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.
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?