Act Now, Think Later

19 May

Act Now, Think Later. This has always been my mindset—for better or worse. I’d like to think that I intentionally choose to be this way, but it is probably more of a genetic defect.

To give an idea of how this works with me let me explain what I did today. Ali’s parents are visiting, so we moved off of the boat for the week and into a rental house down the road a few miles. Ali and I packed most of the stuff we would need on the first trip over and then I came back later to wrap up a few things on the boat like emptying the fridge and grabbing that pet of ours, Vanilla Ice Cream Goldfish (or Mango, the pet betta).

Now a normal person would think to themselves, “Hmm, what would be the best way to transport a fish in a bowl? Option A…B…C…”

Me? I don’t think. I grab the bowl, climb in the dinghy, wedge it between my feet, and take off. Worked pretty well on the dinghy ride. Then we got in the car. Not so good in a car. A mile down the road the water was sloshing all over the place and I was driving with one hand on the wheel and the other hand reaching to the floor of the backseat to cover the bowl as much as I could. I had it in back because I could reach it while it sat on the rubber floor mats. See, I was thinking. Anyway, that was the best I could do then, and my hand did cover 90% of the opening so I was 90% sure I’d have a fish in the bowl when I arrived at my destination. And that is how I think. I act now and think later—in other words, instead of trying to avoid problems, I deal with them as they happen. Very little forethought is involved in this method.

Of course a normal human being would have been on our boat thinking about transporting that fish and come to the simple conclusion that they could just dump the water in a ziploc bag, drop it back in the bowl like that, drive the ten miles, open the bag back up, dump the fish back in, and wah-lah, crisis averted.

What a boring way to go through life.

And yes, the fish was still in the bowl, though she gave me a good scare when I picked it up and couldn’t see her for a few seconds (long enough for me to scan the floor of the car) before she came out from under a rock.

Leading up to Grandma and Grandpa’s visit Ouest had been asking us if Grandma was going to bring her a mermaid’s tail. She’s really into mermaids lately, so much so that she tells us almost daily, “I really want to be a mermaid. A real one, not pretend.” She says it with so much sincerity that we both wish we could turn her legs into one giant flipper.

Anyway, we just kept telling her that we didn’t know if Grandma would bring a mermaid tail, that we weren’t sure if Grandma knew how badly she wanted to be a mermaid, and so on. We also tried to reinforce the idea that Grandma didn’t have to bring anything. Of course when every time a grandparent arrives they show up with a suitcase full of goodies for the kids that lesson is a little harder to teach.

And show up with a suitcase they did. And I think Grandma may have been even more excited to open up the goodie suitcase than the kids were.

So they dug in and wouldn’t you know it, Grandma knew about mermaids and did bring a mermaid tail. Exciting times.

A while later it was bedtime. While getting ready Ouest smiled and said to Ali in a voice filled with magic, “Grandma did know. Now I don’t need no more mermaid stuff.”

What about Lowe? He’s a boy—we all know boys get nothing. He ran around in a new pair of shoes and was thankful to get even that much.

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