“Always be prepared” sounds good on paper but it is very hard to put into practice. And that’s due to one single reason: it’s impossible to be prepared for everything. No matter how gifted you are, you can’t prepare yourself for every single risk and eventuality (and who wants to live their entire lives in paranoia?). However, what you can do is prepare for the most likely risks and scenarios... and rely on your gut instinct that something might be wrong.
There are some cases, however, when someone’s overthinking and over-preparedness have saved either them or someone else, both in actually life-threatening and completely mundane situations. What follows is an honest account of what happened, as shared by the overthinkers of Reddit.
Scroll down, have a read, and let us know in the comments if you’ve ever been glad that you overthought something or when your instincts told you something might be wrong, dear Pandas.
#1When my wife and I were getting married and looking for a place for the ceremony we have found this beautiful but quite remote garden. We were signing the contract for the event and I kept thinking that it was quite remote, so I asked: "how much time does it take for the ambulance to get here?"
I became the laughing stock of both families. My (then future) mother-in-law, who was present at the meeting, literally fell down from the chair laughing. The wedding organizer, remembered it for weeks, telling everyone we met about it. My dad ended every sentence with "...but maybe you need an ambulance for that". My wife was making siren noises when I was saying something we disagreed on. Every family dinner all the aunts and uncles were "checking" if the ambulance was present. You name it. The entire package.
Still, I couldn't get rid of this weird feeling. It would have taken over an hour for the ambulance to get to the garden. After a few weeks, I ended up paying a private ambulance to be present at the wedding.
Fast forward to the ceremony. As my wife literally walks down the aisle, at the back of the garden I see two Paramedics running with a stretcher and my dad squeezing my hand whispering: "that's not of your god da business, let them to take care of it. "
What happened was that one of our older guests got a heart attack and almost died at the ceremony. Was saved by the private ambulance.
Ever since then, when my wife tells me that I'm overthinking, I just do the siren noise.
Image credits: rytur
#2I was once driving on the highway behind a car with a couple of kayaks strapped to the roof. My anxious brain kept saying “what if they fall off the car, final-destination style?”
I tried to convince myself that it was an irrational fear, but the anxiety got the better of me and I decided to change lanes and make some distance.
About 30 seconds later, cue kayaks: they both slip off the roof and go rolling around the highway.
Luckily no one was hurt, but man that did not help my anxiety at all.
Image credits: L_bird
#3My boyfriend who has zero history of seizures narrowly escaped dying from one because my overthinking led me to break into his house when he didn’t answer the phone.
My overthinking had begun a few nights prior. He mentioned that he but his tongue in his sleep and woke up with a bloody pillow and sore mouth- but he had no memory of it happening. That for some reason led my overthinking brain to question ‘Wow, did he have a seizure and not realize it?’ He has zero history of seizures, and we had been together multiple years (didn’t live together but spent nights together) and I had never seen a hint of a seizure. But for some reason, this stuck in my mind.
Fast forward two days. We usually don’t hang out in the morning because he likes to sleep in late, but on this day we had an appointment to go see a specific dog at the shelter I was thinking of adopting.
He wouldn’t answer the phone that morning. I called multiple times before I went to his place, but he never picked up. I started getting a bad feeling but quelled the ‘He’s having a seizure’ thought, because that was clearly SO unlikely, meanwhile making an action plan for that very scenario.
I got to his house and he wouldn’t answer, so in a completely NOT ME crazy girlfriend move, I climbed over his fence. Luckily his door was unlocked.
I found him unconscious and unresponsive, lying in his back with the sticky remnants of foam all around his mouth.
I jumped into action- I rolled him on his side to help curb aspiration, put a pillow under his shoulder to keep him in that position, and called the ambulance.
Had I not hopped the fence to get in- had I not driven over when he didn’t pick up the phone- had we not had plans to meet up hours earlier than we usually did- he would have been dead by lunch. His kidneys were already shutting down by the time he reached the ER.
If he had never mentioned biting his tongue in his sleep, I don’t think I would have been overthinking at all. No crazy worries about seizures would have pushed me to go over and find him.
Turns out to be a weird brain disease that’s bizarrely endemic to New Mexico kind of- cerebral cavernous malformations.
Several days later, after we got home from the hospital, I got a call from a friend who said the dog, against all odds, was still at the shelter- as in the very dog we were supposed to be seeing that day. I had given up hope on getting her, pushed it out of my priorities while he was hospitalized- but they had forgotten to take down my 24 Hour Hold sign on her cage, so no one inquired about her.
She’s now our miracle dog and is the sweetest animal I’ve ever owned. My boyfriend wouldn’t be alive today if we hadn’t made an appointment to meet her.
Image credits: unicoroner
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a sense of security and clarity. However, life is fundamentally unpredictable. The fact is, it will surprise you, even if you think you’re doing all you can to foresee any possible inconveniences or risks.
Earlier, Bored Panda spoke about how to deal with the fact that life is full of unexpected and unpleasant events with British psychologist Lee Chambers.
"As human beings, we have a desire for certainty and routine that keeps us feeling safe and able to plan what lies ahead in an organized manner. When unpredictable situations or accidents impact us, it can be traumatic, and we will likely feel a sense of disappointment, frustration, and loss," he told us during a previous interview.
#4Injuring my dominant hand... as a kid I had an irrational fear of having it chopped off. I spent all of grade 6 teaching myself to write and do things with my left hand. I made a conscious effort to remain as ambidextrous as possible. As an adult I broke a few fingers on my dominant hand... but it wasn’t a big issue because I could do most things equally with my left hand. Anticlimactic, but it was useful lol
Image credits: [deleted]
#5In college, on occasion upperclassmen would randomly steal the underclassmen's towels from the shower stalls and then lock their room doors so they had to go to the RA bare a**ed. I had the idea to stash a towel in the drop cieling tiles for just that event. Maybe a week later I became the victim of a towel snatching. However, the upper classmen were very unhappy to see me strut out with a nice clean towel from my ceiling stash.
