I fret. Then I make lists. Then I do. Doing is my thing. Doing keeps me in motion. My slogan, “Do the day.” Just do the day. If I am inclined and require encouragement, the motto alters to “Slay the day.” Action.
There are two kinds of people: lumpers and sorters. I am a sorter. Sorting helps me understand, comprehend, process and solve. A basket of laundry needs sorting. A pile of papers needs sorting. A jumble of a patient’s complaints needs sorting. Garden seeds and quilting fabric. Sort and categorize. That’s me. I am about the nomenclature. The naming of things. If I can name it, I can sort it. If I can sort it then – and only then – can I find a solution.
It helps me to sort through my feelings and emotions. Because this is the one area I lump. I stuff them all into a place for later. If I am upset and overwhelmed in the morning and I know the clock blares 6:17 am, I’m 17 minutes behind schedule and I have to DO THE DAY. [That doing thing I mentioned above]. No time for crying, crying caused by fear and anxiety. And there is much to do on any given day. No time for crying. No time for the avalanche of emotions. So, they get stuffed away, lumped into that psychological equivalent of Allison Reynolds purse in the Breakfast Club. A junk drawer. Eventually, though, that shit needs to get sorted out. It’s necessary.
It makes me think about wants, needs and necessities. What I want is not always what I need. And what I need is not always necessary. And what seems necessary for the quotient of doing the day is (maybe, possibly) not necessary. Necessary is mandatory. What is mandatory?
And let’s assume we are NOT talking about the lowest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Simply having the luxury to ponder about wants vs. needs vs necessities confirms I have my basics managed. This is not about basic survival. Not fundamental human survival. I have food and shelter. I have a means to secure my life. I can pay the bills. I know I am able to PROVIDE.
This is about the HEART.
What does the heart want? Need? What are the necessities? And this is where the sorting gets messy. Emotional issues are like spilled honey. There is no tidiness. You keep finding corners and edges and the back of a hand with sticky spots. Emotions aren’t precise. They overlap and blend and commingle. One emotional issue flavors the next. And one issue can be a swirl of feelings. I can miss my father to a point that the sorrow bends me in half while being angry about his abandonment. I can be overjoyed with love and longing for my first born son, see flashes of his spunky, silly red-headed 3-year-old self in his Little Tykes plastic car while being disappointed in him as he drives off in his real car. No feeling is pure or isolated. And so, I seek clarity. I ask, “What is necessary?”
Necessary might be the 8-count box of Crayons. Or maybe the prime colors: red, blue, yellow. What are my three necessary things? Emotionally? What are yours? Once those three necessary things are secured, then the blending starts. Then you get the to graduate to the 8 count box of Crayons. You get to have blues and oranges and purples. I realize, I am the 128 count box of Crayons with the sharpener on the back. And I must be honest. I like all that complexity and possibility. But it requires time to sort it all out when I have been emotionally moving at a pace that has forced me to lump all my emotional shit into a neglected hall closet. And sorting takes time. Sorting requires time and for me, it requires time to be creative. I sort as I do. I bake bread. I stitch fabric slips together, I write blog posts and attend to the characters that have been congregating in my head hoping I tell their stories. And to sort through all that requires time that is separate from doing my job. And there has not been much of that.
Time is what is necessary.