Stop and Think? Nah, I’ll Just Do

Picture this... but in socks
Picture this... but in socks

As a little girl my mother would constantly implore me to think about what I was doing. She would remind me of this with the oft repeated phrase “For goodness sake, Tamsin, why don’t you just think?!” I’ve thought about this advice a lot over the last couple of weeks as I made a couple of mistakes at work that I surely would have avoided had I only stopped to think.

Last night on Twitter I had a conversation with Mrs Ceee Ceee (with thanks to the Queen of Gin… she told me to put that in there) about people who have a lot of passion for what they do and it made her stop and ask “WHAT am I DOING?!” I realised I felt the same way. It was in that moment a sudden realisation hit me: I have never known what I was doing.

I’ve mentioned before I’m the type to jump in to things with my socks still on (I have, actually, been known to get in the bath with my socks still on from time to time) and this has applied to everything in my life. Not content to “Do and Hope” (if one of my friends doesn’t mind my borrowing his family’s words) I’ve just done, and not realised until later I probably should have put a plan together first. Or at least thought to hope.

But it’s been my massive lack of thinking that has, in fact, been my strength. Had I thought to think about things I wouldn’t be writing online, as that was started by my husband building me a website and my just starting to write. I certainly wouldn’t be writing on this website, which was started on a whim after a comment on twitter from JJ. I wouldn’t be married, or a Stepmother, as I didn’t think through how it would actually go to pursue a man 11 years older than me, already divorced with a child, only 2 weeks after dumping a guy I’d been with for over 4 years.

Picture this… but in socks

I wouldn’t be sitting here in my house if I hadn’t decided one day I’d call a mortgage broker out of the blue and buy a house, even though we couldn’t really afford it and we were planning a wedding at the time. I wouldn’t have a cat named Lionel sitting beside me on the sofa. The sofa that I saw an ad for on the telly and had bought a week later. There would be no art hanging in my mother’s house as it was a random last minute decision to study art – I went from “Yeah, OK, I could do that” to enrolled in 3 short hours.

But these are the things that have turned out. And as I sit here marvelling at how incredibly lucky I have been that all these things I didn’t think through have turned out as well as they have, I can’t help but wonder about all the things that didn’t. And although I’d suggest I’ve made some massive mistakes in my time (oh, please, let’s not recount them) they don’t matter as much as all the things that have worked out. All the things that have brought me to where I am.

So when it comes down to it, should I stop and think? Well, I’m sure it would have saved me some pain along the way. But… Nah, that would be less exciting. Plus when it comes to decisions that I think about, I get paralysed by choice… but that’s another topic for another day.

Do you stop and think? Do you think things through before you do them? Have you ever gotten in the bath with your socks on? 

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  • Caroline

    Best one for me – shall we move to Australia? Yes. (never visited before). So yeah, sometimes, I just do it!

    • Tamsin Howse

      I’ve been thinking of moving to Denmark. I’ve never been there.

  • John James

    I probably think about things a little more than you do T, but not much. I certainly don’t mull over decisions too much and tend to go with my gut if there’s no real “logical” choice between two options…

    I also think the more you leap before you look, the better you get at working with whatever consequences you arrive at…

    I committed social media suicide a few months back on a whim…I’ve never regretted it or looked back…

    I moved to Hobart on a whim when I was 24, with no job and no friends…I don’t regret that (even though I pissed a lot of money up against the wall moving down there, and then back to Sydney two years later)

    The thing is, even if you take years thinking through a problem or a decision, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make the right decision…you might just be wrong, or maybe fate will punch you in the face, despite your best intentions…why not just wing it!

    • Tamsin Howse

      “Even if you take years thinking through a problem or a decision, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make the right decision” That’s very true.

      Sometimes I think overthinking is where it all goes wrong for me… But as I said that’s another topic for another day 😉

  • Jessica Chapman

    Better to be like that than to spend so long agonising over a decision that you end up doing nothing. I don’t do much on a whim other than shopping.

    • Tamsin Howse

      That’s my other end. I either do without thinking or spend so long thinking I don’t do.

  • Hayley Ashman

    I need a bit of this. I spend too much time considering decisions rather than just doing. I saw keep embracing it, T :)

  • Monique Fischle

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this one. I regularly speak first and think later. Actually it’s more that my thoughts magically escape through my mouth.

    A fun example for you all that has become a running joke at work:

    We were watching a YouTube clip of that contestant in the Miss Universe pageant who was asked why she thinks many American’s can’t locate the country on a map and she goes on this long-winded spiel that doesn’t relate at all. Watching, I thought “Man, this girl is so dumb, if that’s the kind of intelligence required to make it to the Miss Universe pageant, I could totally do it.”

    At this point I actually said out loud “I could totally be on Miss Universe”.

    Not my proudest moment…

    • Tamsin Howse

      You just made me laugh out loud. Miss Universe, hey?

      A running joke with my best friend and family was a family dinner where mum had made something random that looked like giant cornflakes. We were all asking her what it was when my dad says “Maybe it’s manna”. In my head I sung “maybe it’s Maybelline.” But out loud I said “maybe she’s born with it.”

      • Monique Fischle

        Yep. Because obviously it’s about intelligence, not looks…

        I do that all the time, I finish a thought out loud like JD on Scrubs which leaves a lot of people thinking “WHAT?”

        Oh and on the topic of this, DG and I are clearly well suited as he had a little Miss Universe comment of his own. We were looking at a cheapo watch I bought in Hong Kong two years ago and he was like “if you change this and this, that would be an awesome watch. You know what? I should just work in fashion, I’d be so good at it”. We probably seem so up ourselves but we’re really not, promise :)

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