Image credits: duck1914
#6I carry a fire extinguisher in my auto. I witnessed a car accident where the engine caught fire. I quickly put it out before it burned the inside of the car. Everyone survived.
Image credits: mwthread
"It is important however that we embrace the fact that the world can be unpredictable and uncertain, and become more tolerant of this being a reality. Understanding that things are sometimes out of our control helps us to accept that not everything goes to plan, and accept when things happen to us that are negative.”
The psychologist continued: “This acceptance allows us to embrace the change and difference, and manage our expectations so we can become more resilient to the ups and downs that all our lives lead."
"Post-traumatic growth isn't always simple to explain or utilize, but often the adversity we face can create a precedent for what we can overcome, help us to see what we need to be grateful for, and give us an understanding of the support we do have,” he told Bored Panda.
#7I always had bandages, antiseptic alcohol, a piece of halva (Tahini snack mixed with honey), some cough mint tablets, and cotton buds in my schoolbag. Just in case. One day, I went to piano class after school and there was this little girl who had a large sheet of glass fall on her rib — there was blood everywhere. Me, another student, and our teacher quickly bandaged her up and stopped the bleeding before the ambulance came. Her family thanked us so much I didn’t know how to react. And then when I was in an extra class studying for the high school entrance exam, my then-crush caught a cold. I gave her some mint and the piece of halva to warm her up. Damn, her smile that night is still in my mind to this day. I ended up carrying her home that day, and we were in love for the next two years.
We're not together anymore, but whenever I see her in school, we still greet each other.
Image credits: PFVN_Dragon
#8I was supposed to get married at the end of May last year. At the beginning of the year, before any of the pandemic stuff happened, I became obsessed with thinking about all the things that could go wrong and how we would lose our money spent on the event. As a result, I purchased a very high coverage insurance policy for the event. As luck would have it, this type of insurance had no clause that prevented collecting if there was a pandemic. We got all of our money back.
Image credits: supes99
#9I found a nickel-sized lump on my fifteen month old daughter’s temple, freaked out, obsessed over it, researched it exhaustively, and concluded it was a dermoid cyst that had worn through the skull. I was told by a pediatrician that it was a bone bruise that would fix itself over the course of three to six months, no imaging was needed, and I shouldn’t make an appointment at the children’s hospital because it would resolve on its own. I got an X-ray done anyway and the radiologist confirmed every one of my suspicions, but the pediatrician still said to wait and see because that’s what you do with dermoid cysts and it was definitely not through the skull despite what the radiologist said. Made an appointment at the hospital anyway, and the surgeon swore up and down that although it was a dermoid cyst as I’d suspected, it would not be through the skull since in all his years of practice it never had been. Well guess what? It WAS through the skull, and it was pressing on the membrane between the skull and the brain, a hair’s breadth from breaking the membrane or pressing on the brain. A couple more weeks of waiting and my daughter could have had seizures, a brain infection, lasting damage. I overthought it and now she’s a happy, healthy three year old.
Image credits: roseslime
“A big part of opening the door to grow from our struggles is finding acceptance and taking ownership over what you can control and finding healthy ways to express the negative emotion that comes with challenges that test us.”
Psychologist Lee revealed that he himself had to learn to walk again. "Using journaling and talking about how I felt played a significant part in my recovery when I had to learn to walk again, and gave me the space to grow to become mentally stronger as a result,” he said.
“It is also important to reflect on all the hurdles you've overcome, so you can see what skills and lessons you've learned to apply in the future, and adversity often helps us to see what really matters, and gets us closer to knowing our values and purpose."
#10So maybe not quite this, but my little sister:
Through a long serious of events, my parents (who where not Foster parents and not looking to adopt) ended up taking care of an infant (who was not at all related to us) whose mother had just died. It was only supposed to be for a few weeks until she could be moved to a more permanent placement. As soon as I found out that my parents had agreed to help watch her temporarily, I knew where this was going, and I had all the initial adoption application paperwork printed out before she ever got to our house. Needles to say my parents were pretty surprised the day they said they were thinking of adopting her, and I handed them a folder of forms and my handwritten notes on how the process worked. (For the record, she has legally been my little sister for 7 years now.)
Image credits: WateredDownHotSauce
#11Years ago when I was in high school, I used to wait at the side of a busy road for the school bus early in the morning. I would often think of what I would do if a car ever went off the road and headed straight for me. One morning, I was waiting in my usual spot when a car towing a trailer was driving down the hill. I thought, What would I do if the trailer came off? A split second later, the trailer detached from the tow hitch and came full speed toward me.
I dove over the wall behind me and frantically crawled on the grass to get away from it. Sure enough, the trailer hit the wall exactly where I was standing and banged up the wall. I did exactly what I always thought I would have done if a car was ever racing toward me.
Image credits: cidergrave
#12I moved my family from Kyiv to a safe place before the war started in Ukraine. I did this completely independent, not as a company policy or anything, and with my family protesting, not believing a war would begin.
Image credits: igroknow
#13I carry some of just about everything, in my purse. We were at a beach, during the off-season, and a kid wiped out. I had everything needed, to clean, and bandage him up. I carried that stuff, (renewing when it got old), for almost 20yrs before actually needing it.
Image credits: MorgainofAvalon
#14This was at 9 years old. We had driven home and seen the beginning wisps of smoke for the California Cedar fire in 2003.
Naturally, I assumed the worst, packed up all my clothes, and spent about an hour making a travel cage for my guinea pigs. I tied their water bottle to the side so they could drink, packed up their food and their favorite furniture just in case.
I then spent the next few hours monitoring the fire on the news and out in the distance from our window, periodically asking my parents if we needed to evacuate.
At some point in the night, the fire sped up like crazy and was literally on the hillside across the street. I went into my parents' room and said “the fire is across the street are you sure we shouldn’t evacuate?”
At this point, we all went crazy grabbing important documents and supplies, and as we were about to lock the doors and drive I realized I forgot my guinea pigs. My parents told me it was too late and I didn’t have time to grab them, but when I cried and explained I had them packed up, I was able to grab them and go.
The house ended up ok thanks to a neighbor putting out embers before they took, but we were gone long enough my pigs wouldn’t have made it.
