Play-Doh life

Liz Avatar

So, being doing a lot of thinking lately.  A lot.

And you know, sometimes that’s a good thing, like when you need to work through a sticky problem, when you need to figure something out, or like what I used to do when I was a 10 year-old: plan my revenge on my sister for always tattle-telling on me.

Those are good things to think about.

And then there is this huge, grey, fuzzy pit of thinking that I always seem to fall into and have a difficult time getting out of: over thinking.  Not so good things for me to think about.

I tend to do it quite often this over thinking thing,  and usually do it without realizing it.  Then someone makes a remark about something, and I realize, oh hey.  No one else is worrying or thinking about this as deeply as me.  This usually occurs when I’m trying to figure out the office stapler or the best way to approach a project.  Sometimes the over thinking is beneficial and sometimes it’s just dumb.  For instance, the stapler.  Seriously! Who thinks about staplers?

So, been thinking (ironic! I know!) about this lately.  And also about choices too, and how there are so many choices in life.

I was reminded of all this when I sat down to play Play-Doh with my child.  Play-Doh!  Haven’t held that cool, squishy weirdness in years.

Needless to say, it brought back a lot of memories, and a distinct recollection of myself at about age 5 or 6, fretting about the major choice in life, which came down to whether or not to combine the two different colors of Play-doh into one giant, lovely, chaotic mess of color.

And I have to say this: I am quite lucky that my childhood was so wonderful that this was the only thing I remember fretting about.  This says loads about my parents and their loving way of protecting me from the world that is sometimes savage, dangerous and too beautiful for a small child to process.

So…back to 30-ish year old me holding two colors of Play Doh in my hand. And back to the same fear; the same risk-averse thoughts I’ve had my entire life:

Do I or don’t I mix these colors?

Are there back up colors somewhere else in case this doesn’t work out?

And what about if the colors turns out to be that cold, stale greyish putty color instead of something beautiful?

What then?

What I’ve realized is this: besides over thinking, what I have carried with me throughout the years is this risk-adverse thing too; this insane, innate need to want all of my life (and all of my Play-Doh) choices to come with some sort of guarantee, some sort plan B, something that could confirm that I won’t make a mistake.

And you know what I’ve learned?

(Clearly nothing, since I am still afraid of mixing Play-doh.)

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to just roll the dice, toss the hot pink in with the subdued green and hope for the best.

And if it turns out to be that frightful putty color, well, that’s life.  And the good thing about life is that it can be modified, it can be changed, it can be mixed again and again.

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