ask your friends and family. Chances are they have a better picture of how we make decisions than we do. Ask them. No really! Ask them. It might be insightful and enlightening. You may already be fully aware of your patterns, but they may have an observation that surprises you.
If we start paying attention to our methods, we might minimize the madness. Even in the middle of the night.
So, when you find yourself feeding your addiction online at 2 a.m., hopefully you have the wherewithal to wait until the sun comes up to spend your retirement on knitting needles.