Image credits: travelingelectrician
#15My partner tells me I overthink and overbuy groceries because I have an intense fear of not being able to provide for my daughter. When Covid hit and the shops were out of stock of EVERYTHING, guess who was the one supplying food and toilet paper to said partner?
Image credits: justme7601:
#16I always carried an extra juice box/snacks and am extra set of clothes during highschool because I was always worried that one of the kids in my school with diabetes might get low and need some sugar(for the juice box and snacks ) and I might get dirty or my clothes would get ruined (the extra clothes) well one day the kid in my class with diabetes did need the sugar. As luck would have it, a few days later a girl in my class was having a really bad wardrobe malfunction and couldn't wait for a new shirt so my XXL t-shirt acted as both a shirt/dress for her.
Image credits: Deus_ex_jauquina
#17I’m Asian, so my default is to overthink, especially when I’m on a field trip/ holiday/ etc. Essentially it’s just what if I need X, Y, Z JUST IN CASE.
One time, while I was living in another SEA country, I went on a middle school field trip with my (mostly white) classmates.
Side note: in most SEA public bathrooms, bidets are the norm, toilet paper is not. But in this particular country, even the bidets are not encouraged to be used. So toilet paper is a luxury during trips.
At the hotel we stayed at, my classmates made fun of me for taking 3 rolls of toilet paper from the hotel's bathroom. They were embarrassed & reported me to the teacher in charge, who told them off for wasting her time. I told them they were going to regret laughing at me but they continued to mock me for overthinking.
Cue to the bus trip back & a couple of them had diarrhea & guess who was the only one able to provide enough toilet paper. You bet your a** I made them pay me for toilet paper (per square cause f**k you guys for laughing at me).
Image credits: mochi-jpg
#18Went through a stage as a teenager where I thought I was psychic. I know, I know, stupid. A friend asked me jokingly to make a prediction. I told him to get a flashlight because tomorrow would be dark. I grabbed one myself when I got home and put it in my purse. No idea why, just did it. The next day the Eastern seaboard blackouts happened. He still asks for predictions to this day.
Image credits: jinxmalloy
#19I am an amateur clarinetist. I've played in the local orchestra and the like. My son was in the high school band (also played clarinet). Prior to a football game, at the warmup area, he called me as I was about to head to the game, saying that someone in his section had a problem with their instrument, so did I have a loaner?
Now the thing about being a clarinet player is that everyone you know calls you every time they see a cheap plastic clarinet for sale at a garage sale or the like. So over the years (especially when my son was in jr. and sr. high) when I saw one of these for $50 or $100 I grabbed it. Didn't happen every day, but at the peak of my collection I had a couple of beater plastic clarinets in addition to the pretty good wooden one my son played (and lord knows I wouldn't trust anyone with my good clarinets in Bb and A I used in the orchestra).
So I grabbed BOTH of these plastic jobs, which actually played okay, and brought them. I pulled the one I thought was the better of the two out of the car and gave it to my son's friend. Meanwhile, he says "hey another person ran into a problem..." and I got the second clarinet out of the car.
"How many clarinets do you HAVE?" was my son's question.
It was a proud moment.
Image credits: randomkeystrike
#20When I was 11, I always kept approximately 12 to 15 of some combination of pens, pencils, and markers in my pant pocket. Just like having options and never knowing what I was going to need to write on! Sometimes got some side-eye from other kids though.
At a weekend camp with a bunch of kids, I’m participating in a sort of scavenger hunt race thing. At one point our teams hit this task where everyone has to draw or write something (don’t really remember). But there’s only two pens, about ten people per team, and another team just showed up.
With one pen assigned to each team, it’s going slow… until… YOU GET A PEN! YOU GET A PEN! EVERYBODY GETS A PEN!
Our team screams through the task because we can all write simultaneously, while the other team’s left plodding along with their one pen. We eventually win. Who’s weird now?!
Image credits: AlastorWestdrop
#21I began having chest pain at 21 years old. I'd have difficulty breathing and something they call 'impending doom.' I knew I was going to die, and I told everyone who would stand around long enough to listen. I just knew it. Every night I’d cry, afraid I wouldn’t wake up. For six months, I fought every nurse, every doctor, every provider to be taken seriously. Even my own family turned their backs on me, embarrassed by what they thought was a psychiatric episode. I became obsessed. I went to medical libraries to look for cases like mine. I did online research. I consulted doctors around the world on the internet. I never stuck a name to what I thought I had, but I had a very good idea of what I had and how it would behave. I gathered medical documents as evidence, and put it all in a binder so I could show doctors I saw. Somehow, I actually predicted the cardiac rhythm that would cause my death: polymorphic vtach
I got two of my closest and medically intelligent friends to legally become my durable powers of attorney. Then on June 6 in 2018, I went into cardiac arrest three times during a study on my heart that they were basically doing to humor me because they didn’t believe I was sick.
I was told I had a very rare, very deadly genetic channelopathy in my heart's conduction system. I had to have an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) installed in me, which I will have the rest of my life.
I’ll never forget the day I was recovering in the hospital from my AICD insertion. I was lying in the hospital bed, and my doctor entered. On the bedside table was the big, fat binder I had been carting around for months. He asked if he could look through it, and I said yes. After a few minutes he said, 'You showed this to every provider you saw?' And I said, 'I did. You are the first one to actually read through it.'
Image credits: SedationSauce
#22I’m a cash hider. Just a couple hundred bucks in random places like coats and drawers, in case I need cash. These are not used unless it is an emergency. Well, when I got my wallet stolen and all my cards had to be canceled, it took a hot second for the replacements to come. I didn’t have an ID, because it was stolen, and I wasn’t able to prove my identity and get a temporary card at the bank. But guess who was OK for a few days to grocery shop while my cards came in? This girl.
