Update on the pink work boots: First, thanks for all the laughs on that post. I really enjoyed the texts, voice messages and emails. Second, I’ve now had someone offer to buy me enough sharpie markers to color them in (wtf). Um, yeah, I may not have time for that, thanks anyway. And third, for those of you who noticed and asked, yes, those are a dog’s paws in the photo and no we did not get a dog (I borrowed a friend’s for the photo).
That taken care, of, I’d like to welcome you all to the minutiae of my mind. I think I’ve made it perfectly clear over the last year and a half that I think too much. And in case you missed that memo, I’ll explain it again. I spend way too much time in the confines of my mind, analyzing myself on the giant instant replay TiVo screen in my head. My committee does a color commentary worthy of a NESN sportscasting award.
To be fair, it isn’t as if there isn’t some intention behind all this thinking, and quite honestly, it isn’t all a bad thing. I do want to be mindful and present and thoughtful in my actions and attention and the decisions I make and how I live and who I am in my day to day life. The problem is, there is clearly such a thing as being “too mindful”. Those times I can feel like I’m missing life because I am so busy contemplating and processing everything (eye blinks notwithstanding) from every possible perspective. Sometimes I forget to just BE without questioning and analyzing and wondering every second about perceptions and judgments and criticisms and wrong moves. I feel like a scientist who has both eyes stuck so firmly to the friggin microscope that he doesn’t notice the lab is on fire. At some point I need to step away from the microscope (maybe just one eye) to see that there is a whole huge world out there and I am but a mere molecule in this gigantic galaxy of life. That thought is certainly humbling and, of course, I am left feeling ridiculous for having taken myself so seriously.
Reb Zalman loves to tell the story of how his daughter asked, “abba, when we are asleep we can wake up. but when we are awake, can we wake up even more” (or something along those lines). When I’m deep into my ruminating my response to her would be, “yes honey, I’m fucking wide awake! can somebody close the curtains and dim the spotlight just a bit?
Now, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I don’t like, need or want the reflection and processing. I love that stuff and I feel, when done with gentle honesty, it is a growthful experience. What I’m saying is that there is awareness and then there’s preoccupation and then there’s lunacy. I often tease Joita for being so oblivious. She walks into a room clomping, stomping, clanging, her crutches thudding loudly and while all conversation stops and every head turns to stare at her, she is quite happily unaware, unaffected. Just maybe I could learn a thing or two from her. The intense scrutiny and criticism that I have of myself is not shared by others (see above taking myself too seriously). Why is that so hard for me to remember? I need to find the middle ground.
There is a teaching where you’re supposed to keep two scraps of paper, one in each of your pockets. One reads, “for me the world was created” and on the other is, “from the dust I was made”. The trick is finding the balance. Hmm… seems I’ve heard that somewhere before. I have to realize that I am but a thread in the tapestry of life. My one thread is important to the fabric, but it is not the one thread responsible for holding the entire textile together. Managing to remain in that center is my current challenge.