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Take a Chill Pill

Sometimes instead of enjoying the events in front of me, I see them as things I have to whack down with a stick before I can rest.  Workout, drive to school, have a meeting, go shopping for dinner.  Whack, whack, whack.  I stumble into my house, and then look around.  Now what?

I go to the movies, dinner, drive someone home.  Whack, whack, whack.  That was fun.  Was it?  I can't remember because I was so concerned about getting to the next thing that I forgot to pay attention where I was.

I get a tense feeling, a girding of loins, a hardening before charging into battle.  Ready, set, go.

Often, I can let go of this anxiety, but during the semester when my life seemed bookended by papers and books to read and students to talk to, I see the filler (my life) as something to push through in order for some peace.  But there isn't any peace because the week starts up again (hopefully) and there I am again whacking at the same brush trying to get to the airstrip so I can escape the bandits, grab hold of the landing gear, and make it home, clinging by my bare hands to the metal.

My sons would tell me to "Chill."  It was one of their favorite expressions for me.  "Chill, Mom," they would say.

I practice chilling by standing in front of the refrigerator.  That just makes me want to clean it.  When I step out onto the deck, I want to sweep it. 

So I exercise a lot, which helps with the chill factor.  I write, which thank goodness takes me out of the "what do I have to do today" queue.  I go on walks with friends.  I take mass quantities of illegal sub.... no, I don't.  But I would be a good candidate for daily Valium tablets.  A huge course of them.  Of course, the rehab center would really force me to calm down, and that could be a backward plan.

The semester ends in about six weeks.  There are a lot of papers to grade in that time.  Many meetings.  I am going to try to put my whacking stick in the coat closet and go out without it.  I am, as my sons say, going to try to "Chill."


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Hi Jessica, I know what you

Hi Jessica, I know what you mean.  I am reading The Power of Now now and find that it helps - a little anyway - and my boys give me the same lecture to ''Chill'' also.  If only I could  have a teenager's casual approach to life exist in my adult body! Mary

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I feel you, Jessica...

You have articulated exactly one of the biggest gripes I have with myself. While it is a trait that makes us productive, go-for-it girls, it also means that the "serenity now" mantra always becomes a "serenity later"  one. It is why I savor my rare weekend getaways. It is the only way to really relax. At home, every view I take in reminds me of another project and, even though I don't always pop up to tackle the project, the reminder that it exists takes my moment of zen and beats it to a proverbial pulp. Hmm... could that pulp be used to make some fresh squeezed juice... there goes another idea for a project. Ack!


Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com

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The Power of Myth is a great

The Power of Myth is a great book, and for periods of time, I can stay in the now. I just need to slow down enough to remember to think about it!

Thanks Mary and Shana for your thoughts. I am sitting on a couch at my mother's house, listening to the rain outside and my mother and my boyfriend upstairs. Now!

.Jessica Barksdale Inclan