I'm sure you've heard the saying "sitting on the fence." It's an idiom used to express the actions of a person who attempts to practice neutrality by not choosing sides. Another reason may be that the person finds it difficult to make a decision based on inability or fear. There are some people that can't grasp the idea of not being able or willing to make a definitive choice; while still others can't understand how some people choose without hesitation. So, why do people choose to be indecisive?
Ahhhhh, 30 something---that period in life where you begin to realize certain limitations of your once, limber body and mind. A time when you realize that the days of hanging out until 4 am and going to work for a full 8 hour day, then hanging out again that evening after work, is OVER! I was 28, married, a recent transplant to Florida, far from family and friends. I was experiencing all the feels of a person who was getting close to turning 30. Turning 30 was more than just getting a year older for me, it was a pulse check on how I was adulting.
Oddly enough, even for a person like me who has rarely had a problem with being direct and purposeful in telling people how I feel; as I have aged, I recognize that my ability to make decisions and how I make those decisions has come with a level of hesitation that I had not experienced until I got close to 30. I wanted to enhance my life, develop and strengthen my communication. I sought further insight past practicing my faith and decided it was time to talk to a professional.
I started to see a therapist named Julie and with her help, she opened my eyes to so many things! Things about myself, my environment, my spirituality ...about life! During one of our sessions, we were discussing something I had done and I got "stuck" on the outcome of the decision I made. Julie found that point in our session to be an opportunity to offer insight and said:
"Indecision is a decision. "
It wasn't until that conversation that I was able to understand the gray area of indecisiveness and what "sitting on the fence" really meant.
Let's look at the phrase "sitting on the fence" literally, for a moment.
Think about the most common fence types: Pickett, chain link, slatted, wrought iron, and barbed wire. Imagine sitting on any of those fences. Now, if we step back and look at the phrase from its idiomatic intent, fence sitting is a way out of being definitive. Think about the amount of weight that would be placed on the body and mind of the person who has positioned themselves on that precarious fence edge. Logic dictates that sitting on a fence without causing any type of lasting harm is highly improbable. Because of that fact, in the literal sense, people generally don't sit on fences. However, when it comes to making a decision, some people find "sitting on the fence" a possible, and in some cases, an effective method of making a decision.
One of the wonderful things about life is that free will affords us the opportunity to decide. In the case of sitting on the fence, the decision is simply to decide, not to decide. I'm not one to take the path of fence sitting, but to me, it appears to be just as much of a burden to be indecisive as it is to choose a side. So why sit on the fence? Why not pick a side?
I believe it's a mix of choice, ability, and circumstance that helps people make a decision. It's more about how a person is able to live or cope with the outcome of the decisions that they make. It's also about being able to acknowledge personal accountability, regardless of motive or intent behind the decisions. So, whether you sit on the fence or not, a decision is a choice.
Embrace your choice.
Embrace your decision.
Embrace the outcome of that decision.
Good, bad or indifferent, the decisions you make don't define the fabric of your being, but it does line the walls of your life with experiences. And those experiences are what prepares you for your future and for whatever future decisions you will make. As for me, with more gray hair, wisdom and insight in my life; along with considering choosing a side of the fence to be on; I often consider that, maybe there shouldn't be a fence in the way at all.