Cutting to the chase

This week has been a lesson to me in more ways than one. On the surface, I had my first and second chemistry classes. I find that I am really enjoying it and doing well. One of the things that I discovered was the reason I am enjoying it and doing well … the instructor cuts to the chase.

It is a career college. They talk to employers, find out what they want their people to know, and that’s what they teach. When I tried taking chemistry in regular college, there were 300 people in the lecture hall and the teacher talked as though he was speaking to his peers rather than students in an intro class. Confused is putting it lightly. I never felt like I understood what was going in and there wasn’t much chance of getting to see him to ask questions. Not ideal. There are 20 people in this class and the teacher explains everything in detail so that, while some things I already know, I understand them all well now.

There is something to be said for cutting through all the superfluous material and getting to the crux of things. I am a worrier, and it’s telling that, when I cut to the seat of my worries, I usually calm down. The world will not explode if I don’t get to my class on time. We will not be reduced to eating dog food in our retirement years. The kids aren’t actually going to be ruined if I give them an extra treat once in a while.

Because I am a worrier, I am also a planner. I plan for every contingency I can think of. Sometimes I get so caught up in planning that I forget to be realistic, or that I will actually have to follow through and do the things I’m planning. I tend to think that, once I’m done planning, my job is done. If I were to cut to the chase, I’d do the thing rather than planning it to death. Things never go according to plan anyway. There’s good in making plans for contingencies. Just not at the expense of actually doing things.

I let myself get caught up in details much too often. There is a bigger picture and there are things that need to get done. “You can’t see the forest for the trees” is one that applies to me. So, when I am in a quandry and being indecisive, I’m going to need to remember one of my father’s favorite admonitions, “pee or get off the pot!”

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