Getting the Best of My Common Sense

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” – Bertrand Russell

My 83-year-old mom had a ping pong accident this week. One minute she was playing a game at her senior residence and the next she dove for the ball, fell on a cot-like thing, hit the rail with her back and was injured enough that the firemen, paramedics and ambulance came and she was on her way to the hospital.

She’s out of the hospital now and doing fine. With a couple of cracked ribs and a little bit of bleeding, the injury is painful but nowhere near as serious as it could have been. She’s chalked the whole thing up to “her competitive nature getting the best of her common sense.

I’m fascinated by that phrase because I can think of any number of things that have gotten the best of my common sense. Usually pride and stubbornness because I’m not particularly competitive. All the times I’ve carried too much (I’m thinking of my post about efficiency), haven’t asked for help, and stayed at something far too long.

And it seems to be passed down in families. The other day Miss O wasn’t feeling well and I asked her if she wanted to cancel anything or take a rest and her answer could have come right from my mouth. “NO! I’m fine, I’ve got this!”

On the other hand, the things I do out of love almost never make common sense. I’m thinking of the time I celebrated my friend Phil’s 400th ascent of Mt Rainier by buying 400 of each his favorite mountaineering provisions. The cough drops and tea bags were fine but the chips and the cookies were quite voluminous so that I ended up delivering 8 storage bins full of stuff.

In honor of my mom, I’m taking a deeper look at what gets the best of my common sense. For the times I extend myself out of love, I’m keeping it. But if I’m extending myself out of duty or pride, I’m going to try to let it go.

Because sometimes when we lunge for things we end up in the hospital. The good thing about taking a dive at a senior residence is that there’s a good portion of the population that can’t remember the gossip. A woman with a great sense of humor but maybe not such a good memory said to my mom when she returned from the hospital, “I heard something about you but now I can’t remember what.”

(featured photo from Pexels)

59 thoughts on “Getting the Best of My Common Sense

  1. The lady with the poor memory could have been like any one of us in our preoccupation with our own lives, not those of others. Let’s just hope no one took an award winning photo of your mom’s dive! That might last a while!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Lucky that I practice Pilates where competition is not contemplated ☺️ happy that your mom is okay. I love the lady with a not so good memory, it reminds of myself when I go to the kitchen and don’t remember why…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s hard for me not to comment on everything you’ve said! 😀 Ms. O… Your adorable mom (so glad she’s okay!)… You taking 8 storage bins of stuff for Phil… And the ending – love it! Beyond that, trying not to lunge for things out of duty or pride really resonated. Thank you for this, Wynne! 🤍

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Glad to know your mom is okay.
    I agree with, “For the times I extend myself out of love, I’m keeping it. But if I’m extending myself out of duty or pride, I’m going to try to let it go.”
    I love how you threw common sense to the winds and took “400 of Phil’s favorite mountaineering provisions” out of love and thoughtfulness! Wonderful!
    Have a great weekend, Wynne. Love to the little ones and you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Speaking as a pesky senior, a few cracked ribs is not fine! That hurts -a lot, especially when you’re moving or trying to sleep. And it takes a long time to heal. I hope the pain doesn’t linger too long in her case. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I agree that it’s painful and not “fine” – I said that too lightly. I asked her about sleeping and she said she’s sleeping fine so thankfully that’s good. I misunderstood a text from her the next day and thought she said she’d been out riding her bike but was relieved to find that she had the good sense not to do that! Thanks for the good wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Todd. It was quite the sight. When I showed up and told Phil I had a gift for him, he said in his gruff voice, “It better not be a puppy.” And since it wasn’t, all of a sudden 8 huge bins didn’t seem so bad… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad your mom is doing okay. I hope I’m still lungeing at 83! I love your line: “On the other hand, the things I do out of love almost never make common sense.” I think there’s some real wisdom there. Love doesn’t always make sense, but we know it when we feel it. For example, I drove several hours last night to pick up my son from college. Common sense told me me to wait until Friday, but I knew he was done, I knew he was tired, and by God I was going to try to make it happen. Probably didn’t make a lot of common sense . . . but I was able to make him happy. I’ll take it. Lovely post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, what a perfect example of what we do for love, Brian. I love that you did that for him. And how did finals go? I don’t want to preempt any post but in case you can answer…

      I hope I’m still lungeing at 83 too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it was crazy of me. We pulled into our driveway at about 1:30 in the morning. But I’m really glad I did it. He’s still waiting on his Calculus class, but it looks like a great semester. I’m just glad that he settled in to college and did his best!!!! Thanks so much for asking!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s accident but I am glad that she is ok and on the mend.

    And what an amusing and hilarious way to look at things indeed. That comment by the fellow senior resident cracked me up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that comment from her neighbor too. Hilarious! May we still be laughing at that age with whatever infirmities we have too, right?

      Hope you survived the week and have a relaxing weekend ahead, Ab! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Feel like a stalker “liking” every comment! Love your moms spirit! Your whole family is very spirited! That’s a wonderful thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of a ping pong accident before, but I’m glad your mom is alright. She should make up a more interesting story though. Pretend she confronted some thugs and had to get medieval on their asses, something along those lines.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right – that’s a good story! My friend that’s a firefighter looked up the call and they have it down as a ping pong accident – put in very professional terms so it’s not like they are laughing about it. 🙂


  10. As I wrote in my post about, Strangers on a Sidewalk, how we all fall in some way, I am glad there was someone to help your mother when she fell. On the bright side, being active at her age has so many other benefits. Wishing her a speedy recovery and back to pingpong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we do all fall in some way. And I love that you were there to help that gentleman. Your comment makes me grateful she fell playing ping pong because by definition there was someone (and in this case many) there to help her!

      You’re right about the benefits of being active. Her motto is to just keep moving and I’m telling you – it works!


    1. Ah, what an interesting observation about temperance and over-extending ourselves. I think your online name definitely suits your wisdom on this! Thanks for reading and commenting. My mom is doing fine – we were just talking tonight about when she can get back to bike riding and playing ping pong.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you think it’s the wisdom she’s passed down and not the crazy ping pong playing… 🙂

      And I agree about the forgetfulness. It’s fun to laugh about that with my mom knowing we all might be there someday!

      How’s your foot? Any better?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh no! I’m glad your mom is doing better, though. That was very intuitive of you, picking up on that phrase. I think my emotions cloud my judgement a lot. It’s important to stay tuned in to your feelings. As you wrote, if it’s out of love, keep it, but if it’s out of pride or duty, let it go. The things that usually get in my way of common sense are fear and insecurity, maybe even impulsiveness (or is it impulsivity?).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh geez, I had to look up impulsiveness versus impulsivity because you made me curious. Impulsiveness is an adjective and impulsivity is a noun. Thanks for sparking my curiousity!

      Yes, fear and insecurity – wow, you’ve named two big ones for their ability to cloud most everything. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!


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