Stop & Think

By Melissa Tosetti

ACK!  I have to buy a wheelbarrow!

Before becoming “Savvy”, that would have been my initial thought when 20 cubic yards of woodchips were dumped in front of my house for a landscape project.

You see, they were supposed to be placed in our driveway, so I could spend a few weekends leisurely distributing them throughout my front and backyard.  But, despite multiple efforts by the crew, the dump truck wouldn’t fit in my driveway.  One of our cherry trees has the scars to prove it.  So, the chips were deposited along the curb, taking up the equivalent of two parking spaces.  In our neighborhood, that’s grounds for homicide.

When the plan changed and I realized I’d have to move them all in one weekend, for a moment, I experienced a wave of primal panic.  Seconds later, I remembered that I had already made plans to borrow my friend Janna’s wheelbarrow and wouldn’t have to make an unplanned purchase after all.

But, the fact that I had that initial panic reminded me of how many times in the past I would do just that – panic and then try to throw money at the situation to resolve it, rather than to stop, calm down and give myself just a moment to see if there is an alternate solution.

The Wheelbarrow Incident is just one particular event-based scenario.  However, there are moments like this that pop up every day that can cause us to react before thinking.

A common example is having to stay late at work and not being able to make dinner like you planned.  Your first instinct is to grab takeout, frustrating you because you’re trying to streamline your spending and dine out only on the weekends with friends.  If you take a moment and think, you might remember the leftovers from that delicious dinner you made last week that are waiting in your freezer at home.

If we can train ourselves to take a few minutes when we start to get wound up about a situation – you know that feeling – then, we can give ourselves an opportunity to see if there is more than one solution to a problem, potentially saving time as well as money.

Give it a try.  The next time you begin feeling that incident-causing-stress to ignite – stop and think.