Exploring the Universe

What decisions do you make unconsciously?

My sisters and I were raised in a military family. Back in the day, my father was transferred to another military station every few years, if not months. We lived in Texas (Waco), Germany, Washington state (Tacoma and Moses Lake), Texas (Amarillo and Victoria), Japan, Okinawa, and Arkansas before I reached the age of 13. Since then I’ve moved at least fourteen times. This doesn’t count traveling for my job.

Since the military moved us, we were limited to the total number of pounds that could be moved. We grew up knowing that we couldn’t accumulate a lot of “stuff” because we would be moving. In addition, although we made new friends each time we moved, we learned that we were each other’s best friends.

After we grew up, moved out, founded our own lives, we found that every two or three years, we got itchy feet. It was time to look for a new job, a new house, a new city, a new boy friend. Failing that, we would re-do our houses, change our clothing selections, change hairstyles, take up a new hobby.

Do you see the back story for this? I didn’t for a long time. Did I mention that I’m a little slow sometimes? I remember the time we were all at my mother’s house and I started discussing this theory. At first they just frowned at me. Then they started laughing because they could see that they had been doing the same thing without realizing it.

Do you make decisions without knowing why?


Comments on: "Unconscious Decisions" (41)

  1. Amazing what that “backstory” to our lives can cause, LOL.

  2. And we still do that, dear sister! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dh was in the military for 6 years…I still get an itch to move every once in a while and we’ve lived in this house longer than anywhere else (5 years), even though we’ve been married for 23 years now. I tend to not get real involved and make a lot of friends. In the military our military friends were our family, but I got sick of them or us always leaving!

    Dh and I also did a class for couples getting married in our church and I will tell you, our upbringings have so much influence on us.

    • Once I recognize why I’m are getting itchy feet, I either plan a vacation trip or rearrange the furniture in my house or paint the walls. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Karen Cote said:

    I love this! A little insight to our Linda. Yes, you are ours so no wandering off. LOL. It is quite an interesting revelation. I suppose we are creatures of habit but I think this goes deeper than that, huh?

    I really enjoyed your post and your blog is wonderful. Sincerely, thank you for sharing a part of yourself.

  5. You know, I left for Spain to study at the University of Madrid for my junior year, but had decided I wasn’t coming back. I wanted a severe change of venue and life and told my parents I was going to live in Europe. After about 6 or so months I knew it wasn’t for me, although it was a great experience. From there I went to UC Santa Barbara with no intention of returning to my home town. Then I travelled to Oregon for my Master’s degree and then back home for a short stint then back to Santa Barbara. I was a wanderer. I had to be moving all the time it seemed. Then suddenly I made the decision to move back home and have been here ever since. What stopped me from moving back to France, which is what I’d been thinking about doing? I met my husband, we got married, and I had kids. And I’m still in my hometown. I guess the “itch” went away.

    • It sounds like you had a marvelous time getting the itch to go away.

      The thought of having to move ALL my stuff gives me hives. When Carol and Shirley came to visit for our sisters weekend I even bought another bed and a couch. Plus my house has become the repository for everything people want to save but don’t want to give or throw away. Then when I suggest they might want it back, they decide they don’t need it anymore so I get to give it away. Now I wouldn’t mind going somewhere (like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone) and live there for a month or two.

      • I hear you, Linda. The thought of moving is completely out of the question. Four people’s stuff in the attic and in the bedrooms and two dogs and two kids – AACK! I can’t imagine. If someone wanted to come in and pack up FOR me, that would be okay.

      • Oh, yes, they would not only have to pack for me, someone else would have to pay for it.

  6. Nick Genovese said:

    I find it hard to believe that you are ever a little slow sometimes.
    By the way, great blogspot and blog.

  7. I think that moving so often must have lessened your fear of change–as opposed to someone like me who hates changes–even though I did elope in my teens. The marriage didn’t work out but I’ve never embraced the unknown ever since and it’s made me less flexible.

    Terrific blog and topic, Linda!

