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When Life is a Ping Pong Match

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I spend an awful amount of time making my next move, jumping ahead, not being present. I’m like a game of Frogger, hopping in and out of lanes, dodging cars. Just this week, I lived in two different cities, scanning Zillow for homes, imagining my new yard, friends, and restaurants I frequent. It’s like a game of ping pong. I ping over to a new imaginary life, then pong back to my actual one, realizing this is where I am, the choices I made, and this is where I have to remain. It’s what’s best for the kids, for me, for now. Until next week.

I think about removing the apps from my phone, the ones that take me to other places in my head. My phone is then naked, devoid of stalling mechanisms. Only the weather app, and the health one  denoted by that cute little pink heart that, when you click on it,  shows how little I’ve moved today from my desk, remain. That heart becomes not so cute anymore. Maybe I should delete that too.

I read articles on the web, about what other people are doing, and I wonder, “Can I do that too?” I go to Wikipedia and trace backwards from someone’s fame, someone’s viral post, to see just how they got there. I “Scooby Doo” it, I say, like when Velma works her way backwards in her explanation of how they found out Mr. Jenkins from the bank was really the ghost of Fox Manor. I unmask these famous people and think about what it would be like if I wore their masks. How can I get there?

I then pong back to my life.

It’s okay I’m not famous, I tell myself. I don’t have to prove myself. I am love-able just the way I am. For now.

I just read a book about how to be healthy and recapture your beauty and inner glow. It’s got all those suggestions about detoxing and eating flax and fish oil and green tea. Green tea tastes gross, and I want a breath mint after the first sip. I drink it anyway. The book said that the secret to living a long, healthy, happy life (really, all I actually want–I think?) is to live simply: get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, don’t engage in too much screen time, don’t eat too much or too little, smell the flowers, blah, blah, blah. It seems utterly impossible. I close the book and return it to the library.

I pong back. Ping. Pong. Ping. Pong.

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation, Self-Help, Thoughts

When Stillness Stings

I was just reading that we should all find an hour in our day–find it, steal it,  covet it, and make the time for it–to disconnect in some way from our stress and hyper-connectivity. We should seek out a pond, go for a walk, read a book, meet a friend, or actually stop to smell the flowers, as trite as that sounds. In fact, just the other day, I stopped to smell a white hydrangea, and then I noticed that there was a wasp on it. And I thought, “Really? This is what happens when I stop to smell the flowers? I get stung by a wasp?”

And maybe that’s the point! Stay with me here…

Maybe we keep this maniacal pace, filling our days with 40 hour work weeks, kids’ activities and carpools, gym workouts, Facebook postings, and phone swiping just so that we don’t get STUNG by what lurks beneath: what happens when we are still.

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When we are, emotions surface, thoughts pervade, lists unravel, daydreaming happens. Some of this can be quite positive and inspirational, like the dream of a family camping trip (well, no, scratch that–that sounds miserable and sticky; I’m already itching); or the dream of having a baby or finally mastering the guitar. Conversely, these emerging thoughts can be dark, even scary, such as unease with a friendship or relationship, a lurking sense you may not be living the life you want to live. And you’re stuck. So you keep moving; you connect.

What do we do when we see wasps? We run to avert the sting. We run from it before it gets us, waving our hands around and screaming, like we are on fire. We do this too in relationships, don’t we? We run from them or break up with people before they can break up with us. Or, we disparage ourselves and self-deprecate in front of others (okay, I do), so we can beat them to the punch. I hurt me before you hurt me.

Maybe we should stop and feel the burn, the pain.

I have a healing wasp sting on my wrist right now. It’s small in diameter, about two centimeters, and it’s pink from where I itched off the scab.

Sometimes a scab needs to be itched off to heal.

Doesn’t time heal all wounds? I’m waiting for an answer on that one. But I need to acknowledge these wounds first, in the stillness.

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