Decisions, Decisions

Decisions are a huge part of our lives. Every day, every hour, every few minutes, you make some kind of decision. What should I wear today? Should I go out with this guy? To sleep or not to sleep? Can I afford this? Should I take a walk or eat chocolate instead? Should I really watch this? Do I have time for this? Where should I go to college? Who should I hang out with? What's really important to me?

Obviously, some decisions are more important than others. Decisions are easy for some people and excruciatingly hard for others. Take the following, totally unscientific mini quiz to decide what kind of decision-maker you are:

1. You're standing in Baskin Robbins, gazing down at the 31 flavors of ice cream. What do you do?
A. Immediately pick the first flavor that looks good.
B. Look at all the flavors, eliminate all but two, and pick one of them after 2-3 minutes.
C. Ask the cashier what flavor they would pick and go with their advice.
D. You've been staring at this question for ten minutes and still haven't decided what you would do.

If you chose are a spontaneous and often impulsive decision-maker. make decisions fairly quickly, but you think it over before you act. prefer other people to make decisions for you. are entirely and hopelessly indecisive. Get help.
Some people sweat the little decisions and others can make major decisions in the blink of an eye. What's the difference between the two types of decision-makers? The latter is too impulsive, and the former isn't impulsive enough. So here are a couple of things that came to mind in regards to decisions.
Be you... Don't make decisions on what to wear, what to eat, how to act around certain people - the small, everyday stuff - based on anyone else's opinion. Don't follow trends - make your own! Can't decide what to wear? Combine a bunch of your stuff (layer shirts, add accessories or fun shoes, wear a skirt over leggings or jeans) to create a totally unique look. You crave ice cream, but everyone else is eating salad? Go for the ice cream. (But be sparing.) All the other peeps in your school/youth group/club/activity are being total jerks? Stand out and be yourself.
...but don't be afraid to ask for advice. Especially on major decisions (college, future spouses, etc.), it's usually a good idea to talk to other people and find out what their opinions are. If you really can't decide what ice cream flavor to pick, it's ok to ask the cashier or your buddy what you should do. Sometime's it's fun to take a risk and sample what other people like (even if the only benefit is that you discover that they're every bit as weird as you thought they were after all!). You might discover a new interest or favorite thing by branching out a bit.
Spontaneity can be fun, but...Some decisions ought not to be thought about too hard. For example, last year when we were in Portugal, we had the opportunity to climb about 40 feet of rock on a windy day. Had I hesitated any longer than I did, I might very well have said no. But that climb (whilst wearing flip flops, no less) was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever experienced, and I am so glad I didn't think about it too hard, or let any annoying distraction such as logic or common sense fill my mind. (Disclaimer: blog author is not responsible for death, injuries, or irritation resulting from mindless or stupid applications of the above reasoning to other situations.) But on the big decisions, spontaneity is usually a bad idea. Harder decisions require more thinking (our favorite thing to do, of course), but making the right choice is worth taking the extra time to think it through.
And definitely pray. There are a lot of tough decisions we all have to make every day, and we'll never have the strength or wisdom to make all the right choices by ourselves. Inevitably, you'll find that your parents' knowledge, your friends' knowledge, and your knowledge aren't adequate to making the hard decisions. There's only One who can see all the possible outcomes from your decisions and help you make the right one. All it requires is asking Him for His guidance and then following through, however uncomfortable the right choice is.
Good luck on making all your decisions, big or small, easy or hard. And in case you were wondering, my answer to the quiz would be B. I'm happy being me right in the middle of the decision-making scale.

A Heartfelt Tribute to My Sister

My sister is at college. AGAIN. She had the nerve to go off to Erie, PA for the continuance of her education at the beginning of this year, you see. Hey, I was actually getting along much better than I thought I would without her. We're best friends and do pretty much everything together. Now that we're seven hours and 360 miles apart, we still keep in touch almost every day through phones, email, and IM (I love technology).
But I have to admit that there's really no substitute for the real thing.
She left today to go back to Erie after her week-and-a-half-long "spring" break. It was a very fun break and included six or seven inches of snow, ice cream cones from Baskin Robbins, 70-degree weather, a game night (and other celebrations of her birthday), smoothies from Robek's, chick flicks and action movies, donuts from Giant, a speech and debate tournament, late nights and a very early morning (5:30 a.m.), and randomly awesome games. But it was too short. I had forgotten how much I missed having her around just to talk to and do random fun stuff with. No one else is there for me all the time; no one else is just a question away from playing a game or watching a movie. No one else understands me like she does. Yeah, that sounds like a cliche, but it's true. She and I are (to borrow another cliche) like two peas in a pod - almost exactly the same interests and almost exactly the same reactions to various situations.
I thought I was getting along pretty well. Truth be told, I still have not had any kind of emotional breakdown or strong reaction to her being gone, not since August. But today, at the end of her third break so far this year, I felt it the most - and the reason is, quite simply put, that she's my older sister and that we always have an absolutely amazing time together.
What makes my sister so awesome? Here are a few of the ways:
1. She randomly bursts into song, usually without prior warning.
2. She can do killer rabbit and spider impressions.
3. Her hair always smells amazing.
4. You do not want to be on the recieving end of her wrath.
5. People who call her a quiet person are gravely mistaken.
6. She's able to knock some sense into me whenever I need it, and even if I haven't asked for it.
7. She makes me laugh approximately every 15-20 minutes.
8. She thinks I'm weird (and she's right), but she still likes hanging out with me.
9. She still enjoys participating in activities some people would call "childish". Who cares if it's childish?!
10. We used to get into ridiculous fights about Playmobil root beer floats, pitchers full of orange juice, whose turn it was to get the mail, and whether or not I should showcase my cursive handwriting on the front of a thank-you note (she thought not). But we're past that now.
11. She's very encouraging and supportive, especially about my cursive handwriting. *coughs lightly*
12. Her pouty face makes me melt.
13. She can laugh over minor calamities or awkward situations, a quality which a lot of people seem to sadly lack.
14. I can totally be myself with her and never have to worry about what she thinks. It's really ok. She already knows I'm nuts.
15. She has the prettiest hair in the world.
16. And overall, she's pretty darn gorgeous.
17. She's very mature. Most of the time.
18. She has a little more common sense than I do, so we balance each other out pretty efficiently.
19. She's brilliant. Most of the time. ;-)
20. She's the coolest person I know.
Basically, I am so insanely thankful that God chose to put the two of us into the same wacky family. I can guarantee that the two of us are always going to have a peanut butter-and-jelly-type relationship - we'll stick up for each other and stick together, always.
Only four and a half more weeks till Easter weekend. I suppose I can survive.