When your choices give you bruises

There are times when simple is the way to go.

And that’s probably most of the time.

This weekend was full of adventures, one of which left me questioning my judgment in some situations. On Saturday morning, I went with my sister and mom to a wedding dress boutique. My sister is getting married in September, and she now knows exactly what she’ll be wearing on that day (and she looks beyond beautiful in her dress, by the way). While we were out, my mom mentioned that she and my dad were going country dancing that night with some of their friends, and she asked my sister and me if we wanted to go.

I mean, who doesn’t want to go out dancing with their parents on a Saturday night?

My sister’s fiancé had a soccer watching party that Steph wasn’t too passionate about, so she was all for the dancing idea. It turned out to be a really fun night, especially when my mom did her own thing for the entire duration of the Electric Slide. Plus, the DJ finally played “Shake It Off” for us, so we ended the night on a solid note. I love that I can always count on these people to join me on the dance floor and not be concerned with what anyone around us thinks. That’s legit dancing. Saturday turned out to be a day full of good ideas.

And then came Sunday.

It was such a nice day (especially after the week of nasty rain we had), and I wanted to be outside as much as possible. I usually go over to my parents’ house for little while on Sundays, and my mom and I decided to take Audrey (their dog) for a walk at the park while my dad rode his bike. We walked on the path next to the park the city is completely tearing up—the park where I grew up playing soccer and where I spent more hours than I probably did at my own home. I’m kind of sad about it. While we were walking, it started to get pretty warm, and I decided it was the perfect day to read by the pool.

When I got to my pool, I punched in what I thought was the correct gate code, but it wasn’t working. I tried again. Fail. I looked all around me and saw no one, and I started scoping out the best place to hop over. It doesn’t sound as smart when I recap it now, but my conclusion was to step on the door handle to the gate. I’ve done this before other places and been successful, so I figured it was a good idea.

It’s something I’ve learned in the financial services industry and apparently rings true in daily life: Past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

bruised knee2
You can sort of see the bruise. It’s worse in real life.

I put my right foot on the handle, and it felt sturdy. Then I hoisted all of my body weight up and was about to swing my left leg over the fence when the handle gave way—and so did the rest of me. My right knee hit the handle harder than I can accurately describe, and I was pretty sure I had broken it. A bruise and a lump the size of Montana immediately appeared, and I became extremely frustrated with my poor decision making. It was in that moment that I realized something I wish I had thought of before: I could easily reach over the gate to the other side and open it from within.

It was a moment of conflicted feelings.

Why hadn’t I thought of that before I gave myself a limp as a result of the pain? Why did I make something so simple become something so complicated (cue Avril)? There are some who might argue it’s basically because I’m a woman, and that’s just what we do.

Umm, no.

And yes.

I think it’s easy sometimes to overthink things when we really don’t need to. All I had to do was look at what was right in front of me, and there would have been no extra thought or analysis. I would have just opened the freaking gate the simpler way rather than thinking I had to pull off some Mission Impossible scene.

I’ve probably done this more times in life than I care to admit. Maybe you have, too. I think it’s one reason I’m not very good at Chess. Or Tetris. Sometimes you don’t have to dig very deep to see what you need to see.

And you might be able to avoid a few unnecessary bruises.

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