Image credits: TacoTuesday4All
#23I researched how to escape a car that drove into water. Years later, I was catching a ride with someone in a car that drove off a pier and into 25-feet deep water. I immediately unclipped the driver's seat belt after mine and got out of the car, as I had little time to spare. After I got out and was on the car roof, I saw she was still inside. She was frozen in panic. The car was filling fast but hadn't tipped nose down yet. I banged on her window, so she pressed the button and the window went down. I reached in, started to gently pull her toward me, and then she started climbing out. Once I pulled her out, I helped her slide out onto the roof. From there, it was a short swim to safety. She did most of the work once she realized what she needed to be doing. Up to then, she was frozen in indecision and assumed the window wouldn't work or that opening the door was the right thing to do.
Image credits: Nuffsaid98
#24Backpacking, I'm always the over-prepared one.. to the point I got a bit of a rubbing from my friends. I always have a rather fleshed-out first aid kit and a couple of really useful things to fix gear when you're out in the sticks. In particular super glue, 50' of parachute cord, and a small roll of duct tape.
Would you know it, we hiked down the wilderness trail from the Lincoln trailhead. It's a straight as an arrow old railway bed. At the end is a nice campsite. We show up, sort or stuff out and a couple shows up at our tent asking if we've got anything to fix a hiking boot. The sole had partially peeled off from the heel of the boot.
They were hiking out the next morning so it didn't have to be perfect.. it just had to last the 7ish miles to the trailhead on flat ground. I glued the sole back on the boot and held the whole thing in place with a bit of duct tape so it would set. Worked like a charm! The whole time I was doing the repair everybody was commenting how handy it was I'd brought super glue with me.
I kept thinking to myself.. why would you go deep into the woods without some simple supplies to fix your gear?
Image credits: mysticalfruit
#25I was overwhelmed and swamped my first year at university, but I’m a keener who’s determined to do well. One of my hardest classes involved a final exam that was in essay format. It was one essay question, and you had three hours to write on the topic. I asked the professor if we could see exams from previous years to help us study and prepare. I figured it would give me a better idea of what type of question to expect. At first he seemed hesitant, but he wound up giving me an exam from a few years back so I could study. The day of the exam, I opened the test booklet — the exam question was the same exact question from the previous exam he had given me. I looked at the professor, and he was looking directly at me and smiling. I have never been so prepared for an exam.
I wound up acing my hardest class. Afterward, the professor told me he’d been using the same exam question for 20-plus years and that I was the first person to ask to see an exam from a previous year.
Image credits: littlepinch7
#26I used to keep a spoon in my purse.
This was in high school and my friend put a spoon in my purse one day as a joke. I decided to leave it there, “just in case,” and my friend thought it was hilarious. It became a regular thing for her to check my purse every few weeks to see if the spoon was still in there.
Well, one day I decided to spend some extra cash and get a small strawberry ice cream at the end of lunch. I had already bought it and made my way over to the silverware rack when I saw it...the clean spoon holder was EMPTY! With it being the end of lunch on a day when the cafeteria had served chili, all of the clean spoons had been wiped out. I was about to feel very sad for myself (and try to decide if a fork was acceptable for eating ice cream) when I remembered: THE PURSE SPOON.
After a quick wipe with a napkin, the spoon was clean and ready for me to use. Of course, my friend was with me and could barely hold herself together while I uttered aloud my love for the spoon in between bites of ice cream
#27I always keep an unopened deck of cards in my backpack. You never can tell when some Hold 'Em may be needed to pass the time.
But when I was at a business conference the bigwig who was presenting to us was having to wing it with a few things because his luggage had been lost, and he didn't have all of his materials. He had the PowerPoint deck, but he didn't have his props.
He started going into explaining how he'd be able to demonstrate this statistical principle he was describing, only he didn't have the unopened deck of cards he needed.
Voila! I was able to produce a shrink-wrapped deck of cards.
My boss was also in the same presentation, and he was also impressed that I just happened to have a deck of cards on me, so that's nice, too.
Image credits: ronearc
#28Covid. I worked at a medical uniform and supply store years ago, and they were moving locations. They decided they weren't gonna sell face masks anymore and were gonna throw boxes of them away. I asked if I could keep them. Just in case. They've been moving with me for about 5 years before I actually used the masks
Image credits: divinexoxo
#29I overthink what to do in the event of being kidnapped or being in an event that could lead to a kidnapping. Anytime I'm on the sidewalks at a late hour, I let someone know where I'm at — call it paranoia. I was walking home at 3 a.m. at a college campus, when a truck in the parking lot turned their lights off. It caught my attention. Someone got out of the car and started walking on the sidewalk, too, just a few yards behind me. I texted the girl who knew I was walking my phone number and told her to call me immediately. I said hello loudly, announced my exact location, and implied that we were going to be seeing each other soon. The guy broke off — I don't know where he went after.
I don't know if it was all in my head or not. All I know is that I'm still alive.
Image credits: TheUnwelcomeTagalong
#30I keep a change of clothes in my car at all times and a wool blanket in case my car breaks down or I'm stuck in undrivable conditions. Sure enough, about 11 years ago it snowed just enough that my pavement princess of a car couldn't drive safely in it and I was too far away from town to turn back, so I pulled over and waited out the snow in comfort (I had snacks and water remaining from the trip I was still on at the time) until the street sweepers came through.
#31I was in fifth grade walking home alone because my sister left from school early, and noticed someone following me. As a child with a massive imagination, I had thought of scenarios where I was being followed. I even googled what to do in that situation, so I knew which of my plans would work. So when the guy was following me, I took four lefts. When I checked behind me, he was still following. I was pretty close to my house already and knew not to go in, so I went a few houses down to a neighbor and knocked on their door. 'Hey Mom!' I yelled. 'I’m home. Is the door unlocked?' They opened the door. In a whisper so quiet my lips almost didn’t move, I said, 'It’s an emergency; please let me in.' My neighbor tilted her head just enough to see outside without being seen, noticed the man, and said loudly, 'You don’t have to ask to enter your own house. Come on,' and let me in. We shut and locked the door, then waited until the man left.
I never saw him after another encounter, but I described him to my mom in case we did see him again.
