Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“Don’t move until you see it.”
~”Searching for Bobby Fischer”
The Foda’s Take: This quote comes from a great movie, in which a young boy with an extraordinary aptitude for chess learns how to analyze and predict his opponent’s moves. His instructor, played by the great Ben Kingsley, tells him: “Don’t move until you see it.” Which is great advice- it tells us to slow down, think ahead, move wisely. But when you have a chronic illness, this can sometimes invoke what a friend recently termed as “analysis paralysis.”
Howdy, everybody! Today I’d like to talk about analysis paralysis. Otherwise known as the act of over-analyzing to the point of complete, overwhelming inability to make a decision. This is actually a real thing! It’s not just related to Pisces like me who spend days trying to decide on a pair of shoes with the vim and vigor normally reserved for researching your graduate thesis. This is, like, fact. People are happier when they have fewer options to choose from. Just ask Trader Joe’s. They specifically, purposely, stock only a few options for each product. Not only does this mean better profit margins for them, but it also lowers the stress for the consumer. Only three spaghetti sauce options instead of thirty, and they’re all delicious? Yes, please! See? I told you. Totally a thing.
So why have I been analyzing analysis paralysis? Well, let’s just say the past couple weeks have not been so easy. It seems like once again Mandalf and I are getting tested by the universe, even more so than we already have been over the past three plus years. And while I’m flattered someone up there thinks we’re strong enough to handle it, I’d be lying if I said I was super tickled about how much rocky bottom we’ve been ladled from the proverbial teat of life. This, of course, has thrown me into a frenzy of analysis, trying to deduce what can be done to move us onwards and upwards, all Sherlock Holmes-like, playing my violin and pacing with a snappy chapeau upon my head. Okay, not the hat- it is summer after all- but I do, in fact, play the violin… not…. super well…. but I was totally good in high school… But I digress.
The point is, I’ve gone over everything backwards and forwards, and the annoying part is, there’s nothing else I can do besides get better. (Which, if it was so easy to do, I’d have already done YEARS ago…) which means there is nothing left in my control except try not to get gobbled up by the huge jutting rocks around us, and use my powers of analysis for survival instead of escape.
But with so many doors closed right now, even those options are limited. And which will be the best ones? Hence, analysis paralysis. I can’t, unlike the little boy in the movie, choose to stay still, not moving until I see the pattern. Because my pattern is GIGANTIC. If it were so easy to solve, I would have been healed years ago. So if I keep waiting to see where my choices will take me- I’ll stay in this rocky bottom, too afraid to move out of it, not knowing where they’ll lead me.
So I’m thinking it may be time to try being a “do-er” rather than a “thinker.” Which, as a writer, may be a bit challenging. We tortured types love to get all up in our heads. What do you think? Do you think it’s better to do and then think, or think and then do? Given the situation? I am totally open to advice right now. (Disclaimer: This question/experiment only applies to upstanding actions. I of course am not condoning acts of criminal foolishness where you don’t think of the repercussions until afterwards. Although if you think about them and still do them, that’s not better. That’s criminal intent. And you will go to jail for that.)
Sidebar- am now wondering if anyone reads this blog in prison. Sherlock Holmsian deductions indicate that to be improbable. But if you are? Um. Hi. Carry on.
Off to Do Something without Thinking First,
P.S. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m not entirely certain I’ll be able to change my current think-act-reflect cycle, but I’m interested to try….
P.P.S. Don’t worry, I’m still house-bound. How much trouble could I make if this theory goes sideways?
P.P.P.S. Don’t answer that.