A Menopause Goddess has a Case of the Dithers

by Lynette Sheppard, RN

All my life I’ve been a decisive person. I would scan the options, briefly weigh pros vs cons, and come to a plan of action. And okay, occasionally I made snap decisions and was a tad impulsive. Regardless, I rarely looked back once I set upon a course whether the choice before me was as simple as buying a pair of shoes or as complex as changing jobs.

Let me amend my previous statement. All my life B.P. (Before the Pause) I was a decisive person. Now, A.P. (After the Pause) I dither.

I don’t mean that I simply procrastinate. I have healthy respect for procrastination. It can help you avoid decisions that should not be made in haste. Some things actually take care of themselves if you just procrastinate a little negating the need for a decision. I believe fervently in appropriate procrastination.

No. What I mean is that now I dither. I vacillate, I waver, I waffle. I falter, I dilly dally, I dawdle. I swing back and forth. I fluctuate, oscillate, and hesitate. I temporize. And yes, I PAUSE.

How is this different from procrastination? When I dither, I ruminate endlessly about a decision, whether as simple as what to pack for our upcoming camping trip to as important as whether to attend my professional conference in a few weeks. (The professional conference that I’m referring to I have known about since last November.) I cannot settle and I cannot stop THINKING about what I might do.

To make matters worse, I enlist others in my dithering. “What should I do?” I ask my husband. “I can’t decide,” I tell my girlfriends. I have to give them all points for unending patience.

At one time in my life (yes, that would be the B.P. period), people who dithered drove me crazy. “Jeez, just get off the fence,” I’d think to myself. “Do SOMETHING even if it’s wrong!”

I’d invariably get sucked in to trying to help them make a decision, which was a slow train to nowhere and eventually I’d lose both patience and interest. My irritation would show on my face and in my voice. The ditherers learned to give me a wide berth.

And now, they all have the last laugh. Because I have joined their ranks. And yes, I drive myself bonkers now. I’m going to have to find a workaround for this. Please let me know if you goddesses have any ideas for dither interruption before I do actually go “street rat crazy”.

Oh, and that professional conference? I’m going. The nickel came up heads.

Lynette Sheppard, RN, writes and moderates the Menopause Goddess Blog – www.menopausegoddessblog.org – where women share their wisdom for the pivotal journeys through menopause, midlife, and the Second Half.