“A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s. She changes it more often.” – Oliver Herford
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
It’s OK to Change One’s Mind
I’m not sure where I got it in my head that once I made a decision I had to follow through on it, but it got me in trouble in my earlier years. Young minds don’t always make the right choices.
Old minds don’t either.
But more often than not, the choices and decisions we make in life, especially those we make on a daily basis, have nothing to do with right or wrong. They are simply choices, like the one I made recently to do NANO in November, which is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Along with making that choice, I also made a decision to make my proposed book a mystery, and dedicated yesterday to working on an outline for it. Instead, I kept putting the task off and spent most of the day reading. The truth was I couldn’t come up with a good plot.
Then this morning I got to thinking. I have three completed (not sure how many uncompleted) first drafts of mysteries in my writing files, which I have no inclination to take to polished completion. I don’t think I need another.
Meanwhile, for the past year I have been outlining a book about my bird-watching experiences. I have numerous anecdotes about this late-blooming passion of mine. Why not, I thought, write my bird book for my NANO project?
The decision felt right. And suddenly I was more enthusiastic about my November writing marathon. Of course, I could change my mind again.
Learning to be comfortable with not having one’s decisions written in cement, even for life-changing choices, has made life a lot easier and more pleasant for me. Perhaps that’s because I make a lot of hummingbird-wing-quick decisions without thinking everything out fully first.
Patience simply isn’t a virtue in my mind. And while I believe, unlike Oliver Herford whose quote began this blog, that men change their minds as often as woman, I do believe I have a very clean mind.