Once criticized for always doing ‘too much’, I’ve learned to be still. On days like today, and especially on Sundays, I struggle with that ancient drive to DO. There is always something to do. Doing things keeps me busy and distracted. Being still demands discipline. Being still is not easy. Being still is different than being lazy and worlds apart from escapism. Being still means I can abide the litany of chores, tasks and to-do items than hover around the house. And this is a long list that crackles in the background of my head like static on an old AM/FM transistor radio. Sometimes the only way to rid myself of the static is to tune into the list and tackle some of it. I know my brain is different that many (maybe most). As stand on the back porch leisurely sipping my morning coffee, I may appear serene but in my head the ticker tape scrolls.
weed garden beds, run to Lowes, compost, wood floor cleaner, pole saw? trim tree branches, drag to burn pile, must remove metal clippings from ashes, clean garage, freeze bee frames, need small chest freezer, sears? weed rose bed, transplant blackberry canes, call lawn man, fill bird feeders, new bird seed bucket, run to Wild Birds Unlimited, wash car, detail car, should read book, do filing, paint finger nails, office website, write blog post, sit down and write work on short story, plan birthday trip, where to go, go alone? weed front walkway, weed around beard wall, weed hydrangeas, weed, weed, weed, pull rosemary out, mulch line for elm tree, order peanut hull, mulch, rain gutter, did they come fix it yet? can I bleach the grout today? run to Home Depot, fill citronella torches, laundry, what’s for dinner
Then I take another sip of coffee and hear the dog barking and watch her chase the crows. I may appear still with a calm veneer but inside, my brain runs perpetually fueled by the previous thought, consuming the next thought. The best practice to quiet the brain is to actually DO some of the stuff on the scrolling list. So, I write the blog post. Then I change and head outside to do a few things in the yard. Then I will pain my nails and read my novel….which is escapism at it’s finest.