In my previous post, I noted that Governor Roy Cooper (NC) would decide today how schools will open in the age of Covid. I spoke too soon.
Last night, the governor’s office sent a notice stating that there would be no announcement about schools today, as planned.
Like others, I find myself disappointed. Our teachers are scheduled to go back on July 27th. Our students will (hopefully) join us on August 7th. That’s not a lot of time to prepare to meet the needs of 450ish littles who have been out of school since March 13th.
I understand that decisions cannot be made in a vacuum and governors of most states are trying to hit a moving target. And I mean moving at Nascar speed.
Decisions are hard
I hate making decisions. It could be about anything. What to have for dinner or where to go on a weekend. Today I have to change our phone service and get new phones. And it’s terrifying.
A lot of people suffer from it. Sometimes it’s Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). For me, most times, it’s fear of making a mistake or causing more harm than if I just sit still and continue a Netflix binge.
I guess it’s the perfectionist in me. I know that is the source of my procrastination and ultimately shows a lack of confidence in how to handle situations. I just don’t want to screw things up. It’s human and, like most things in life, it’s a work in progress for me.
One of the tools I use to help make decisions is from The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Robbins’ theory is there are a lot of times you need a push to make a decision and take action. Like a rocket heading into the stratosphere, sometimes all you need is a countdown to take off.
This tool helps me stop agonizing about getting off the couch to go for a walk or to exercise. I use it to do work or clean the house. I use it in a lot of facets of my life. It helps me realize that while I may not want to do something at the moment, once it’s done and the decision is made, I feel so much better.
Back to the State of the State
While I don’t know as this would work for Governor Cooper, and I realize the complexity of what he is facing, I hope a decision comes soon. Yesterday the American Association of Pediatricians recommended that students go back to school as soon as possible for their whole health, especially poor students and students of color. The students I teach. Maybe this announcement factored into the delay. And just to be clear, I am sympathetic to the fact that he does not wish to make a mistake that could harm students, teachers, and their families.
If he asked my advice (and for some strange reason, he hasn’t) I would tell him what I’ve told myself on occasion. In the words of the phenomenal Rush song, Limelight “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
In not making choices we need to make, we could be making a more major mistake than the decision itself. Probably not when we decide where to go for dinner. But other mistakes. Not taking care of your finances. Or making that difficult phone call. Setting the appointment you know you need to make but are terrified to do so. Having that conversation which could be painful but may help heal hurts.
Or letting professionals know how they can best help the students they have been separated from for four long months.
Sometimes, avoiding a decision is the biggest mistake. Not the cool one you learn from but the anxiety born in the avoidance one. Try try try not to make that one. Because maybe the worst that can happen from your decision is not so bad after all.