Should You Stay? Or Should You Go?
By Karen Ballum on March 01, 2012
There were a number of times in Claire Bidwell Smith's memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, where she was faced with a seemingly easy decision -- should she stay? Or should she go? It's a decision we all face at some point and we all know that though the question is simple on the surface, deciding what to do is rarely simple.
When looking at Claire's book it's easy to wonder why she made the decisions she did. Why didn't she leave college sooner? Why did she stay with Colin for so long? It's easy for us to ask those questions because we know what happens. We know that her mother dies and that Colin doesn't freak when she leaves. Whether we're talking about ourselves or someone else it's much easier to make those calls when we know the outcome.
I know I tend to stay too long. I've stayed too long in bad relationships because breaking up really is such a bother. (Granted, I'm sure if you ask some people they'd be pleased to tell you I probably jumped into some of those relationships too soon as well.) I stay too long in jobs. A number of years ago I was in a job that had ceased to be a healthy position for me. I worked way too many hours and the notion of a work-life balance was rather funny. There were weeks when I barely had a work-sleep balance. Taking a two week vacation really put things in perspective for me. When I look at pictures from the early days of that vacation I see a really, really tired woman and it makes me sad because I was in cities that I had dreamed of visiting but never really thought that I'd ever get to them.
Two weeks after I returned from that vacation I quit my job. Quitting a job that pays well is always a hard decision and this was even before the economy really tanked. Quitting a job when you don't have another job lined up is something that most experts advise against... but then I've never been particularly good at taking advice. It was hard choice and a scary decision and even though it was the right one I had no way of knowing, for certain, it was right at the time.
That's the thing about hindsight -- we can look at Claire's choices, or our own, and question them to pieces. But in the moment we only know what we know and that's not always a whole heck of a lot.
Do you ever find yourself rolling past decisions over in your mind? Do you ever get stuck on the decision of whether to stay or go?
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