I am a skilled over thinker.
I have it down to a fine art.
It happens so automatically now that I don’t even notice I do it.
I could be doing the simplest of things, but my brain decides that I need to complicate things more – it needs to keep me on my toes; make me feel more alive and alert.
My brain has a twisted sense of humour.
The simple things
Ahh, to be able to complete a task without over analysing EVERY SINGLE process involved!
To be able to just walk out the door and not wonder if I have turned all the lights off. Or if I have closed and locked every door in the house. Or if the dogs will have enough water between the time I leave them and the time I arrive back home. Or if I’ve had enough water myself to last me the journey, or if I have indeed packed enough snacks so I won’t get light headed!! And no word of a lie, these thoughts all happen as I walk out the door and get into my car to drive the 10 minutes up the road to go to the Post Office!!! (I am exhausted just thinking about it!!).
It never ends. NEVER!
And I don’t think I realise I do it until someone else utters the words, “You think too much!”, or if the over thinking goes that little bit too far…
Cue weird shopping adventure #3675.
Over thinking is ‘bananas’.
The other day I needed to buy some bananas (and probably some other items, but I don’t remember what they were because my banana fiasco is all I can remember).
I shop at our local Woollies; the fruit and veg department is to the right as you enter, and the bananas have their own palatial, triple story stand all to themselves!! You can circle it however many times you like without disturbing any other display, or person, for that matter.
So, here I am, circling the banana stand, shopping basket in hand.
I am very choosy when it comes to bananas – and most other things as alas, I am an over thinker.
I hate buying too many bananas because if they don’t get eaten before they start to go black, I can’t eat them. Yes, yes, they are much sweeter when they start to brown a little, but the aroma of too-ripe bananas is something my senses cannot handle!!
So, at the banana stand I answer the set of million questions in my head, all while pretending to be interested in each and every banana until I know what I want…
How many bananas do I have at home?
Are the ones at home still a bit green, or are they yellow, yellow?
Are the ones at home verging on too ripe? How many more days do they have in them?
Will the weather be warm this week? If so, I should probably choose the greener ones so they don’t ripen too quickly, yeah?
If I buy good yellow ones, will this help the greener ones I have at home ripen quicker?
Make sure you don’t buy too many yellow ones because then you’ll have too many bananas to eat, OK?
ARGH!!!!! This is what it is like almost EVERY time I buy bananas!!!
After answering my trillion questions, I decided I needed two or three yellow bananas which were ripe enough to eat now, but wouldn’t go brown in the next two days so they would remain ‘Linda edible’.
I grabbed a bunch of lovely yellow looking bananas and analysed their peel to ensure there was no bruising (another thing I hate is seeing bruises all over my banana when I peel it!!).
I noticed that the two bananas at the back of the bunch I picked up (after picking up thirty bunches before this one) were bruised a little more than the others. I started to peel off the back two bananas when the unthinkable happened…
Instead of peeling off cleanly from the front bananas, these back bananas peeled off just below the top, causing the bananas to start to peel open.
Now, I assume (and I can only assume as my brain clearly is special…) that any other person who accidentally peeled open the top of the bananas, would have just popped those bananas back onto their grand stand and continued shopping. Then, these top-peeled bananas would have either been bought by someone else, (who is clearly not as fanatical as I am about bananas because there is NO WAY I would purchase an already opened banana!!!!), or, the wonderful fruit and veg assistants would have just packaged these top-peeled bananas, along with the other bruised and single standing bananas, into a bag and whacked a discount sticker on them for quick sale.
Here is where it gets weirder… (if that’s even possible)!!
The guilt of an over thinker
I thought I could do it. I thought I could be one of those people who just peels off the front two or three bananas, puts the other two back, regardless of their state, and walks away to keep shopping. I THOUGHT I could, but I couldn’t…
As I walked away from the Palazzo Versace of banana stands, the guilt I felt from leaving two bananas there that I had clearly damaged, hit me like a sack of potatoes (pardon the fruit and veg pun). I know what I did was unintentional, but I felt like it was my responsibility to purchase those now ruined top-peeled bananas.
So, like a ballet dancer practicing her pirouettes, I did a quick turn and headed back towards the banana stand. As I approached the stand, I tried to convince myself that what I was doing was unnecessary – that there was no need to go back and get the top-peeled bananas. Nothing was going to happen if I didn’t buy them. I wasn’t going to be cuffed by the fruit police. And life would just proceed as normal (whatever that is!!!).
And so, fighting against my logic, my guilt and my rationality, I turned away in a graceful pirouette, and continued shopping.
But I couldn’t do it!!!
I am an extremely honest person – I have the cleanest of consciences and find dishonesty very hard to handle. Knowing that I had damaged an item that may have been deemed unacceptable for future sale, was not sitting right with me.
Sense of relief
I pirouetted (now awkwardly) for the 3rd time, headed towards the banana stand, grabbed those top-peeled bananas and popped them in my shopping basket.
The relief was immediate.
I knew, in my mind, I had done the right thing. I wasn’t going to eat them myself as they were bruised and now opened, but my dogs would devour them and not judge me for giving them imperfect bananas!!
For the life of me, I don’t know what else I went on to buy, but I do know that episodes like Bananagate are quite common when I go shopping! And it sucks the energy out of me sometimes.
I always think about the person after me… If I drop a mushroom and put it back, the next person who goes to buy it won’t know that it rolled along the non-slip mat, collected some dust and was then put back in the box. The next person may not give two hoots if they knew that’s what happened to that mushroom! But if I was that next person, it would bother me no end!
Some people might just describe me as a thoughtful and honest person; ensuring my actions are ones of integrity and kindness. And I am. I am thoughtful, and I am honest. But couple that with over thinking everything and shopping trips sometimes end up being more like a dance class with all the spinning I perform!!
And although over thinking can be quite exhausting, unnecessary and at times, down right ANNOYING, I get a great sense of relief knowing my decisions are made with care, concern for others and honesty (even if they are preceded with a pirouette… or three! I must have looked HILARIOUS to other shoppers!!).
(The Over Thinker)