Image credits: Fandom_local_kiwi
#32I always hoped I would be the action-taker in a life-threatening situation, so I would always listen and read gore and 'it happened to me' type of stuff. It came in handy when a motorcycle in front of me ran up the back of a flatbed truck. The bike driver tipped over, skidded, and was unconscious. The flatbed never even knew anything happened. Five other drivers just stood around staring at the guy in the road, so I came up and directed one person to call 911, asked another to check his pulse after confirming they knew how to, and stopped another person from trying to wrestle off his helmet. I was also able to relay to EMT that he had a seizure as the other bystanders thought he was 'trying to wake up,' and that he had multiple broken ribs. I could feel shifting and grinding under my hand while gently consoling him once he did actually come to.
I felt pretty good about being able to take charge and actually direct to get help, especially since I was the smallest person there.
#33I have just about everything you could possibly need to survive in the car if it breaks down or something else happens. I was driving and an old couple was crossing a driveway headed home after a nice lunch out. The lady biffed it on the curb. She had ripped quite a bit of her skin and was bleeding all over the place. I saw them, pulled my car over, and was able to hop out, clean her up, and bandage everything up. It felt really good to be prepared and help the frantic old couple.
#34Not me, but my mother.
Apparently, at a party where my parents and their friends were playing board games, there was a realization that an hourglass was missing from one of the games they planned on playing. My mother proceeded to reach into her purse and pull out an hourglass she just so happened to bring, on the off chance they didn't have one.
HOWEVER, later in the night when some drinks had been had, someone accidentally slammed a drink down, breaking my mother's hourglass. Without missing a beat, she reached into her purse and pulled out ANOTHER hourglass.
She knew the first one, being glass, might get broken so she had a backup ready.
Image credits: BustyChicken
#35I got pregnant. I thought I couldn't be so lucky. Surely I will miscarry. Nope didn't miscarry, but I had a weird feeling all pregnancy my baby will die. Despite good scans good heartbeat. Over thinking persisted. 35 weeks pregnant feeling tired and swollen I felt a need to have the baby checked. Over thinking this all day I finally went In labor and delivery. Scanned me said my baby was in heart failure and didn't have even have a brain. He did have a brain it was just so swollen with fluid it was undetectable. I was taken by ambulance to a better hospital, diagnosed with vein of galen malformation. One In a million odds and I won... my baby lived for 5 days. My worse case did come true.
#36Riding a motorcycle. I always assume every car around me is going to wildly pull out in front of me or swerve into my lane. multiple times these assumptions have saved my life. i’m a pretty crazy over thinker and a lot of times it’s needless worry. but I feel like sometimes it prepares me for something that DOES actually happen.
#37When the towers came down I was working at a company that markets builders. We saw a drastic decrease in new homes across the country. Combined with a lowering interest rate I expected a huge financial crisis. We moved from Michigan to Nebraska because corn and beef will always be in demand. Everyone laughed at us. The housing bubble hit Michigan starting in about 2006 or 7. By 2008 it was a depression. Michigan saw record unemployment Nebraska's was the second best in the country.
#38I had a feeling my entire pregnancy that my daughter would be early. She was due July 21 and I somehow felt like she would arrive before Father's Day. Bought my husband a pink tie to put her footprints on for his first Father's Day gift, had my hospital bag packed and carseat installed early. Had a boy jump from a bookcase onto my belly while I was teaching Pre-k, which tore an abdominal muscle, triggered early labor, and my daughter arrived June 9th via emergency c-section. No way I could have known, but I prepared.
#39I work in child care and was working at a center that was so so draining. I started applying for new jobs and went on a couple of interviews. One time, I had an interview with another daycare and was offered the position. I loved my coworkers and ultimately decided to turn the new position down. However, I had this gut feeling that I couldn’t burn any bridges in case s**t at my current job hit the fan. So when I turned down the new job, I made up an excuse saying I’d love to take the offer but couldn’t because of xyz reason but would be in the touch sometime in the future.
Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, s**t hit the fan at my work. I took a month off and then emailed the job that offered me a position and started 2 weeks later.
#40Made my kids "rehearse" for a fire. We had rope ladders, escape routes and a meeting spot- everyone should! 1/17/18 we put it all to the test. I thank God every day that we all made it out because we were prepared. Overthinking and anxiety for the win!
#41Mace. A person I worked with was a registered sex offender and he had a thing for me. I told him multiple times that he made me feel uncomfortable and to stay away from me. For some reason I had nightmares about this dude, he was 6 and half feet tall and fucking hideous. Anyways, he said he was going to stop at a store that I stopped at all the time after work, and it was obvious he knew my direction when I left. I pull up to this store and he’s already there, walks up to my car and I just roll down my window and spray this dude, and he dropped a billy club out of his sleeve. Everyone always told me to stop being paranoid and stop thinking he’s going to attack me or rape me, that “he’s been to jail and learned his lesson”. Fuck that dude. He should’ve never been let out of prison. For reference, I’m also a 6 foot tall dude who is always prepared for the worst.
#42I am basically blind without my glasses, and I’ve always taken a backup pair of glasses when I travel. It went untouched for years, taking up valuable space in my luggage. Lo and behold, one trip to Montreal a few years ago I just woke up one morning to find my glasses broken - no idea how it happened. And I finally got a chance to break out my backup pair.
#43I watched some first-aid videos when I was working daycare, multiple times. A week later, one of our young toddlers had a febrile seizure. My co-teacher froze. I got the kid out of the feeding table seat and got him on the floor. Our director called the paramedics and their mom, and I stayed with him and gave info to the paramedics. It was a surreal day.
#44I have a rule to never mention names of people when speaking about them in public, in case they overhear. My mom and I went out to eat one day and were chatting when she brought up an incident from when I was in middle school where some kids were really messing around and she had to step up and correct them since no one else would. I nodded and was about to mention who they were by name when I remembered my rule. Well...that girl turned out to be our waitress. I didn't recognize her as it had been several years, and she introduced herself soon after.
I think there's a really good chance she heard at least part of what we said. I'm so glad I didn't mention I remembered her name!
