Don’t Think Just Do

I’m a certified over-thinker…I can overthink almost anything. Just on this little blog I’ve managed to overthink pregnancy, blogging, old age, and fancy dress to name just a few.

As adults we are always thinking all the time; thinking about what’s right and wrong, acceptable or not; thinking about what to have for tea, what we’re doing tomorrow, what we should be doing today. It can all get a bit exhausting. Even more so when you start to consider or, dare I say it, overthink when all this thinking started.

It is with great confidence that I can say it must be some time after toddler-hood. You see I have been observing my son (currently 2 years and 9 months old) and there is a definite lack of exhausting grey matter machination with him:

People
If I’m in a situation with new people I may exchange smiles and hellos, possibly a few words of small talk depending on the situation. I will be thinking about how I’m coming across, what the other person is thinking of me and remembering on some level all the lessons I’ve learnt about acceptable public behaviour.

My son on the other hand will start by showing off his physical prowess – jumping mostly – then progress rapidly on to physical contact; a friendly arm on the shoulder to suggest a joint game if you’re lucky, a full on body hug if you’re not. No concerns whatsoever for the opinions or bemusement levels of other children.

 

Sleep
I watch my son fall asleep most nights, and with the best seat in the house for this daily sleep show I can confidently say that my son under-thinks this area far too much for my liking. You see whereas I get into bed, snuggle down, close my eyes and try to get to sleep, my son gets into bed, snuggles down and waits…he doesn’t close his eyes, he doesn’t try to sleep. He must on some level welcome the onset of sleep but I don’t think it’s a cognitive approach. He lies there with his eyes wide open until sleep has worked hard enough for his attention and happens to him. It both impresses and unnerves me.

Cartoon black and white of child awake in bed with a cone sleep hat
I need to get my son a hat for bed

 

Honesty
Todders live in honest worlds…my son is at that gloriously literal age where developing complex stories to cover misdemeanours is just not on his mental agenda.
Me coming from kitchen to lounge: it’s very quiet! What are you up to in here darling?
Son: watch this mummy, I’m drip-dropping my milk into your slipper…

Of course this honest approach has its detriments to the parent too – there’s no pretty social packaging with a toddler. They want to leave a friend’s house? They’ll say. They don’t like their food? They’ll say and possibly deposit it on the floor. They think you look funny in your new ‘cool’ top? Yep, they’ll say.

So no devious web of deceit in a toddler world, no mental acrobatics to be popular, they are firmly in the ‘tell it as it is’ camp.

 

Parkour
Free running, or Parkour, is an exciting take-over and reclamation of spaces (often urban) using our bodies. It is thought of as physical, clever, a bit philosophical and risky – an art form; a discipline. Good old Wikipedia describes how: Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling…

‘Parkour’, ‘free-running’? This is merely a normal walk into town with my toddler. Forget the intense training to be a Parkour practitioner, apparently all you need to really do is free yourself from social conventions; stop thinking what you know and start implementing a bit of Toddler ‘doing’. And then? Well then a bench is a ship’s plank that needs to be walked, railings and lampposts are fireman’s poles, drain covers are ponds that must be jumped over, concrete bollards are stepping stones to be balanced on and leapt between, and a wall is a castle of which you must be the King. And it all must be done FAST.

Blurry picture of son pretending some railings in a factory is a fireman's pole.
I think this wins as the blurriest photo I’ve ever used – no, son, that is NOT a fireman’s pole

 

Clothes
I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about my clothes, looking at them this morning makes me realise I probably should BUT I do spend some time thinking…thinking about what I would like to add to my wardrobe, what I would like to wear today, perhaps tomorrow too. My son on the other hand would rather not think about clothes at all. Naked is much more fun.

