February 26, 2010

The Positive Power of Over-Thinking

So I bought three fun books from Amazon this week and I am eagerly anticipating their arrival. I’ve been checking my doorstep every single day even though I totally picked the cheap-o free shipping offer because...well, I'm cheap...and each day I think to myself, who knows, maybe Amazon will accidentally overnight them. I mean it could happen, right?


Anyway, the first book is the new Booklushes selection (Have you joined yet?  What are you waiting for?) and although I’ve been dying to read it, I’m sort of scared because a lot of people have already said they are having a hard time getting into it. I’ve been on quite the bad book spree lately so I don’t know if my fragile little heart can take a tough-to-get-into type of book but we’ll see. Hell, it was only $5 so whatever.

The second book is a book about marriage…yes that’s right – I have no ring, no wedding date, and we are not married, yet I bought a book about how to make a marriage work. Hi, I'm not eager or anything.  Oh and you just wait until you hear about the third.

The third book is a book about fertility. Yes as in for babies.  That’s right, again let me remind you that I’m not married and surprisingly enough I am not even thinking about having a baby this year.

**Awwww, look at your confused face. It’s so cute.**

Trust me, there was a second after I submitted that order where I looked over my shoulder a little self-consciously and said to myself  “I can’t believe you are making this purchase.”

But let me let you in on a little secret about me – I am obsessed with planning. As for execution, well I can be pretty good at flying by the seat of my pants, but truth be told usually if I even get to the Execution Phase on something it is because I have spent a ton of time analyzing or researching.  And when it comes to marriage and family planning over the next few years – well let’s just say that it is a “topic of importance” on my mental radar.

Actually Jess wrote a post recently about her penchant for analyzing, and I swear it could have been a page right out of my own diary. Especially this part:
I don’t feel the need to be prepared for every possible eventuality, and so I don’t freak out about the possibility of outrageous scenarios. But if I know something IS going to happen, or is LIKELY to happen, or I WANT it to happen…well, yeah. I think about it. I process it. I analyze it. And I try to move forward with as much awareness as possible.

This is exactly how I feel -- especially the awareness part. If I know something is in my future, I’m going to try and prepare myself. And it is not because I think I will necessarily be more or less successful if I have done research or looked into certain options – I mean certainly I am goal oriented and of course I like to be right just as much as the next person -- but even more important than all that, I really want to live a life where I am conscious in the decisions that I make. I know that sounds a little woo-woo, let’s all hold hands in a drum circle while we sing, but I think it’s actually more practical than it seems.

Something Ariel said today in one of her posts really resonated with me in light of all this thinking I’ve been doing about the motivation of my analytical tendencies.  First, a little back story.  As someone who had prided herself on being conscious about who she is and not a real consumption-monger with respect to her pregnancy, Ariel felt sort of uncomfortable the first time she took her new baby for a walk in a super-fancy-pants stroller that was gifted to her. It seemed so against everything she was to be pushing around this Cadillac of strollers:

Identity definition is important to me, and I want to make sure that the shift to motherhood doesn’t include blindly stumbling into things just because that’s supposedly how they’re done. I push a stroller now because I’m a mom, and that’s what moms do. Like so many other things in my life, it’s a question of intent and trying to stay truly alert to make each decision thoughtfully. I’ll take the discomfort of feeling like a self-conscious adolescent if it means I stop and take the time to truly consider what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. That discomfort tells me I’m not sleep-walking through this time in my life.

That really spoke to me – especially about making decisions thoughtfully and doing things the way I want to do them, not the way I think they should be done. Being aware of the choices I make is a process, and one that ultimately makes me feel empowered. Analyzing things a bazillion years before they happen for me is less about making the right decision and more about knowing that I am making the right decision for me at the time.

And yeah, sometimes that does make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes that does give me a moment of panic where I say – "Holy hell who is this person thinking about retirement accounts and car safety ratings before my next purchase and strategies for marriage and planning physically to have a baby? Who is this person that comes home on a Friday night after a long week and prefers to curl up on the couch with a new library book and go to bed early rather than bee-line to the bar with friends?"  And while I am definitely aware that life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans and all that -- I like to think that for me it is less about actually making plans, and more about ensuring that for those few hours that I am awake each day that I’m not sleepwalking through my life.  Though all this thinking sure has made me want a nap....


Jess said...

You and I are a lot alike, for sure. And, a little secret of my own: I bought that third book (TCOYF) months and months before we even started to think about talking about maybe having a baby someday.

eliza said...

ok, so I have to say that I LOVED The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. And the subsequent books in the trilogy. So much so that I paid a small fortune to purchase them while I was traveling abroad. Totally not the type of book I am usually attracted to (crime fiction, what?), but I found the storyline really compelling!


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