Judy Kucharuk: Look before you leap, speak before you think


I’m not one known for showing restraint. I’m also prone to jumping to conclusions, hence the red cape that was gifted to me as a joke because jumping to conclusions is my go-to super power.

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I have run from my home to the park across the way to assist an elderly man who I believed was having a heart attack. I had been watching him take a leisurely stroll and had turned my head for a moment when he must have collapsed. The worse case scenarios quickly ran through my imagination as I ran out to bring him back to life, wearing only a barely-there pyjama top. Imagine my surprise (and his!) when I began a head-to-toe assessment only to discover he was resting while he waited for his wife to come and get him from his long walk. My sincere apologies for frightening you, kind sir.

One summer, while returning home from Banff, I spotted a puff of smoke in the distance and became convinced that I was seeing the initial gasp of a forest fire. We stopped in Grande Cache to call the forestry office (no cell service so I needed to use a pay phone) to report the smoke sighting, and they asked for general co-ordinates. I responded with, “I spotted it just past the sign that says Weyerhaeuser.” They advised that, “Miss, that smoke is from Weyerhaeuser.” They still thanked me for my time and attention to detail while trying not to laugh at me.

I have been known to leap before I look carefully. Speak before I think.

A recent experience has illustrated that perhaps with age has come wisdom and I have begun to survey situations with the benefit of doubt. 

Case in point was this past weekend, when my hubby and I were driving up a city street and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a man on his back in the park. The old Judy would have assumed that the man was writhing in pain from a fall, suffering a heart attack, or had just been bitten by a wayward dog and was bleeding to death. The old Judy would have slammed on her brakes, leaped from the vehicle whilst yelling to hubby, “CALL 911,” and then ran over to aid the man with my limited first aid skills. 

No – the new Judy simply slowed down to properly assess the situation, and thankfully so, as the man was just doing yoga, in the park, which makes more sense than what my imagination had conjured.

Maybe with age does come wisdom. Or, maybe, I’ve realized I’m not the spry chicken that I was back in my barely-there pyjama top days, and know I would have probably tripped exiting the car and been the one requiring medical attention from the yogi in the park. 

Judy Kucharuk is a lover of sarcasm, witty people and footnotes. You can follow her on twitter @judylaine

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