I’m not normally a very indecisive person. Sometimes, in hindsight, I bitterly regret some of the choices I made (or did not make – choosing not to make a decision is also a choice), but this is not a sob story. Moving on swiftly.
Some major lifestyle decisions worked out very well: In the late seventies, career mums were still frowned upon. Relatives and friends alike were horrified when I refused to give up my career to take care of my three young children. Thank goodness, I made the right choice (for me) as, in later years, I became the sole breadwinner of my family, which included my aging mother whom I cared for until she passed away at the age of 96. I also decided to carry on with my studies, but, to everyone’s astonishment, I decided not to practice law; instead, I selected to work for a commercial bank. This also proved to be a fortuitous move, as I was later diagnosed with cancer. I would never have been able to balance a law practice and bringing up minor children, with fighting a disease. Then, long before I reached retirement age, I just decided one day I had enough of the rat race and I chose to go on early retirement. Within four months we sold our house, moved to the coast and now we have a fun time balancing our finances, but we all agree that being broke and miserable on the beach, is preferable to being bored and unhappy with the big city life.
Sometimes, it is better not to overthink a situation; what will be, will be.
BUT, then there are those times that I am just not able to make up my mind. This happens more and more as I grow older. So when we went to the Farmers Market in Walkerville (Gauteng, South Africa) and the friendly farmer handed each of us a carrot to feed the donkeys, I just couldn’t decide which donkey to feed my carrot to. So, instinctively I started playing that age-old kiddies game: inky pinky ponky / daddy had a donkey / donkey died / daddy cried / inky pinky ponky. Come on! Of course you know it! It is a simple counting-out game intended to select a person or object to be “it”.
Then, halfway through the rhyme, one of the donkeys lifted her head and gave me a big smile (yes, you don’t have to believe me, look at the photo below) and I handed over the carrot.
Ek vind meer en meer dat ek nie lus het om gewigtige besluite te neem soos “watter uitrusting moet ek koop?” of “wat moet ek vandag aantrek?” nie. Ek het deesdae die mode om by die winkel in te hardloop en dan soek ek gou ‘n denim driekwartbroek en ‘n bloes uit. Dan koop ek sommer meer as een van dieselfde soort in verskillende kleure. Soms is daar nie ander kleure beskikbaar nie, dan koop ek twee paar in dieselfde kleur.
Dis nou waar my pajamas in die gesprek ingesleep word. Ek het hierdie heerlike pajamas by Woollies ontdek, ‘n kortmou gekleurde hempie met ‘n swart of grys driekwart broek in ‘n lekker sagte materiaal. Dit raak nie juis koud in die nag nie, wat beteken dat ek nie somers- en winterspajamas het nie; ek het meer as een paar gekoop om voorsiening te maak vir alle seisoene.
Wanneer ek in die oggend opstaan en dis effens koelerig, trek ek sommer my swart windjekker wat altyd oor my stoel hang, so saam met die pajamas aan om vir Genis, die beswaarde hond, by die trappe af te vergesel tot by die grasperk. Dan hou ek maar die pajamas en baadjie aan tot ek gaan stort, wat partykeer heelwat later in die dag eers gebeur.
So gebeur dit dat my dogter my verlede week aanjaag om biblioteek toe te gaan en ek kam my hare, trek my skoene aan en spring in die kar. Toe ons so wegtrek, sê my dogter “Ma, jy moet maar jou baadjie toezip, die mense sal wonder hoekom sê jou hemp ‘Sweet dreams'”!