I make my family crazy.
At lunch we’ll have the “what should we have for supper” conversation, and it inevitably goes something like this.
Dear Son (DS): What’s for supper?
Me: Hmmmm, what sounds good?
Dear Husband (DH): What are the options?
Me: Cinnamon rolls and chili?
DS: Sounds great!
Me: Or there’s taco shells…we could have tacos and rice. Or we could have pork chops and fried apples.
DH: STOP! Don’t work so hard — chili & cinnamon rolls it is.
Me (thinking): Maybe I should check in the freezer and see what else there is…..
There I go again.
What if there’s something else they’d prefer? If one acceptable dinner option is good, wouldn’t half a dozen other options be better?
According to my family…the answer is actually…No.
“Really?” I ask, struggling to believe them.
My guys assure me they don’t need — or want — so many choices, especially if the first thing I mention sounds good enough.
DS: Mom, chili’s fine.
Me: Are you sure?
DH: We’re positive.
I’m learning to remind myself there’s no need to fret over insignificant things or work so hard. I’ve been reminding myself that at times like this, one option is enough.
In life, there are plenty of big questions. Having one option for what we can eat for supper is fine. If it’s not someone’s favorite? Who cares! There will always be another opportunity to have that person’s favorite for supper some other night.
These days when I’m getting dressed and I start reaching for Outfit #2, I try to think of a friend that I’ve seen recently, and then I ask myself, “What was this person wearing the last time I saw her?”
I may be spectacularly unobservant, but I usually can’t remember. When I can’t decide what to wear in the morning, I remind myself that if I can’t remember what Karen was wearing last night….then what I’m wearing today probably doesn’t matter all that much either.
And truly, when I consider that my main goal in the morning is “don’t head off on the day’s activities buck naked”… well, it does sort of take the pressure off.
Because here’s the other thing I realized. If it’s something really important, say getting dressed for special event, I always figure that out way ahead of time anyway.
The same holds true of “what should we have for dinner?”
But things are getting better.
The other day I stood in the greeting card aisle looking for a sympathy card for a friend whose brother had died. I found myself rejecting each of the cards I looked at in turn.
And that’s when I caught myself.
WAIT A SECOND!
I looked at the card I held and honestly thought, “There’s nothing wrong with this card.”
Poof! I was done!
I went through the checkout and got to my next appointment without rushing around, all because I skipped the search for that illusive “perfect card” that might (or might not) have been out there.
And that’s the most important thing: the more I keep an eye on my tendency to overthink things, the easier it gets to identify that behavior pattern, and, to quote Barney Fife, “Nip It In The Bud! Nip It!”
Each time I stop the overthinking, I congratulate myself And remind myself to keep up the good work.
Oh, it’s still not perfect, this system I’ve devised, but it’s good….and best of all it’s getting better.