Trivial overthinking

Here is a pre-pandemic scenario for my  dinner delivery.  At 5:00 PM, I would start flipping over the  glossy  flyers  I’ve collected. I would browse over the menu, then pause. Get another flyer,   and then browse again. Then I would mull over things like  glycemic index of ingredients,  and how many times the cook  re-use the cooking oil for frying. Minutes would pass and I would  browse again. This would go on for two hours. At about 7:00 PM. I would finally make the call for my delivery:   spicy chicken wings and Yangchow fried rice. Two hours wasted on  finally deciding to call a restaurant that has provided my dinner so many times,  to order food that I have been ordering for at least five years. 

  And that’s pre-pandemic. Imagine how this has changed for the worse in the time of corona. Two hours have become three or even four hours .  Now, aside from the hypocritical thinking about carbs, carcinogens and glycemic index, I dwell on all sort of things . Which restaurant has the highest sanitation standard? Which kitchen and delivery staff would likely wash their hands consistently ? And so on. Then, after three hours of  thinking and stalling , I would place an order for —-you’ve guessed it —-spicy chicken wings and Yangchow fried rice.   Yup. From the same restaurant. Or, if I feel over cautious, I would open a can of tuna.

This is just a small slice of my life where I waste so much time. 

I estimate that one-third of my life has been wasted on  indecisions and overthinking. And many times, it’s about the most shallow and trivial stuff. Another example, I would waste time thinking whether to my exercise indoors or walk around the neighbourhood.  I would analyse the pros and cons of each, just short of doing an  Excel sheet in tabulating each side. And  many times, I end up doing neither of the two because the overthinking has already exhausted me. 

I squander precious minutes trying to decide whether to start a fresh towel, or keep on using the one in the bathroom. I would sniff  the latter, try to recall how many times I’ve dried myself with it. Then, I’ll  try to find —- with my naked eyes—- any sign of  germs. Still undecided, I would linger around my room, then — go back to the bathroom.   Sniff again, and then decide to use it for one more bath. What a waste of a good twenty minutes. 

Should I download a slow,  sentimental song? Yes?  Wouldn’t that ruin my country rock playlist? 

Should I “like” a Facebook post? But I don’t really like it, though I do like the person.

Should I call the building maintenance boy to clean my ceiling fan? Or do I  protect my privacy , clean it myself and just  risk  my  life and limb while standing precariously on a chair?

Should I eat that SPAM  meatloaf that is three days past its expiration date? What if it kills me? What would they do with my body? I’m in a foreign land.

Indecisions. Overthinking. These are the wasters and killers of life.

I could have used those wasted minutes and hours learning a new skill, like video editing or coding. I could have used those times doing real exercise, and I would have freed myself from a lot of medication. Or I could just  have consistently, and actually,  written for this blog, instead of dilly-dallying about a topic,   and could have earned a thousand followers by now. 

 I could  have used those times to build a business, and I could have already graced the cover of  Forbes Magazine  by now.  I could have written a novel or a  blockbuster screenplay with all the days I have wasted —- and could have delivered an Oscar speech by now.  I could have already achieved great things . Could have…

I blame my busy life as a teacher for my mediocre achievements.    But no. It’s not that. I am terrible at managing my time,  my thoughts  and my habits.  Overthinking has always  immobilised me, and rendered futile a lot of days, months and years. And now I am overthinking again whether I have enough time and  the will power to overcome overthinking before it’s too late. 

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