If pressed to be sartorially conscious I’m not convinced he gives it his due attention: I popped off to buy him a few new t-shirts last week…I asked if there was any picture in particular he would like on them…not stopping in his construction of the wooden block ‘brickworks’ he was busy with, he rapidly listed ‘horses, gingerbread men and motorbikes’. There were no horses, gingerbread or motorbikes in the shop I went to. He didn’t care…you know, I don’t think he had really thought about it.

 

Mindfulness
Now I love mindfulness but I don’t find it easy, I have to practise hard and concentrate on meditative breathing in order to focus solely on the moment I’m in and, to be honest, most of the time I fail. Although equipped with extraordinary memories, toddlers don’t seem to be shackled by the constant presence of past and future in their minds. Time is a vague and loose concept and living solely in the moment for them is not a ‘meditative practice’ it is life.

 

I imagine this overall approach of ‘action over angst’ comes with some cons for the individual, but given that my son spends 90% of most days happy I’m pretty sure it’s an approach that’s working out for him.

So in the interest of your happiness levels I urge you to act like a toddler once in a while and, to the melody of Snow Patrol, don’t think, just do.

 

 

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48 thoughts on “Don’t Think Just Do

    1. I am an over thinker too and it can make me really anxious so I try to do something to stop me over thinking now. Writing definitely helps me see things more clearly… I am starting to take your advice now though and just do… Another fb post and TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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      1. My father in law has a phrase taped to his desk (which I doctored a bit for the post) ‘action not anxiety’. So true, I’m not very good at it but I think it’s good advice! Thank you for both your comments…love the idea of your parkour boys! Thank you for hosting #familyfun

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  1. Oh I love the fact that your son is happy 90% of the time – a gorgeous, fun-filled life – and if it works then I’m jumping in on that too – just do it – live a little more – really wish I could do this and not just on the nights I’ve consumed too many glasses of wine! Another fab post lovely and your son is brilliant! #BigPinkLink

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    1. Haha, yes how do they do it without alcohol!? I do sometimes feel as though I’m partnered up with a small drunk person. I’m sure I read a post about it somewhere otherwise I’d write my own…shouty, singing, no boundaries…! I’d like to be a bit less thinky and not let my thoughts affect me so much. Being around my toddler definitely helps me live in the moment a bit more. Thank you for commenting x

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  2. I think we could all use a little more toddler-like spontaneity in our lives. I’m guilty of being an over-thinker too, but I should take a cue from my daughter, who does what she wants, when she wants – including attempting to grab/climb/lick anything she finds interesting. #bigpinklink

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    1. Well yes, I’m sure if we went around grabbing, climbing and licking it would all be totally fine!!! But yes, being around them does help live in the moment a bit more I think and spontonaiety it supposed to be a good thing isn’t it. Thank you for commenting x

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  3. I could’ve written this post myself, haha. We should really follow their lead, shouldn’t we? (Though it’d probably be frowned upon if we started jumping around at get-togethers and dripping milk into our partners slippers).. #twinklytuesday

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  4. we could do with being a bit more toddler esq…. they’re honest and carefree and as you say mostly happy… it might be worth a try right?! lovely reading #twinklytuesday

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  5. You’re so right! At what point do we stop being a spontaneous toddler who doesn’t care and has fun and when do we become a full on grown up that worries and thinks about EVERYTHING!?! I’m going to try and be a bit more toddler like from now on! #TwinklyTuesday x

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  6. This is such a good post. I think there is a lot to learn from toddlers, but once we know the things that hold us back, can we ever be really free of them? It’s like learning to ski. As a child, it’s just fun, if you learn as an adult, you remember the bruised butt from your last fall, the news story about the skier that shot off the edge of the mountain on his lesson, the weird statistic about how more skiers die then there are chip shops by the seaside, (I made that last one up btw! 😉 ), can we ever clear our mind of this. I’d definitely like to try!! Toddler life is so fun and free! #bigpinklink

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    1. Yes I don’t think we probably can…once we learn things it’s there in our minds making us think, worry, plan etc. Still, perhaps we could all just jump on walls and slide along park benches instead!? Thank you for commenting and hosting #bigpinklink

