Why is it so hard to choose sometimes?

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
Robert H. Schuller

Good advice and very lovely Robert and in many cases I agree with you. However there are times in life when you HAVE to cut a tree down in winter, or make a decision in a low time. Sometimes, there is not time to wait, to be patient. Sometimes the decision needs to be made right now.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevel

I think that Teddy says it all. Sometimes you make the best decision you can at the time and it is better than doing nothing. Sometimes there are so many pros and cons, so many parts to the whole, that it is overwhelming.

Watching my dear dear friend’s family have to make the decision to turn her life support off last week was one of the most heartbreaking and “no win” decision making moments I have ever witnessed. A parent losing a child is surely the greatest grief. A parent having to make the decision about this is just plain tragedy, cruel and unfair.

I watched this family make this decision however, in the spirit of the two great men above – they did wait. They gave themselves time until they were all together. They made sure the were no other real choices. They gave time to themselves and others, to try to grapple with the only decision they had. They made the best decision, the one she would have wanted. They also decided to let other people come to share in this time, so we could support each other, which was a decision of generosity, love and deep human caring. It was not a decision anybody wanted, but it was the right decision.

I had to make decisions too. I joined 4 other women and we sat and held her until she passed. This was not a hard decision for me. I knew with all my heart that this was the right decision, to go and be with her and her family. Not an easy thing to do, to watch someone you love pass away. But being able to tend to her and hold her while she left was a gift given to me by her family and there was no question in their decision about inviting me to be part of her passing.

We all make decisions each and every day, from what to eat for breakfast, to what to wear, to what road to take to work. These tiny decisions don’t really matter. They are at the very far removed end of the street from the one above. As a person living with type 1 diabetes I make decisions about my management many times each day. Sometimes I beat myself up about the outcomes of these decisions. “Oh I had too much insulin”, “damn I did not calculate the carbs in that right”, “that is typical, I am exercising and now I am low, should have had less insulin” and so on and so on.

These are important decisions. They matter as they affect how I feel, how my health is, how stressful may day will be and in the long run, how healthy I will be. However in the context of this big decision I have just experienced, they are nothing. They are but ongoing, regular decisions – ones that I DO make in the best of intentions, with the information I have at the time – sometimes it does not work out. That is ok. I think we need to stop beating ourselves up about our decisions around our diabetes. Most of us are doing our best. Most of us will live long and happy lives no matter whether we had a unit or two less or more insulin than we needed, ate the whole cake or a slice, or exercised too much or not at all.

Unlike my sweet friend, most of us will have the privilege of living long, healthy, happy and fulfilling lives no matter the decisions we make.


Today, when you have a decision to make? Just go with your gut. Make a stand, make a decision and then get on with it – life is too short to dwell on the decisions we didn’t make.

RIP my sweet sweet Allison.



  1. mandee72 on March 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Decisions Decisions Decisions.. yes indeed we have to make them everyday.. some harder than others.. I thankyou immensely for this post which I’m guessing was written with a heavy heart.. I want you to know reading it has reassured me and helped to further put my mind at ease on the tough decisions I’ve been making .. some have worked and some haven’t but as you suggest we cannot continue to beat ourselves up over the things that haven’t gone the way we had expected and we really need to put things in perspective and look at the bigger picture.. as for the decisions my T1 son makes with regards to his health whether ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ they are his decisions to own and learn from.. I do love the wise words of Teddy and often play that quote over and over in my head and your post has only reinforced this for me. Bless You!! xx

    • Helen Edwards on March 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      thanks for your beautiful words Mandee 🙂 xx