Think twice and choose wisely

Sometimes when I open my mouth, what comes out are words I wish I had never said out loud.
I’ve made that mistake a few times lately and, of course, the afterlife of regret lingers longer than it’s welcome, like the smell of campfire in my hair that takes two or three shampoos to wash out.
In Gordon Livingston’s book “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart,” he expands on what he believes are “30 True Things You Need to Know Now.”
He’s a hard-sell realist for someone like me, who has a much lighter and playful view of the world despite having faced dark sides of it. Nonetheless, Livingston’s advice is worth pondering.
He expands in Chapter 1 about “If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.”
In my book, Chapter 1 would focus on “Don’t say the first thing that comes to mind because it’s probably a bad idea.”
The latter advice tends to contradict my belief in going with one’s intuition or in telling one’s truth. But sometimes even I, too, mistake what’s on the tip of my tongue and mind as the right thing to bring forth to the world around me.
Needless to say when I recently asked a woman I was acquainted with, and didn’t see often, when her baby was due—as I glanced at her tummy—her eyebrows suddenly amalgamated in a flat stare that surpassed even my very best such expression.
I instantly understood the definition of comeuppance. The little chap already was eight months old.
The words “I’m sorry” suddenly seemed like the stupidest two-word sentence ever invented, and the humiliating exposure of what to say next was as painful as the blistering sunburn I got in the summer of 1972.
At that moment, I wanted to pull a portable black hole from my pants pocket, throw it down in the middle of the department store, jump in, and teleport to an overcrowded fish market in Shanghai, China.
I considered using a portable hole a couple of other times this week to escape the tornado that true change spins into life when working full-time after a long drought.
And there were a couple of times during the “Adjustment Reaction” period that I was sure I was duct-taped to perpetual cycles on the “Round Up” amusement ride at the Emo Fair.
In fact, the ride was such that I wore myself out and forgot to get off and write a column last week. That disappointed me greatly.
My captain believes there is a silver lining to be found in most conundrums. All I had to do was miss one week of column writing to find out that I have more readers than I thought I did, as many of them made known to me my lapse in their regular reading schedule.
I can assure you this train of thought is not headed for the dead-end rail. And thanks for pushing me back on to the track.