2/3/15

Pondering . . .

As defined in my handy-dandy dictionary (a physical thing that I have and hold) "pondering" is defined as "(verb) think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion". It is a Latin word that, if I am reading correctly, passed through "Old French" (I think they mean Chanel) to make it to the charming word we know today.

I ponder. Often. And with great self-awareness. I have been known to spend 20 minutes in the Natural Grocers trying to decide between two varieties/scents/flavors (you can (technically) eat the stuff) of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (the peppermint wins 9:10 but that last 10% can go between almond, citrus, and rose with nearly violent twitches of bottles being taken-down-from and returned-to shelves) and don't EVEN get me started on how long I will take to make serious, real, adult decisions (take that however you like).

The truth is I've never, ever really been "known" for quick decisions despite the fact that I pride myself on having strong "gut instincts" and keen observation skills.

There are three reasons, as I have concluded after hours and hours of pondering, why I ponder so much.
  1. Mistakes. Costly in terms of time, energy, emotion, and impact on others.
  2. More Options. Very, very few things in life are automatic or as simple as "black and white" (two choices). The grey is vast and spectrumy.
  3. The Exercise. As Ben Fold's father once left in his voicemail - your mind is your most valuable possession. It should be taken out for a nice, brisk walk every chance you get.
My daughter doesn't "ponder" much at all. She is very decisive. "I want this." "No." "That doesn't make any f*cking sense." are all things that come out of her mouth on a regular basis (yes - I allow my kid to use profanity with me in the privacy of our home . . . don't be so precious about simple words). I admire it for the most part . . . rarely do I have to stand around and wait for her to choose (now putting on her sneakers or coat or finding her eye glasses we can spend HOURS a day on) but - like with the times I grab the "rose" Dr. Bronner's, I actually fear I've done her a disservice by not making her just pour over choices and options on a more regular basis. 

I would not want her to get as trapped in her own head as I do (I can't imagine what a complete and utter bore I must be for the people in my life that have to listen to/observe me hemming and hawing) but I also don't ever want her to be one of those people who is not open to life and open to choices and open to adventures and - yes - like with the soap scents - to mistakes.