The last six months have been a bit on the mentally demanding side, and I don’t like to be bothered by too much cognitive action (Having worked in education for roughly two decades I am firm believer that over-intelligence is actually a bit of a burden. Worry less about your kids getting As and more about whether or not they can hold a conversation with someone other than Baloney Boingo, the imaginary friend.)
The stress is mounting lately due to some fresh financial woes; the irksome, soul-crushing situation of growing more and more infatuated with someone who doesn’t reciprocate those feelings even a smidge; and a big scary surgery in the family – the kind that lodges a sack of sawdust in your throat.
Being a big fan of denial, I am trying not to think about these things when they crop up in my mind. They crop up quite a lot though, roughly 120 times a minute …unless I am distracted by something else.
STAY BUSY, I command myself. OCCUPY YOUR MIND WITH OTHER THOUGHTS. Yep sounds great, excellent idea. I have work to do, people to see, a to do list the length of the Amazon – piece of cake!
Apart from when I’m in the shower; brushing my teeth; cooking; cleaning; doing laundry; grocery shopping; driving; walking along the street; sitting waiting for a friend who has selfishly gone to the bathroom; watching or reading something that has to do with humanity; making future plans; going to sleep; waking up… oh my god there is just so much time in the day to think. I am spending 12 out of the 24 hours yelling internally, “NO. NO, you are not allowed to think about him/her/them/that/those or any of that other shit. Damn it you are still thinking about it – STOP THAT NOW!”
I met a woman years ago, during another overly pensive period of my life, who advised me whenever that happened that I should start cataloguing everything I could see in front of me. “Oh look there’s a tree, a house, a brown house with red door, ugh ghastly color combination. Blue car with the license plate missing” etc…. which definitely works for a limited amount of time, but is quite exhausting to keep up, plus you get flashbacks to ugly brown houses with red doors.
Anyhoo, I’ve been trying to think of different mind occupying tactics. At first I thought haiku! Try to come up with haiku whenever you find yourself having unwanted thoughts, it’s challenging, and good for the brain. But then I realized that the draw back is you find yourself making up haiku about whatever it is you’re doing, which just happens to be mentally torturing yourself. For example yesterday’s shower yielded:
Hot running water
Wash away feeble feeling
Right. That’s obviously not helpful haiku.
So now I’m moving onto making up Dr Seuss themed rhymes. Being a bit cognitively fluffy at the moment I keep calling him Dr Zeuss, which has led to some crossover action.
Oh how I do love Dr Zeuss
When he writes astride a giant moose.
Armed with thunderbolts and lightning
He is so very frightening.
Ink spills on the page
In fits of stormy rage.
Sketching flutterbys and heffelumps
With angry cases of the mumps.
I appear to also have been influenced by Bohemian Rhapsody and Winnie the Pooh.
Mama, I just killed a bear,
Wearing red and eating honey.
It’s so sad, not remotely funny.
A tiger stopped mid-bounce
‘Asshole’, he did me pronounce.
Soooo yeah, there’s plenty more of that tragic rhyme coming your way.