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  7. Love it. Chuckled at your super blurry photo, we should start a club. There’s definitely a lot to be learnt from toddlers and kids about not worrying what others think, being honest and living in the moment! #bigpinklink

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  8. We all need to embrace our inner toddler! Approach life with real zest, start climbing everything in sight, run around everywhere and just have fun. We might not want to be as honest as toddlers can be though, that could get us into trouble! #bloggerclubuk

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  9. Good advice. I don’t think I’ve thought of his sleep like that before. I love watching him calm and drop off though. It’s really sweet. #bigpinklink

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    1. That’s nice to hear. It’s one my favourite times of the day. I used to make a big old point about leaving – when he was younger I felt I wasn’t ‘doing the right thing’ if I stayed while he fell asleep but it’s lovely for him and me, doesn’t take long and I get to watch what he does, or more accurately, doesn’t do to get to sleep!

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  10. This was so funny! I love the picture of your toddler doing ‘parcour.’ Perhaps being a ‘toddler’ grown-up could be a new craze. #familyfun

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    1. Well perhaps it could, I’m in..are you!? Thank you, yes I’m so proud of the photography skills in that one! But really he will MAKE anything a fireman’s pole…it’s so funny. Thank you for commenting x

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  11. I def think being more toddler is the way forward – I wish I could just lay there and wait to go to sleep and parkour would make the school trip much more interesting! The brutal honesty can get a bit harsh sometimes, like when my preschooler told me the other day I had fat knees. I didn’t even know you could get knee fat… #bigpinklink

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    1. Fat knees! That’s really funny…I’m sure you don’t have fat knees, I agree I don’t think it’s possible! I would love to let sleep happen to me but I’d be worried that it wouldn’t and that would be the end of my attempt at being a toddler! Parkour on the school run though? Go on, try it!!! Xx

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  12. Oh yes, definitely recognise a few of these from Piglet, especially the naked one. Actually, he doesn’t mind wearing clothes, it’s just getting them on and off that he cannot stand. He has perfected the art of the “lie down protest,” which is used every time clothes come off, go on, Mummy tries to lift him out of the bath, in the bath, put him in his high chair….#FamilyFun #triballove

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    1. Oh no! My nephew used to do that, and somehow managed to do it when not actually lying down but he’d go stiff and flat…like in and out of the car seat or pushchair. Ahh the fun things they get up to for us! X

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  13. This is brilliant – so true! I often think that when I see E sleep, it’s the sleep that takes her. Absolutely no thinking at all 🙂 I’m awful for overthinking things too, and have been since I was a teenager I think. Great post, I especially love the pic of your son doing parkour xx #familyfun #triballove

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    1. Ha thank you, he does it everywhere on everything! It’s funny and free. Yes I’m pretty terrible at overthinking and if I just ‘do’ something I’ll then overthink it afterwards which defeats the point! I like the way you’ve put that ‘it’s the sleep that takes her’…that’s exactly what happens with my E too. I wonder at what point we started trying to sleep. Thank you for commenting x

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  14. I overthink a lot but also I just do a lot (sometimes that gets me in trouble). My kids on the other hand, never overthink anything… they are complete show offs, specially the girl. She likes to put on a show 🙂 My son always says he wants to sleep with his eyes open and when it comes to free running and may I had jumping there is no stopping them…. #familyfun

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  15. I am completely with you on the people. I am always stood there silently wondering what they are thinking about me and stupidly worrying about what I should be changing in order to ensure a successful interaction.
    The sleep thing sounds a bit weird… but bubba is a bit like that. the eyes droop and she’s gone. She doesnt actively try to sleep! Great post as ever

    #bigpinklink #bloggerclubuk #familyfun #triballove

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  16. I love the blurry photo – it says it all! Toddlers are all action! I also love the advice at the end to just do sometimes without thinking. Go with the gut! Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK

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