Earlier today, I was listening to the latest episode of This American Life (that’s right, I’m a podcast nerd). They did a piece about a not-yet-published book called The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay. Within the book, Gay provides small snippets of his life and shows the way that those moments bring him glee.
I was entranced by the podcast segment about this book. For one, they used the word “joy” a lot, which always makes me perk up because, hey, that’s my name! For two, the act of slowing down and really noticing the delightful things in life like Gay does in this book is exactly the type of experience that I want to write about on this blog.
I am not planing to change this blog to be a ripoff of Gay’s book, but I do plan to pop on here every so often to share a delight that I’ve experienced in my life. Here’s the first one:
The Delight of Not Overthinking
I overanalyze. It’s just a flaw that I have, and, despite my best efforts, I rarely overcome it. (For example, I rewrote the previous sentence about ten times before deciding how to word it, and I’m still not confident that I wrote it well.)
Overanalyzing prevents me from acting. I can talk myself out of doing just about anything, even going to the grocery store to buy food that I desperately need because I have some amount of food left at my apartment and shouldn’t I use it up before I go out and spend money on new food? (The answer is no because even though I do have some food left here, I am out of some essentials like oatmeal and spinach.)
Well, I got a little off track there, but I figure that I should leave it to provide a peak into how my thinking works.
Anyway, I especially hate when overthinking prevents me from being kind to people. I might think of a compliment, but then I imagine all of the reasons why someone wouldn’t want to hear that compliment right now, so I never say it.
Today, though, I overcame that for a moment, which was a small victory that felt great.
This morning, I saw a post on social media from a mutual. We don’t know each other very well at all, but we have interacted a bit in the past. This particular post of hers made me think of a compliment about how she really supports other creators. Without even giving it a second thought, I popped onto her direct messages to relay the compliment. I read through it only once to make sure that I was clear, and then I hit send.
And it felt great. I didn’t allow my anxiety and spiraling thoughts to control this interaction. I didn’t let them get in the way of doing what I believed to be the right thing. This whole exchange may seem really small, but it is a big deal for me.
The anonymity of social media may have made it easier for me to take that step without overthinking, but I am hopeful that this step in the right direction will eventually percolate into my face-to-face interactions with other people.