My mind never stops. Which is both a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing because I am constantly thinking about how to solve problems (mine, yours and the rest of the world’s), coming up with ideas to write about and making mental lists on virtual yellow legal pads of all the things that I need to get done. For the next 10 years.
It’s a curse because too much thinking makes my neck muscles really tight. I think they’re my trapezius muscles. The ones that make you have poor posture and cause your shoulders to be all hunched up. And then because your neck is so tight, you get a lot of headaches.
It’s also a curse because it wakes me up in the middle of the night. And keeps me awake, thinking about things that don’t really matter. Here’s one train of thought I had a few nights ago:
- Hmm, I’m almost out of my expensive face serum. The one that helps my rosacea.
- I need to go online and order it. I think I’ll order the bigger bottle this time.
- Which website has the best price?
- Wonder if I can find a coupon?
- What else do I need as long as I’m paying for the shipping?
Want another example?
This happened last night at 2:30 in the morning when my mind decided to get up and just start running at full speed:
- Oh no, I left clothes in the washing machine for two days. They must smell. I’m going to have to re-run them.
- Shoot, there’s still stuff in the dryer too. I’ll use the fluff cycle.
(Then I got up and came downstairs because I had sushi for dinner and I was really thirsty. I went back upstairs but it continued.)
- Oh no, I never emptied the dishwasher and there are dishes in the sink. Tomorrow.
- Oops, almost forgot about my dermatologist appointment to get my stitches out.
- And I have to pay all of our month-end bills.
- Is it Monday or Tuesday that’s the last day of the month? I’ll check my calendar. No, wait. Today is the 26th. So it must be Tuesday.
- Oh good. I can go back to bed now.
I’m not kidding. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
And the night before a trip? Forget it. I don’t even try to win that battle. That’s when I take my prescription sleeping pills. My mind fights and fights against the effects of it. Ultimately, the drugs win. Too bad I can’t take them every night.
I have found a few things that help still my mind and truly relax me. Reading a really good book does it. I’ll get engrossed in the story and not get distracted by anything going on around me. Writing can do it too. If I’m on a writing roll. The kind where my fingers are having a hard time keeping up with my brain. That’s good because then I’m not thinking about anything other than what I’m writing. Exercise helps. Cardio and lifting weights. My endorphins get going and my neck muscles relax. Plus exercising helps my sleep patterns. Then there’s sex, which helps most of the time. But sometimes even then my mind does wander
. Sorry Mr. Fowler, it’s no reflection on you or my love for you. Or your sexual prowess.
And then there’s massage. I really enjoy getting a massage especially when I fall in to one of those comatose states where my mind becomes one with the new agey music playing in the background. It does happen. It is possible. But even then it takes a while. A few weeks ago, in Las Vegas, I got a hot stone massage. My train of thought before I went into my altered state went like this:
- Glad I didn’t eat breakfast. Don’t want to have to pass gas.
- Can’t believe I got my period 5 days early. No oral sex.
- Am I pre-menopausal? I’m only 44.
- Have to stop thinking or else she’ll know I can’t relax. That I’m a freak.
- Ow, ow, ow. Okay, she already knows because she found my tight neck muscles.
- Clear your mind. Go to your happy place. I’m on the beach, but under an umbrella, drinking a beer. Glad I went to the dermatologist and got rid of those pre-melanoma cells.
- STOP THINKING.
- Ooh. Those hot stones feel good. Focus on how it feels. