Choosing Now in the Noise

My refrigerator is dying.

My refrigerator is dying a long, slow, and very noisy death.

Before we go any further, let me assure you that there is an action plan underway and this situation is purely temporary, however, it is VERY LOUD and has been going on for a while.

I can hear my refrigerator from every room in the house but my bedroom.

Shall I say it again? It is VERY LOUD.

The funny thing is that the longer it goes on, the less we seem to notice it. The buzz becomes the norm. I only notice when it stops for a second. And then a wave of relief washes over me for the 30 seconds that it takes to start its chilly death knell again. It is then, in the moment that the buzz starts again, that I feel my jaw clench, that I feel other thoughts abandon me, that I steel myself against that infernal noise.

The world can be a very noisy place, and so much of that noise is out of our control. The closer we live to other humans, the more of that external noise we likely steel ourselves against every day: the traffic; construction; the folks who don’t seem to need sleep; the televisions; the radios; the chimes that let us know that we have a message, a text, dry laundry. All of this sound demanding our attention, infringing on our focus, distracting and attracting us. And that’s just the external stuff… Continue reading

The Spin

IMG_4082A minute ago my husband asked me what I was up to. I stuttered and stumbled around my words and then laughed and said: “I can’t even answer you.” Because I was mad? No. Because I didn’t know what I was doing? No. Because at that moment I was actually attempting to be engaged in 4 separate activities. Four separate and distinct activities! Cell phone to my right signaling texts from my music partner. Music book to my left featuring set list in progress and songs waiting to be arranged. Laptop on my lap waiting for writing to happen, and finally remote in hand looking for something engaging on the tube, because you know I really needed something else to attend to…

How does this happen? It’s a natural offshoot of the spin. The spin where I know I have a lot to do. The spin where everything seems to be of equal importance and then I remember I haven’t talked to a friend in a while. The spin where it seems like I move all day and nothing actually gets finished. So I stop. And breathe.

Then I think about the garden. I don’t spin in the garden. There is a never ending list of necessary tasks in the garden. Sometimes one will present itself as more necessary than the others. Sometimes not. So what do I do in the garden when there’s a ton to do and it all seems equally important? I stop. I breathe. I slowly choose one task and complete it. And if there’s time, I choose another.

Self-Care, Wait… What?

IMG_4066There’s this phrase that gets thrown around a lot… self-care.  Yeah, me neither.

I’m admittedly pretty new to thinking about what it means. I am sure that it’s an area that I need to work on. Coming to that conclusion has been neither easy nor terribly convenient.

You see, I have children (and please understand you could replace “children” with “job I am really into”, “8000 hobbies”, “a desperate need to be busy at all times”, “a major life stressor or tragedy”, or “a puppy”). I have perfect twin reasons to choose not to take care of myself at any time.

The problem with making the choice to care for everyone else and not yourself is NOT just that you don’t get cared for, but the long-term consequences of neglecting your own needs in favor of everyone else’s. There are many long term consequences. The long-term consequence I have faced as my twin tornadoes age and have more gaps between their pressing and immediate needs? I kind of forgot what I needed and wanted to do for myself. Continue reading