In the Next Square

the (imperfect) square

I’m a person who overthinks everything. 

Every. Single. Thing.

Not only do I analyze every angle of every decision, but an “all or nothing” caveat seems to be married to each choice.

“What should I eat today?” turns into: “I need to eat healthy! I must spend $400 at Whole Foods to buy all the nutritious things! I must cook from scratch, using only high-quality, organic ingredients!” 

A simple question about what to ingest for breakfast turns into an uncontrollable urge to engage in a total kitchen cleaning frenzy where a package of popping kernels I bought last summer in an attempt to purge all processed foods from my life will be the only survivor. 

Other thoughts wash over me:

“Health eating means I’ll need to exercise, too, of course. I’ll set my alarm daily for 5:30 a.m. and make the elliptical my bitch!”

“Can I really afford a gym membership? Workout shoes? What about that new wardrobe I’m going to need when I shed all the weight I’ve been carrying around since I gave birth to my son 8 years ago?”

“Wait. Shouldn’t I be putting that money into my 401(k) since retirement in 25 years or so will be here before I know it?”

“I don’t want to invest all that money only to die an early death from a bad heart and high cholesterol.”

“Should I be buried in my hometown cemetery? Maybe cremation into one of those pods that grows into a tree makes more sense for my eternal afterlife.”

These musings turn any good intention once had into inaction in seconds flat.

Exhausted, and now wracked with paralyzing anxiety, I wonder, “Does this matter anyway? I could die tomorrow. What’s that thing all the kids are saying these days? YOLO!” 

I resign with a sigh that I simply don’t have the energy for this healthy living brouhaha, open up Grubhub, and order all things fried and grease laden. “Hey, look at that! Walter, my Grubhub driver, is already on his way!”

And, just like that, I’m back to square one. 

Rinse and repeat when I think about, well, just about anything else in my life. 

Not only do I overthink, I obsess. 

I think. I plan. I mentally design charts of every possible outcome. 

I want to make the perfect choice.

But, when it’s all said and done, I end up doing…nothing.

I always come back to square one.

Weighing options can be liberating. Making a deliberate choice can be exhilarating. 

There is something to be said, though, for making a decision.

For taking action.

For moving into the next square. (Imperfect as it may be.)

Yes, be there. 

Be (in the next) square.

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