Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Under-Think, Therefore I Get Stuff Done

My dad left me a voicemail a few days ago. He was checking in to say he missed my voice. I saved the message because it was sweet.  And the funny thing is, I've been missing my voice too.

I've been guilty of over-thinking lately. I highly discourage the practice of over-thinking for myself. It's not my job. Ryan is the resident over-thinker, and he's quite good at it. He can think about and analyze and discuss something 1,152 times before breakfast. And although I often accuse him of mortally wounding a dead horse to deathly death, his over-thinking is often valuable and productive. He foresees issues and problems in advance, and often skirts disasters both minor and epic on a regular basis.

I am best off sticking to under-thinking. In fact, I run the Department of Under-Thinking around here. (The department logo is an instruction manual with one of those red circles and a slash over it.) It's a system of checks and balances, if you will. It keeps the flow flowing. It's the Metamucil of our marriage. Without thinking, I can make a decent meal, move the laundry along, remind my kid to flush and wash his hands, write and edit seven headlines, remind my other kid where his baseball glove is, come up with the name of singer you're trying to remember, change the toilet paper roll and write an above average blog post. Let it be written---every family needs a good under-thinker.

But remember to keep your boundaries, you under-thinkers out there. Don't let anybody convince you to forsake your shrug-and-do ways and dabble in the practices of measure twice, cut once. There are people taking care of that. You're in charge of the other stuff. The world needs your... what's the word? Hmmm. Can't think of it. Whatever. The world needs you.

I guess that's what I forgot. I've been neglecting my position, trying my hand at a little rumination, and working myself into a fine frenzy. I've been over-thinking my self, my writing, my writing goals, my body mass index, my parenting, my family, my relationships, my self-esteem, my philosophies, my lunch habits, and even my dishwasher loading techniques. There's a fine line between introspection (healthy) and intro-spewing (gross and chunky) and I'm afraid I crossed it. Unlike Ryan, my over-thinking is completely unproductive, a poorly made casserole of worry, doubt, and self-focus.

It's not that I'm a thoughtless dummy, it's just that I do a much better job of being who I want to be when I get out of my own way.

So {heavy sigh} I'm going back to the basics, retiring my thinking cap and settling back into life by the seat of my pants. Late tonight I realized that tomorrow is July and that I said I'd be back in July. And I almost made the mistake of pondering whether or not I was ready to jump back in to regular writing. And then I remembered my dad's voicemail. And then, without thinking, I sat down to write.

10 comments:

Kellybee said...

I analyze and overthink everything, and I find that it really holds me back. I always play it safe. I'm not a risk taker. I've recently decided that I really need to loosen up a bit. By the way, It's good to read your voice again!

Kim said...

I wanna be just like you when I grow up...an under-thinker who under promises and over achieves!

Becky said...

I'm so glad you're back and as wise as ever! I sure miss you when you're gone over-thinking things. :) Happy July 1 to you!

Miranda said...

My goodness I've missed you! It's nice to have somebody make my habit of under-thinking seem so necessary.

Kate said...

Glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

I just about text you the other day to say "For the Love!" Please write something!!! Nicole gone, girls gone, and Val was out of town! I've read and re read sooo many of your blogs! Love it! Ryan is a wonderful over thinker! I love when he and Val over think together, and slove the problems of the world!!!! Love Ya! heidi b.

MiaKatia said...

I never knew that under thinking was so essential, but it is!! I need to get out of my own way more often too. Missed you.

Leslie said...

I love you!! Glad you're back. I thought I was the over-thinker. That's why my blog has been so barren lately.

kami @ no biggie said...

Don't over think ever again! It's no good for any of us that missed you.

I'm glad you are back, I missed you.

ps. Let's schedule a call next week sometime.

Jodi said...

That's it! (said in a Charlie Brown voice with my pointer finger in the air) You just gave voice to the very thing that's been bringing me down lately.

I'm with you crazy lady. NO more over thinking!

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