Friday, April 22, 2011

Dithering or ...

....deliberating?  I truly do not know.  I am working on it, but I am just not there yet.  It feels strange to me, because I was known for another "D" word when I ran a department with a multi-million dollar budget.

Decisive - that is a word that was frequently used to describe me.  I was often operating in the Dragnet mode - "Just the facts, ma'am."  During those hectic command-and-control years, I didn't dither.  There was no time to do it, even if I wanted to.  And I didn't want to.  This came from long years of admonition from my mother.  She was the consummate "anti-ditherer".  She just didn't do it; and neither did she tolerate it well in others.

I can still hear her words in my memory, "Marsha, make up your mind.  Don't dither."

For anyone who might be unfamiliar with this term (given that it is largely unused in today's common vernacular) "dither" can be either a verb or a noun.  One can be "dithering", meaning nervously undecided, casting to and fro about something; or one can be said to be "in a dither" meaning in a nervous or excited condition, generally with a whiff of confusion somewhere in the connotation.

Naturally, in light of this definition, a decisive person would much rather not be in a dither.  Thus, I hope I am deliberating.  I hope I am weighing pros and cons in a dispassionate, pragmatic manner.  There are a number of fairly significant decisions to be made in the next few weeks and months and it is hard to know whether one has all the relevant data; whether one has overlooked some salient factor, whether one is going stark raving mad trying to be sure one is doing the right thing.

Yes, I am aware that there is a shrill note of lunacy in the above.  I am trying to get a grip.  Certainly, there needs to be a chill-pill in my immediate future.  Meanwhile ....

I am reminded of the old story of a hound dog whose master tossed him two meaty bones. A large and juicy steak bone lay to his right and an equally appealing ham bone to his left.  Because he could not eat them both at once, he ran back and forth between them, trying to decide which one he wanted most. 

Finally, he became so exhausted running back and forth, that he lay down midway between them and just rolled his eyes back and forth, left to right, then right to left.  It was pitiful. It is said he starved to death laying between two perfectly good bones, all because he dithered.  Good grief, talk about a cautionary tale!

You will please excuse me now, as I have some serious deliberating to do.    And a large chill-pill to ingest.


  1. It takes me a while to make up my mind too. After all, we have to consider all of the choices, right? So I guess I'm a ditherer too. Is that a word Marsha?

    Hugs to you,

  2. Hi Marsha, I love the natural conversational tone of your writing, and I myself find when I come to a crossraod either in a subject matter or in a journey and I can go either way, afer playing ping-pong with the sides of my brain, I suddenly remember to ask the Holy Spirit for His POV and I have yet to make a wrong choice once I rmembered I didn't have to make the choice on my own. I wish you success in your upcoming decisions and I will say a direction prayer for you. Thanks for following my blog...Hugs and Prayers Patricia greeneyes Layers of the Heart

  3. I never knew what "dither" meant. But I am confident that you will make the decision that's right for you.