Monday, October 22, 2012

I Make Bad Decisions

New Sorting Moon

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Oswald West State Park by Tapestry Dude
At the beginning of each week at camp we have a staff meeting where everyone does a body, mind and spirit check in. We get to report on how we are doing in the different aspects of our lives, and how we are feeling about the upcoming week. It is a fun and meaningful way to debrief from our weekend away, keep in touch with each other and share the things about our lives that are so important to share when living and working together so closely. Often people say things like "I had a great weekend, I got so much sleep" or "I had fun on the beach/in town/reading". Not me, though. It has become a bit of a running joke that I start my check in with a "I made a lot of bad decisions this weekend." We all laugh, I tell my tale and we move on with our morning.

Over the years I have learned that when a phrase comes to me often in a period of time it is probably important. Yes, "I make bad decisions" is a joke, but the fact that it keeps coming up means I should probably examine the sentiment a bit more closely. This week is the start of the Sorting Moon, the last month in Annette Hinshaw's calendar. It is the end of the cycle and the time to look at what we have done, make choices about what to keep and what to let go of, and get ready for the beginning of the next cycle. As I read through the Sorting Moon chapter in Earth Time, Moon Time I noticed that she talks a lot about decision making style during that chapter. Ultimately, the Sorting Moon is asking us to look at not just what we are making decisions about, but about how we make those decisions at all.

About the Trees by Dead Air
My work schedule is grueling these days and my weekends are short. In my 24 or 48 hours off I have to fit in seeing my friends, walking my dog, doing my laundry and taking care of my self care needs for sleep, alone time and reflection. There is literally no time during the week for any of these activities. The "bad decisions" keep coming in the form of choosing the seeing friends portion of the to-do list over the self care portion of the list, and that usually involves alcohol, late nights and other debauchery. When you add in the 2 hour drive from camp to town, that has turned into short nights and busy days when my body and spirit really need the rest. That being said, I don't regret the time spent with my friends or the fun we've had. Last weekend I went to a rock n' roll show, ate amazing Egyptian food at a late night cart and laughed with friends new and old. These memories are the mortar that holds the bricks of friendship together, and as I am spending so much energy here at camp I realize just how important having those strong friendships is to me.

Incoming Surfy by surfonaut
So maybe I'm not making bad decisions. I'm just making a decision. I am valuing my friendships and the (admittedly debaucherous) fun we have over self care. I am quite confident that these decisions will have impacts on my future choices and maybe even my future abilities or health - you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long. But what decisions don't? One of Annette Hinshaw's questions for consideration during the Sorting Moon is "what decision do you feel was most important in getting you where you are today?" I suspect it is rarely a lack of options that makes that question so thought provoking. Every decision we make puts us on the path that leads us to the current moment and into one of an infinite number of futures. I think, like is the case with so many things in life, it is not what you actually do but how you do it that is most important. How am I going about making these decisions? Maybe I'm just justifying gut level decisions, but I think I'm doing some thinking, too. 

As the autumn season builds to a crescendo here in Western Oregon the days are getting wet and dark. We begin to honor the seasonal impetus to turn inwards and to reflect on our choices. What have we done this year we like? What decisions do we regret? Were we able to gather the resources, physical and emotional, necessary for the coming winter? When have you made bad decisions, and how did that turn out for you? What process do you like for making decisions? What does deep autumn look like where you are?

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New Sorting Moon 2011: Sorting it All Out 

New Sorting Moon 2010: Useful, Beautiful or Loved

New Sorting Moon 2009: New Sorting Moon

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