My husband and I both happened to be working from home recently. We were taking a lunch break while playing one of our favorite card games, cribbage, in the front room. The window shutters were open and I could see clearly across the street. It was garbage pick-up day. To my surprise, our neighbors across the street had piled a bunch of toys atop the closed lid of their garbage can.
From where I sat, they looked like brand new toys, especially the giant plush bright orange and white Nemo on the top of the pile. I couldn't believe they would throw away good toys. I'm a fervent recycler. Toys, clothes and household items go to charity and cardboard, plastic and glass go to the recycle collection at the Ellington Air Force base nearby. Surely there was something wrong with these toys for them to be on the corner waiting for the garbage collector. My husband suggested they might have been chewed up by the dog or worn out and we just couldn't see it from where we sat. So, I let it go for a while - but mentioned it again to my husband a little later in the morning. Then I jumped into my work.
Not much later, I was interrupted by my husband telling me I had 30 seconds to decide. "Thirty seconds for what?", I called out. "The garbage truck is coming around the corner!" he replied and I sprang to my feet. I rushed out the door and quickly headed to the edge of the curb, jumping up and down and waving to catch the attention of the driver before entering the street. Once I confirmed he saw me, I sprinted across street to inspect Nemo. He was in pristine condition - bright and white and not a tear or a spot on him. I picked him up and examined the other toys. They too were in perfect condition. I asked the garbage collector if he wanted them. He shook his head so I scooped them all up and headed back to the house. The garbage truck with the laughing driver and workers headed off down the street.
All of the toys except Nemo are now in my garage in a box waiting to go to the Goodwill drop-off site.
So, the lesson? When there is an opportunity or a risk to take we hesitate, and think it over and dwell on the possibilities. Which is a good thing - to consider the options and the consequences. But don't you sometimes find that in the end, you do what you were going to do anyway before all the thinking and procrastinating? What are you waiting for?