Friday, August 12, 2011

Unpacking: Think first.

To 18yo Me

"Think first; act second." "Look before you leap." "Sleep on it first."  All amazingly wise sayings.

All advice that I ignore on a routine basis.  Sometimes, folks, it's do what I say here, not what I do.

Really, really, I wish that I was better at thinking my actions out before I do them. But, the truth is that I'm obscenely bad at it. So often, an action will occur to me, whether by nature or external suggestion.  Before my mind can think it through to its logical conclusion and panic-strickenly object "Umm, Jo? Put on the brakes, kid," I've already gone ahead and done it. Usually, it's at this point that my mind catches up with the rest of me, and I'm left to look back at what I've just done and go "Oh. Crap." There are some things you just can't get back.

Every once in a while, I get it right. The desire to do something pops up, I jump to do it, and then I think "Wait." And I do!  Just a short while later, the impulse fades, and I'm so so glad that I listened. It makes me want to shout, "Yes! I did it!"-- But not out of pride, understand.

Have you ever taught a child to ride a bike? They keep failing and falling. Finally, they do it. They yell, 'I'm doing, it, Mom! I'm doing it!!" It's not pride the exclamation comes from, it's pure shock and amazement that it actually worked!

I feel the same way. I'm so utterly bad at this so very much of the time that when I actually do accomplish it, I'm so shocked and amazed that I made it work, I nearly run into the proverbial tree in my excitement.

But, I'm always left with the same knowledge-- that if I thought before I acted more often, I would get into so fewer scrapes. My relationships would surely go just a little less bumpy if I took a little more care with my impulses.

Photo Credit: Jonny Hunter


  1. Ah, but overthinking can have you saying the same thing, OR why did I waste so much time? Always a fine balance. ((Hugs))

  2. I find myself suffering from the exact opposite problem - which I like to call "Paralysis by analysis." I've missed out on quite a few opportunities in my days because of it, but also didn't do some things I would have regretted....... As Stacey said, it's a fine line between the two.


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