Stop Overthinking. Just Do It!

One of the many things that comes with age is a clear understanding of life in general. You seem to gain a sense of wisdom. Where once I just did things with little if any forethought, today, I psychoanalyze almost everything.

I recently had to redo almost all of the plumbing beneath my kitchen sink. Before I began, I ran scenarios through the processor in my head; not anything concerning the materials, I already knew what was needed and had it purchased and ready. No, what I was running through my mind was what each move I made would lead to.

In order to get on the floor, I knew I was going to sacrifice the painless function of my knees if I don’t put something on the floor to protect them. Now, what to use? If I use a heavy towel, well then, my chunky body is just going to slide around on it when I finally get into position to start twisting, turning and wrenching things off beneath the sink.

I have these cool thick mats I use in my shop, but one won’t be enough because the space needed for my kneel-down landing and subsequent takeoff is bigger than I am. I am going to need two of those mats.

Now, when I am down there, I am going to have to contort my Michelin Man physique so I will be able to access everything correctly. I am going to need tools, but because my glasses constantly slip or fall out of place, it makes seeing the tools hard. So, I will need to lay them out in a way so that once I reach optimal body position, I can just reach for them, already aware of where each tool is.

Once I have everything apart and removed, I will need to rebuild with new parts. Ah, my wife can assist me there. Wait, she has no idea what the P-trap is or what the other pieces of PVC tubing is called or what it is for. She has no clue what PVC is in the first place. I will need to give them names or descriptions she will understand.

After it is all together, I will need to get up. Where am I going to wriggle to and what am I going to hold on to while I do my best to hoist myself up off the floor?

If you are saying something to the effect of, “Damn, he could have finished it by now,” then you are the person I am writing this for.

While what I wrote above is the truth, it is also true we have forgotten how to just ‘do it.’ Why do we evaluate circumstances before they have even had a chance to occur? Why do we choose not to do something because we have run the scenario in our head in a microsecond?

Try this one on.

My wife, Carolyn and I recently went out to dinner. We were celebrating my birthday, though I am now the age I would prefer we just forgot about it. The restaurant we were going to is always busy. You can expect to wait 40 minutes or more to get seated. All during that day, I tried to come up with a plausible reason we shouldn’t go. At some point, it came to me, ‘just go, moron.’ 

We got cleaned up and made our way there. As we arrived in the parking lot, it was easy to see this was going to be a long wait. There were people sitting outside, in their cars, seeping out of the front door of the restaurant. I just figured, God is teaching me patience, so, let’s just roll with this.

We found a parking space right in front, SCORE! I got our names on the waiting list, told it would be around 50 minutes, then I went to find Carolyn outside, who had the second score of outing, a bench to ourselves. 

A little boy started running up and down the walk in front of us and all the others waiting for the text telling us our table was ready. His little sister joined in. At one point, they both came up to me and Carolyn and just started talking to us. Asked our names. Wondered if we saw him running. It was awesome. 

The mother was keeping a close eye on them, but I think she could sense there was nothing to worry about. After the little ones ran some more, they came back for more conversation. The mother finally said, “They have never met a stranger.”

Our waiter that night was superb as was the food. We really enjoyed ourselves.

I was asked to attend a recent function for the West Texas A&M University Nursing College. A big announcement was expected. To be very honest, I really didn’t want to go. I tried to come up with a reason not to, but couldn’t.

When I walked into the building, I was in awe. This place was gorgeous! As I made it to the floor this event was being held on, I saw and spoke to folks I have not seen for a while. Afterward I was able to speak with the focus of the press conference, Joe and Laura Street. They presented the school with a wonderful financial gift of 2.5 million dollars that will help with scholarships and other needs.

What is my point here? It’s simple. Had we not gone out to dinner, Carolyn and I would have missed the interaction with those kids we should actually strive to be more like. We should run more and just talk to each other more.  We would have missed a great meal served by a customer service-focused waiter. He was tipped well.

Had I not gone to the WT press conference, I would have missed the conversations with folks I have not seen for so long. I would have missed some of the stories shared, including some wonderful memories shared by Laura Street.

Stop over-thinking life. Get in there and fix that kitchen sink plumbing. Go to dinner, watch kids run – hell, get up and run with them. Go to events you try to talk yourself out of. I promise, you will be better for it.

The thoughts and opinions shared here may or may not reflect that of KGNC, its staff, management or Alpha Media.

You can contact Michael J. Stevens at [email protected]

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