#45I have this weird fear of causing some sort thermal shock making something i'm using explode in my face... So one day, we were at a friend's making a BBQ but turns out, their BBQ was like a big flowerpot they were using as a firepit... My first reaction was just "HELL NAW, let's put this spare table between this explosion hazard and us before we sit down" ! And I was right ! After having cooked our meal and eaten quite well, while we were sitting behind this defensive wall I insisted on having and the ambers were still quite hot, the flower pot just suddenly exploded sending shards all around the yard !
#46Not me overthinking but one time when my girlfriend and I were going to the gym she packed me two spare shirts. I made a joke that it was unnecessary to bring two as it’s not like I was gonna explosively shit myself or something and ruin the spare shirt and need a second spare, we laughed it off but brought two anyway.
After changing from my sweat soaked shirt to a spare upon walking home a bird shits all down me ruining the shirt I was wearing. I was so thankful she had brought an additional spare, so I now do not question the quantity of what she decides to bring anywhere.
#47I always have an escape plan, and every time I go to a party or large gathering, I figure my way out should things get out of hand. I've had too many dramatic friends. I want to be able to peace out at a moment's notice if people blow up. A few times it came in handy, but the most prescient was a party at a frat house. I'd never been there before but came with some friends, and one of those friends had her 16-year-old brother along with us. He had a backpack with our booze in it. The cops got called on the place. Once I heard them coming up, I literally grabbed both my friends and the kid and said, 'Bail!' and led them out the back sliding glass door and through a field and navigated our way back toward our apartment areas.
We found out after the fact there were a handful of fines and drug arrests, but I made us all bolt because I didn't want the kid to get stuck with a minor-in-possession charge while visiting his sister.
#48My friends wanted to take me out for my birthday. I wasn't exactly clear on what the plans were, so I decided to wear pants under my pants, just in case. Turns out, they ended up taking me to a gentlemen's club and paid some ladies a few hundred dollars to give some Coyote Ugly-type dance with me in a chair. At some point, a high heel went through my jeans, and a very classy woman tore out my crotch area. But to her, and everyone else's surprise, I was wearing pants under my pants.
They haven't let me live it down.
#49I convinced my family to let me install a motion-activated light and camera in our alleyway. I spent lots of time in the garage and always thought to myself that someone would come in and murder me while I was working in there. Fast-forward about two weeks after they let me install everything: I’m in there painting, and I hear some motion in the alley. I heard the motion light turn on, turned to check the camera monitor beside me, and lo and behold, there was a group of four teenagers. And one of them was taking a s**t on my driveway.
To this day, my family still has that camera and light even though I’m gone.
#50Honestly, this whole pandemic. I have struggled with severe germophobia my whole life, and as a little kid, I found out what a pandemic was and was really scared of the idea of one happening at some point within my lifetime. The more I read up on pandemics and their history as I grew up and lived with that fear, the more likely I came to feel it was.
When Covid was just a thing in Wuhan, I had heard it could be transmissible for weeks before it showed any signs and symptoms, and in the modern day of fast, worldwide travel constantly occurring on a mass scale, I right away felt like ‘there’s no way this thing won’t become as uncontained as possible in no time’.
I right away started to say that it was going to spread worldwide, be a serious issue, and that people here (in the States) wouldn’t handle it well or act reasonably and would panic and buy everything off of the shelves at first and then immediately not take it seriously at all and call you weak if you do take it seriously. Every one I know laughed at me, rolled their eyes, and told me I’m a crazy germaphobe. And then literally every single last detail of every single thing that’s happened here in the US - from how bad it got exactly to the early panic buying days to the politicizing of the virus and the way Trump used that to his advantage to how long it’s been around and how things might start wrapping up and getting back to normal a bit if we can vaccinate - all happened EXACTLY the way I called it play by play like a year and some months ago.
So idk if I’d call everything that’s happened ‘unlikely’ really, but at the mental level (and even partially the level of resources/taking precautions the experts tell us to take well before the experts began to tell us to take them - I already had masks/etc. and was social distancing before that was a ‘thing’ here), I’ve kinda been gearing up for this my whole life in some ways.
#51My boss hates how much time I spend making detailed and customizable excel spreadsheets. Until crisis day comes and suddenly I'm the only one who can provide accurate answers in however long it takes me to figure out what the hell I was thinking when I made the spreadsheet.
#52I always carry a small sewing kit whenever I go to a wedding. I have sewed two brides into their dresses so far!
#53This just happened a couple minutes ago. I come to a stop sign by a park you can only make a left or right. There was a car sitting there and when I went to turned left, he moved his car so I waited, then he stopped by a kid sitting alone on a bench. I stopped my car about 30 yards ahead of his. When he went to get out I got out too and started speed walking towards the park. His eyes were on the kid and I just ran right into him. I didn’t say anything but I just stared at him. he immediately turned to leave. I had already gotten his license plate and when I made sure the mother was in the area I left and reported him. Edit for clarity: the mom wasn’t too much behind me. she probably saw him was just a little further on the playground. she picked him up and went back to his car.
#54Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease after researching it thoroughly and knowing I had it, but everyone in my family telling me I was just being a hypochondriac. Was prepared for the diagnosis, not so much the life with it, but it’s getting easier.
#55I’m sure this’ll probably get lost, but one day I get a text while I’m in my last class of the day for high school that my mom isn’t home as she took my dog to the vet, and I wasn’t aware of any appointments that were made for my dog, so on the way home, I kept going through worst case scenarios in my head, and the one I got stuck on was that she was about to be put down and they were waiting until I could see her.
Well, turns out, that is actually what happened, and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.
#56I was MADE for this question.
I have a...weird? obsession with safety plans. Always lived in a tornado area. My family was always the nothing is gonna happen people. Well when I felt like I knew what I needed about protection from storms I suddenly was terrified of an Earthquake. I didn't live in an earthquake zone (it was -possible- but unlikely). So my obsession moved to this. I researched what to do if you're driving, on a second floor, etc. I was keeping a small emergency kit in my purse as a just in case. It included batteries, flashlight, first aid. My dad and I both worked on the third floor of a building and I felt anxious about it lol.
