Where Do I Start? How to Deal with Order of Operations Overwhelm When You Have Multiple Life Goals That Affect Each Other
|When I was in seventh grade, I remember Mrs. Mezzocchi teaching us the acronym PEMDAS—Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. This was a mnemonic trick to help us remember the order of operations for solving a mathematics equation.
Fifteen years later, when my first taste of Thirtysomething Panic came on like a tidal wave, I found this phrase flashing through my head. What is the order of operations here?!? I kept wondering. Where is my Thirtysomething Panic PEMDAS?
My relationship, my career, my purpose on this planet—EVERYTHING felt up in the air. Whenever I tried to start working on figuring out one piece of the puzzle, I felt like I couldn’t make any headway, because I’d start thinking about how it hinged on the other variables and second-guess every idea I’d had towards action.
What should I focus on first?
At times, this question can be very useful. At other times, it can stop all progress in its tracks.