    • Sometime I love change but othertimes, #!!!&&^&*()). I think less of change which is imposed from outside. If I elect to change, that’s another story. Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Linda, I’m always impressed by people who aren’t afraid of change — that seems like so much healthier of an attitude than my own, which is “stay stay stay stay stay.”

    As for unconscious decisions, a few years ago MY sister and I each realized that we’re still struggling to overcome our greatest weakness from high school: hers was not being Beautiful, and mine was not being Popular. Now she’s drop-dead gorgeous and I have lots of friends, but we still think of ourselves as inferior in those areas. Go figure!

  9. Gosh, I think I make more decisions without knowing why than any others! Which just goes to show that I need to be a lot more present and thoughtful in what I do. It’s funny that all that moving around has carried on for you into adulthood. I wonder if in some people, it would go the other way, like an urgent need to put down roots and settle in.

    • Interesting question because all three of us have the same wanderlust even when we don’t want to leave where we are. Funny.

  10. I’ve always been the type to want to help family and friends solve their problems. I found out through my nutritionist (in an effort to lessen my stress) that maybe other people aren’t looking for solutions. That floored me. To me it was automatic. Got a problem? Seek a solution.

    So now I hold back, listen and wait for people to give me cues that they want to solve the problem they’re having. You know what? Some people don’t want solutions. Who’d have thought???? And you know what else? It does lessen my stress. LOL! Great post Linda, thanks.

    • I was the same way for a long time (following in my mother’s footsteps). But most people either don’t want a solution, or they know the solution but don’t want to do whatever is required. I finally decided that if they wanted my help, they had to ask for it. Thanks for visiting.

  11. It never ceases to amaze me how unconsciously we all live at times; driven by belief, habits, or patterns we learned as children. Often, we don’t even realize those experiences can propel our current life. Amazing that you’ve seen it and can now tap into it and make it work for you!

  12. Yes there are a few patterns I do that I used to ignore or fight. I would around going “why do I do that” or compare myself to others who things differently. Natalie is right it is amazing how much can unconsciously settle in.

    • It becomes our comfort zone. I’ve been trying to make myself do things that are outside my comfort zone (like Twitter and blogging). So my comfort zone has expanded. Thanks for commenting.

  13. This is so good! Yes, I think if more people became aware and took the time to quiet themselves and look within, they’d find little golden nuggets of ” a hah! So that’s why…” we all have them :). Great post! Will def re tweet 🙂

  14. I figured out a few years ago that I always get antsy when the seasons change. So now instead of impulsively making changes, I ride out the change.

    • I feel much happier knowing why I think I need to move and realize it is habit, not necessity. Thanks for dropping by.

  15. Hi Linda,

    I spent my high school years in a small rural town and couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge. After college, I moved around a bit but settled near family in the Bay Area. I’ve always wondered how different my life would’ve been if I’d chosen to attend a university on the east coast. Would I have stayed back there? I would like to try living in a different area of the country, but having family close by does have its advantages.
    Great thought provoking post!

    • I lived in Washington, D.C., for five years and although I enjoyed parts of it I was happy to move back to the south-central part of the U.S. The cost of living was very expensive.

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting.

  16. Decisions for me are motivated by what’s carried within, and by what is happening around me at the time. I may try to foster the hope that a decision today will improve my future, or help those I love. Bottom line for me is that I learn something through the decisions I make or refuse to make. I am confident that this is all part of my evolution, and I’m guessing that there are unconscious triggers within every one of us. Interesting and thought provoking subject!

  17. […] you make decisions without knowing why?” Linda Burke poses this question in Unconscious Decisions.  I noodled for a bit then nodded with understanding and agreement.  There is a “why” […]

  18. Linda,

    Your childhood sounds remarkably similar to my own in regards to the moving. What it has done for my sister and me is make it exceedingly easy to say goodbye to friends while making it devastatingly difficult to say goodbye to loved ones. Like you, we learned early on that friendships were almost disposable, but that family is the very basis of a healthy life.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. […] without knowing why?” Linda Burke wrote a great blog post about how she had been making unconscious decisions in her life that were shaped by her childhood. Hmmm…sounds very familiar to me Linda. It never […]

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