To Think or Not to Think? That Is the Question.

Thinking from the start…

Okay, so my long-lived joke whenever I show my baby picture is that I was a deep thinker right from the start. To be honest, I probably over-think way too often. In fact, a decade or so ago, a guy that I was dating told me that I tend to over-analyze. Everything. He was right. Still is.

How so? Well, if he didn’t reply to an email, I would ponder all the reasons WHY he didn’t reply. You see, I’m a “read & reply” girl. Even if the reply is a simple “Thanks”, “okay”, or “nope”….I reply. When I try not to reply, I end up feeling guilty. Why? Well, I don’t want someone else to experience the over-thinking experience that I so often go through.

This applies to pretty much everyone concerning everything. You may receive a paragraph, you could receive a long dissertation of all my thoughts, or you could receive the short & simple reply. But….you’ll get a reply.

Being 50, this week I had the “joy” of a colonoscopy. I had heard horror stories of this experience. Well, the stories were never about the procedure but about the day before. Here…I’m going to shoot straight. The “taste” of it wasn’t the worst thing I had ever tasted, but there were episodes of gagging. Why? No one told me that that the medicine part of the prep made the water change its fluidity. So, as I attempted to take a quick slurp from my straw, I quickly realized I was drinking thickish water. Ugh. I’m the girl who can’t eat pears or coconut without cringing due to texture, so the unexpected thick-water was not something I handled. So, I took it as “Extreme Prep”….instead of Extreme Games. Every 10 minutes when the timer sounded, I would talk myself through swallowing another 8 ounces. Then….prep is over, procedure is over, and I await the results.

I literally just returned home from sharing lunch with one of my good friends as well as my sister’s family. Mexican food, Yum! I walked in and saw a missed call from KDH. My overthinking kicked in. Does that mean that my test results were bad and they can’t leave the news on the answering machine? Should I call? Should I wait? I waited and pondered a good 15 minutes before calling….

And they said….

“Just checking how you did after you went home from the procedure?”

Aw, how nice! Then, I started this post and the phone rings again. KDH again. Oh no! I hold my breath…(figuratively not literally). Woohoo! Results were fine, but I need to retest in 5 years due to family history. Woohoo! Not for repeating it in five years but that the results were clear.

Overthinking. It’s a danger.

Thinking is important, but overthinking can steal your joy. How? Let me tell you.

If a parent has their child removed from my classroom, thinking tells me that if a parent doesn’t want me to be the child’s teacher that my year will be smoother if I’m not. Over-thinking causes me to question every interaction I’ve had with the family in the past to see if there’s something I could’ve done differently. You see, most of the time the request doesn’t have anything to do with me as a person or a teacher but is due to the relationship established with the other teacher.

If I text someone who ignores me for a day or two, thinking says that he or she is busy. Over-thinking tells me that they are choosing to ignore me because I’ve been deemed unworthy (At this point, my overthinking triggers a quote from A Knight’s Tale— “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.”).

What have I learned? I’ve learned that over-thinking always causes self-talk to take a nosedive. Rarely does overthinking build me up or encourage me. Overthinking triggers my battle with self-confidence and tries to tarnish my inner joy.

Now, if you know me….JOY is my thing. I try to be Joyful Jodi, not fake about it….but finding the joy even on the rainy day. Over-thinking is like a storm cloud that tries to block the rays of Joy. Alas, I must not be the only female who tends to overthink because…if you Google it…you’ll find plenty of pages to visit. I shall not. Instead, I’ll visit the Word I have hidden in my heart to remind me to…

Let it go, let it go….
Don’t overthink anymore….
Let it go, let it go,
Kick those negative thoughts out the door….

So, here are a few of the verses that I’ve been trying to use to kick out the negative and simply think about the truth. If your mind ever tends to over-think, maybe these can help you too.

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