It took me a long time to embrace my own personal thought-style. I’ve always been a slow thinker, but for a good part of my adulthood I thought of that as a bad thing. Like if the early bird (someone who’s faster to wake up) gets the worm, where does that leave me?
The older I got the harder it was to embrace my ruminant nature, which is generally the opposite of how we mature. But the digital age popped up in my late 20’s and has been moving exponentially faster ever since. So the older I got, the faster the world moved. I know, this is the eternal lament of the aged, but let me ask this question: Has progress ever progressed this fast before?
Anyway, back to my personal conundrum: As I aged I became less comfortable with the slow nature of my thought process as the world became more instantaneous. But now that I’m just a few weeks from turning a semicentury, I am coming to accept, even embrace my need to ruminate.
Ruminators: The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives. Also, a contemplative person; a person given to meditation.
Here’s the thing. I am a slow and meditative thinker. Maybe I even overthink at times, but because of these habits I avoid the mistakes a split-second decision maker make.s
Is it a good trade off? I think so.
But there’s another thing, a bone I have to pick, to be plain. I’m sick of people (society, bosses, salespeople, “thought leaders”) making me feel wrong or less than effective because I’m not comfortable with quick-made decisions. For me quick decisions come under the category: just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I can buy a luxury car today. I can eat a whole bagful of sour cream and onion chips. I can hop on Tinder and find an anonymous hookup. But does that mean I should? Of course not.
The reality is that I can make quick decisions; sometimes they are absolutely necessary. But my nature is to think things through, meditate on them for a while, and then maybe I’m still not comfortable making a choice. Decisions are like good friends: we sit together over coffee, or maybe take a walk together. We throw our feet up and get comfortable. Through all that we learn to understand one and other. What’s so wrong with making decisions this way?
Sure. I know a decision isn’t a friend, in the physical sense, but who says I can’t think of it as one?