So I’ve been thinking that I’ve been suffering from decision fatigue.
Even though we thought that we’d made most of the decisions that were necessary before they ever dug a hole, we kept getting bombarded with questions – things that simply couldn’t even be seen as issues until the builder reached that point in construction.
For instance, “where do you want the speaker wire run to in the five rooms that will have Sonos?” – uh, put it up there…
(You may, like me, be wondering why there seems to be an extra 20 feet or so of speaker wire right there. I have no idea. I’m just glad that they didn’t ask me “What do you want to do with the extra speaker wire?)
Now, I’m not complaining about my builder (and electrician, and HVAC guy, and plumber) asking these questions; they should be asking them. No huhu, cobber.
But I am complaining about having to answer them 🙂 It seemed to be wearing me out – even though most of these decisions didn’t take any real work or study. Many of them could be answered immediately.
And I was thinking that my problem was decision fatigue.
But I’ve since decided that I was wrong. (Being wrong is always better than being right, because if one is right, then one is stuck, but if one is wrong, then one gets to change, and change always involves the possibility of improvement).
Here’s what the Big Book has to say about my day-to-day life:
“We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.“
That’s from Step 11.
It seems that the problem isn’t making decisions – it’s making decisions about what I want. That brings self-will into the equation, and self-will is a beast.
In Step 3, I actually admit that self-will is my real, and only, problem, and I begin – with God’s help – to take actions to diminish selfishness, self-centeredness. In fact, that’s what every one of the action Steps does – none of them have anything to do with alcohol. They are all radiation treatments, aimed at the cancer of self-will that has run rampant in my being for my whole life.
And Ethel and I have been working the Steps for many years, and have made a lot of progress. We both are well aware that the problem isn’t whether or not we are getting our way – the problem is that we have a way, that we are silly enough – still – to listen to the voice in our head that tells us, as it says on page 61, that “…we can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if we only manage well”.
So, now – enter the world of Building A Custom Home From The Ground Up.
Every single decision – from picking the piece of ground that we wanted to build on, to the cap on the top of the chimney – has been asked from one viewpoint – “what do you two want?” Over and over again, we’ve been asked what we want, rather than (say) what might be best for anybody else, or what might be God’s will.
And that’s just plain rat poison, for a drunk like me.
And then there have been the problems that have come up – and “problems” in this context means “you’ve already made decisions about what you want, and now there’s been an issue from the standpoint of plans, materials, time or cost – so now we have to discuss how to still get what you want, how to manage things to get your way, how to rearrange other things to accomodate your desires and priorities.” Holy mackeral.
These situations often devolve into conflicts – between two things that we want that now are causing each other problems. And, worse, sometimes we find at these junctures that Ethel and I, when faced with these collisions, want to solve them in different ways – and when that happens, then MY wants and HER wants collide.
I’m surprised that we’re still married. Or even still standing. It’s really amazing that we’re still both sober.
Well, the problem now becomes – what do I do differently? How do we do what the builder wants, without focusing on our own wants – especially when the problem is that the builder wants to know what we want?
I do know how I can get out of this – I can just defer to Ethel – “Whatever you want, dear!” That way, I won’t be caught up in the cycle of desire and frustration.
But the Big Book also says that we cannot recover at anyone else’s expense; and laying all of this on her might be doing just that.
I think the best plan is to simply jump in the truck and go hide in Mexico until the house is finished. But, then, that would be doing what I want…. 🙂