Well guess what?!!!! People called me crazy but a couple months later we experienced an earthquake. It wasn't bad enough that I actually needed anything for it...but it still happened.
#57That my husband's female coworker was interested in him. Mentioned it once to him and he denied any interest outright. 8 months later he was moving in with her and we were in the process of a divorce which I paid for quite easily. Happily in my own relationship now over 4 years later.
#58One time, I waaaay over thought a concern I had around dryer vent fire. When the time came that we had a clog, didn’t know, and there was a wee burst of flames I was fucking READY.
#59As a kid, me and my friend would play in a little grass area. To get to this, there were two entrances. One was a slope leading to the upper grass area, and the other was a gap in the bushes. These two exits were next to each other, so to leave you would have to pass both exits. I was convinced that if somebody came in while we were down there, we would be trapped. I stressed the whole time we were playing down there about how I would run if someone were to come in. We both were flinching at any noises, but it was too pretty of an area to leave that soon. I begged my friend for us to play in the upper area, since that had an exit on the opposite side and we could have two exits to leave. So we did. One day, I was smacking trees with a giant stick I found, when my friend started whisper-shouting my name. I looked at her after not hearing her the first few times. Walking up from the slope was a tall person wearing a trench coat, with one of those novelty anonymous masks.
We immediately sprinted off. Once we were far enough away, we turned around and saw him just watching from next to the exit.
It sounds fake, but it was pretty horrifying as a 12-year-old. I would have thought it was a teenager playing a prank, but a couple days before that incident, I was home alone, and saw the same masked dude walking past my house. It freaked me out, and I called my parents, who said the man was probably going to a fancy dress party.
I still wonder what would’ve happened if we were down there with him.
#60Due to the pandemic, I was stuck at home this past New Year's. I ordered dinner from my favorite restaurant at 5 p.m., rather early just in case to have later in the night. Sure enough, the restaurant stopped accepting orders a couple hours later due to the rush.
#61I was working on a commercial that had some very specific LED eyelashes written into one part of the script, so much that we were casting a girl to wear them and just had them audition with huge fake regular lashes on. In my mind I kept thinking, 'These LED lashes are going to be hard to find, and none of these men are thinking about it.' But I didn't want to be 'that girl' and bring it up or complain to wardrobe, so I ordered two pairs from overseas that took three weeks to come in. The day before the shoot, guess who was all freaking out because LED lashes aren't available in the US yet? They were screwed...until I showed up with two pairs.
#62I do IT as an additional duty to my primary duties at work. When I took over, I noticed that there wasn't a single tracker for any IT equipment, which was worth approximately $400,000. I had a shower thought that maybe I should just create a tracker. I also had the thought to include warranty expiration dates, along with cubicle details of each piece of equipment even though I might never need it. Took more than two weeks to complete it, but I had a spreadsheet of warranty information, serial numbers, cubicle numbers, room numbers, and model information for hundreds of computers and equipment. Several weeks later, my work replaced all the expired warranty computers with brand-new computers, and they said I needed to get the information on the old equipment before the weekend. I literally pulled up my spreadsheet, looked at all the expired warranties, and sent it to them within minutes.
I would have had to go to every computer and check the warranty on the box, but since I decided to do that weeks prior, I already had that information.
Furthermore, we had an inspection come up regarding our processes and bookkeeping, just to ensure we were complying with standards and stuff. Well during the inspection, they wanted to see if they could 'stump the dummy' and asked several things like, 'I need to see these individual computers. Here are their serial numbers.' Granted this would have been a real problem because finding a random computer without it tracked would be hard...but I had my spreadsheet!
Pulled it up, grabbed the cubicle locations for each of them, showed them where they were, and passed the inspection! All because I thought of adding some unneeded information to a spreadsheet.
#63Back before the SARS-based viral outbreak, we never thought it would be a pandemic-level event. Still, we stocked up on N95s, an ozone generator, clinical cleaning supplies, and even had an account with a medical supply company, which came in super handy.
The toilet paper craze in April 2020 was the only thing that caught us off guard.
#64I'm in Canada, and like a lot of Canadians, I have a P.O. box across the border in the States where a lot of things get shipped to. One day after work, I had a few things that just arrived. Rather than wait for the weekend, I decided it was smartest to just go across after work to grab my stuff instead. I was going to do a grocery run, but that would have added over an hour to the trip, whereas just picking up packages could be done in seven minutes. I spoke with the agents for each side, and everyone was laughing off the idea the border would shut down. It was closed two days later in March 2020, because of COVID.
#65I can grab critical documents, computer backups, laptops, clothes, water, wife, and dog and be on the road in 10 minutes or less. And I proved I could do it when a forest fire overran the city. I've added a couple of gas cans to the process now as well.
"I keep a mental list. In an evacuation situation, you won't have time to consult a list. For me, docs and data are 'must have.' Devices, clothes, and water are 'if there's time.' Wife and dog are self-managing. Keep it simple.
Add to your docs an SD card with photos of all your property, including serial numbers if possible. Now make a copy and rent a safety deposit box, and keep it there. It's worth its weight in gold if you ever have to make an insurance claim.
#66When my son was still a baby, we had to take an 11 hour flight. As an overthinker, I brought at least 25 diapers for him to go through. He didn't need that many, but the mom sitting close to us was very grateful when she ran out of diapers not even halfway through the flight and I gave her a few.
#67A couple of years ago, I was taking classes at this tuition academy, when I stepped out for a cigarette. Back then, my family didn't know I smoked, so I was slightly apprehensive. There was a shop nearby, and I just took a quick look at some cars parked nearby. I even internally chided myself for being so paranoid.
Imagine my surprise when I saw my mom's car. I then saw my mom with my younger brother at a shop nearby, buying some stuff.
To my knowledge, that was the ONLY time she ever visited that particular shop, and it was at the exact moment when I decided to smoke a cig. My anxiety bailed me out for once (although my mom did find out about the smoking later).
#68I carry scissors in my glove compartment. They came in handy when a kid tightened a skinny zip tie around my 9 year olds finger at a park. Completely cut off the circulation. Also the other kids mom was a nurse so that was helpful too. Carry scissors and a nurse at all times.
