Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

I'm the decider. The meta-decider. Something like that.

Aside from the obvious grieving things that I expected, which are, as one would expect, pretty crappy, the one I've noticed a lot is decision paralysis. Usually I'm really good at, "Fine, then, let's do thing x instead of thing y," or, "And then I will read book z," and that's that, no problem. The last few weeks...not so much.

When I can, I've been forcing decisions externally. Tonight, for example, we are having tacos for dinner, because markgritter grated too much cheese for his lunch omelette. Is this important cheese? No. Not at all. But we are seizing upon whatever impetus for decision comes our way, and this makes the rest of the week fall into place: have to have stroganoff tomorrow because it's the thing I've got enough ingredients for to feed a larger number, green beans and biscuits with it because there's enough and that way they will get eaten before the beans and the buttermilk go bad. Then brats on Monday so the brat buns don't go stale, and a pan each of roasted asparagus and roasted yams with them so the asparagus gets used up and the oven is used efficiently. External plans Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday; Wednesday Swedish meatballs so the really nice cream doesn't go bad and the potatoes get used before they get shriveledy. Thursday pizza because it will be Maundy Thursday and that is my own personal Maundy Thursday aesthetic and also low-effort going into Minicon. (This is an unusually wintry cooking week for me, and also low-seafood, but my mom is eating with us and has a fish allergy, and we like all of these things and can have fish some other time.)

If I was doing better with decision-making, I wouldn't have to stack things up so the bits would all fall like that. But I am, so it's very useful to have it work that way. Books ditto: usually choosing a book is a pleasure, not a chore. Right now, having reason to say, "this library book is due next, so I will read it next, and after that the one I've borrowed from someone else," is a relief.

I wonder if this is actually the same thing as being decisive usually, only at the next level up: being good at setting up situations so that these things happen automatically. Or at least quasi-automatically.

What I have not been able to work out very well so far is that writing fiction includes a really rather large number of decisions, minute to minute and word to word. Most of the time my process of them is such that I'm not processing them as decisions on a conscious level, I'm just doing it. (Um. I really hope I haven't infected anybody with a caterpillar problem by phrasing it that way.) I have managed to get some writing done, but what I have not managed is overcoming the decision problems with it. Some of this I am handling by doing something I had outlined already. That doesn't fix the problem, but it fixes part of the problem: I had already known that Tur would get stuck where he did not want to be, and would have to solve someone else's problems accidentally instead of his own, and even what, more or less, that entailed. What I had not already decided was which word went after which other word. And I can still do that. But it's harder than it usually is. I think being conscious of it is helpful. But I'm not really sure. I seem to be stuck with that consciousness for the time being, so I can hope it's helpful, because it's what I've got.
Tags: full of theories, grief sucks, so juicy sweeeeet

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