She Who Hesitates Is Lost

My dad used to be a walking Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Really. I vividly remember him pulling out a quote when the time was appropriate (and sometimes not so appropriate). Instead of telling us something from the heart, he’d use a quote to convey his meaning. I’m not trying to be judgmental when I say that perhaps, he holds on to other people’s ideas more than he forms his own. I don’t know. Either way, one of his favorite things to say was, “He who hesitates is lost.”

Dad used that quote all the time, especially with respect to my older sister, Gina, and her basketball shot. Gina was a great basketball player who sometimes lacked the confidence to be spectacular. She’s much taller than the rest of us, so she played the position of forward (I played point guard). Oftentimes, she’d get the ball from a teammate, turn to shoot, and then hesitate. The moment of hesitation destroyed the shot. Of course, when the ball didn’t go in, Gina would be dejected. Now, as far as I remember, this didn’t happen all the time. If it had, I can guarantee she would not have seen the playing time that she did.

I think that all of us have had moments of hesitation in our lives, some of us more than others. (Okay, maybe not Tara, who seems to barrel through life like a shotgun, though I’m willing to bet even she has had a moment or two where she just wanted to think things through a little better.) But I’d like to think that as time goes by, as I begin to get older and wiser, that my moments of hesitation will become fewer and fewer. I’d like to think that I’ll grasp the opportunity when it presents itself, have the confidence to see it through, and be content with my decision.

I hesitated long enough on so many levels: I hesitated to walk down the writing pathway, to acknowledge that some other interest existed for me, to hire someone to put together a website, to go after my dream.  Why? Fear? Uncertainty? Apathy? Too much inertia? I don’t think any of those actually answer the question. So I don’t know about you, but I’m done with hesitating.

Written by

Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes women's fiction, young adult fiction, personal essays, and more.

4 comments

  1. Yay!! Fancy new website. I’m doing a little happy dance for you. Well, not really. I’m sitting calmly, eating my morning oatmeal, and waiting for the coffee to kick in (it’s a rainy day so I might be waiting for awhile)… but on the inside, my spirit is doing a happy dance for you.

    I’m a fan of the no hesitation thing. Of course, I’m on the other end of the spectrum… impulsively making major life decisions without giving much thought just what I’m about to get myself into. I’m working on learning to spot those moments when a bit of hesitation is a good thing.

    Also, and I hesitate to admit this, I had to look up the word inertia. I read it and thought, I’ve seen that word before. It’s got something to do with energy, or movement, or… well something sciency. Now that I’ve looked it up I have this burning desire to work it into a story 🙂

    1. I’m glad you learned a new word! Okay, well, it wasn’t new, but you had to relearn it. That happens to me all the time. I know I’ve seen it somewhere and I know that I SHOULD remember what it means, but I just don’t. Always a good day when we learn.

      I’m still getting the hang of this site, but I do hope it will propel me forward. Of course, you’ll find out.

      Hope the rain didn’t stay too long!

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