#69I bought and learned to use a slim Jim ( open locked cars) I carry one in my car and have been able to help no less than 10 people who have locked their keys in their car. My brother was visiting me from out of town and he need something from Target, he called me and said an elderly man had locked his keys in his car and I was able to drive over and help. Also have jumper cables that have helped start a few stranded drivers.
#70Getting lost in a foreign country. Relying on phone GPS to navigate, data stops working....had over prepared and memorized the map of the downtown area ahead of time.
#71What would I do if my neighbors house caught on fire...I said I'd make sure my kids were safe and panic, and then we'd run if the fire got close. My neighbors house caught on fire and I sat outside and watched it with my kids and panicked.
#72I was in dorms my first year in uni and people always thought it was funny that I locked my door at night (we were all pretty close and I was insinuating people were thieves/untrustworthy.) One night I heard someone fiddle with my door and I peeked through the peephole and saw someone I did not recognize. Turned out he got drunk in the nearby bar, managed to sneak into the building, and tried to sneak into multiple other girls rooms (our names and pronouns were listed on the door)
#73All the teachers at the Middle School I taught at knew I was a pack rat and one day a kid split his pants and the school counselor came to me and said 'Mr. Thehogdog, would you happen to have a pair of sweats or gym pants in your truck'. YEP.
So the the kid spent the rest of the day in a pair of nylon pants I had behind my seat. He is lucky because if he didnt fit he would have spent the rest of the day in a white disposable 'coverall' I had in case I had car trouble in nice clothes.
Icing on the cake: It was a student I really liked who was super helpful to other kids and teachers, so it was nice to do something nice for him.
I also carried a 'Swiss Army' brand soft side brief case (yard sale find) STUFFED and it had a few of each size of battery.
One day Phil Niekro and 2 Braves players were there for an assembly and Phil's mic battery was dying so I SPRINTED upstairs to my classroom, grabbed a 9 volt from my bag, then basically rolled across the panel and switched out his battery and got back to the PA avoiding getting on TV News cameras.
#74A year and a half ago, my wife was doing the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk, and she was staying in a house that was rented. She had just finished day 2, and her body was essentially done at that point. In the middle of the night she woke up with severe sweating and dizziness. She started vomiting and by the next morning didn't feel much better.
I get the call "can you come take me to Urgent Care?"
Oh shit, this is my wife we're talking about. Toughest lady I've ever known, never asks for help with anything. Strong as an ox, and about as stubborn as one too. So when she asks me to take her to the doctor/hospital, I'm out the door in seconds.
I drive down to the house to get her. Before we leave, I remember she told me she vomited last night. Well I'd been there the night before to bring our daughter to see her before she fell ill, and I'd played in the sand at the beach with her with some of the beach toys the house had on hand. So I just grab a bucket in case she needs to throw up in it.
We make it to Urgent Care without incident, but I brought that damn bucket in either way because I'll be damned if something goes down. Sure enough, she gets the urge to throw up while we're there, and wouldn't you know it? The bathrooms were both occupied. Bucket to the rescue. I felt like a goddamn hero.
#75I always keep chocolate in my car and my dad happened to run low ( blood sugar level - diabetic) without having anything to help and no shops in the vicinity I saved him.
#76I know first aid and how to deal with bad cuts and stabs. I had to use the stab on myself when a buddy accidentally stabbed me in a freak accident, and the cut when I almost cut a friend's thumb off. 3 Eagle scouts, and I'm the one who remained level headed (to the credit of one, he got cut with a sword....)
#77I'm not a full-blown prepper, but I'm a fan of apocalyptic stories and games and figure that while I don't need to be ready for a zombie apocalypse, there's reason to have survival supplies around the house. My wife and I made jokes with each other, but that didn't stop me from buying extra supplies.
The pandemic hits, along with some power outages, and we realized that we really didn't need to leave the house. We had food supplies, lots of toiletries, 12 months of insulin for my, a generator and extra gasoline to keep the sump pump running and the mini-fridge with the insulin cool. We had MREs that I'd purchased for paintball games. Oh...cats need to eat too, right? We had catfood backups. We had liquor that was jokingly for "trade when the zombies hit", and we enjoyed mixed drinks and game nights with the kids.
Seriously, while the pandemic had a tremendous impact on many people in the world, it was one of the most enjoyable periods I've had with the family. No trips or social events. No panic buying. No emergency medications that we hadn't prepared for. No need to leave the house for anything, and everything we needed and wanted at our fingertips.
In fact, the pandemic was almost like a test run for a more serious event. MASKS! We never stocked up on masks...you know...zombies bite, so makes aren't a big thing, right?
In short, the preparation that I was making in support of my family as a father and husband, turned out to be no laughing matter. While other families were telling stories of wiping their butts with newspaper and rags, we had dozens of rolls. While others looked at their shrinking pantry, we were enjoying a variety of meals that we now had time to cook and prepare. While others were store hopping to stock up, we were playing family games and organizing our supplies.
Before, I was slightly embarrassed about my "mini-prepper", disaster preparedness angst. Now? I feel like super-dad. This was especially true when looking at my son with Type-1 diabetes. He damn-near cried when I told him that we could go a year without leaving the house for anything.
#78Back when I was in university, I attended a student event during a weekend. I had a feeling that the organizers weren’t prepared, so I grabbed a box of tissues and shoved it in my backpack on my way there. When I got there, they were serving pizza, but they had no plates, or even napkins. So it was pretty good that I had some with me!
#79I overthink thesis/research oral defense. My thought kept saying, what if the panelist throw tons of questions that we can barely answer?
And it indeed happened, luckily I know the majority of the panelist's questions.
#80My company was in shambles financially and was laying off (bit before corona). I kinda sensed my number will come soon, so I applied for masters degree. I got laid off and 2 weeks later I had my acceptance letter for a masters degree. Saved me the panic of finding a job in a post corona economy in 2020.
#81The death of a family member.
OCD: when over-thinking turns into repeatedly mourning for family who are still alive, because "how would I feel if I never get to see them again?"