“Think, think, think.” -A.A. Milne

I’ve had a realization.

My whole life I’ve been told that I’m a ‘thinker’. More often, I’ve been told that I think ‘too much’.

The times when I find myself truly upset or hurt, or rarely, angry, it is when someone has completely failed to think things through; When they didn’t think about the effects and the effects of those effects. I have spent huge chunks of my time in this life rehearsing conversations and imagining the outcomes. No matter how many times I go over it in my head, I don’t think any situation has ever turned out exactly as I expected and there have been many times when I felt I had wasted my thoughts and increased my anxiety to no end.

These feelings are exacerbated by the comments that come after emotional moments – the ‘think-too-muches’ and the ‘you-should-have-justs’. Whatever modicum of control or peace I have remaining dissolves under the heat of these oft-repeated, little considered comments.

But still I rehearse, still I consider outcomes from all possible lanes. Embarrassment or relief, I always persist.

These practices make certain aspects of writing a breeze. I know how the conversation will go, what the dialogue needs to do. I like the internet. I like blogging. I get to think it through, I get to research, I get to consider, and then I speak. I spend time on responses and I want others to do the same, but so often they do not. The ramifications of this inaction are far-reaching, from our relationships to our globe.

Sometimes I wish that I wasn’t so inclined – that I could simply know what I want to say and do so without further thought. But I don’t go down this imaginary road for long before I turn tail and run as fast as my mental legs can take me. I know the result of little considered quips and acting without imagination. I know that pain. I see that pain. I don’t want to cause it.

I am not proposing that my way is the best, but it is better than what I have seen most people do. Thinking it out, whatever it is, may take time and resources and not always work, but it leads to a life that is lived less selfishly and more mindfully. As usual, a middle ground needs to be found, but I’m not sure I’ll ever believe that one can think too much. I know that it is possible to consider far too little.

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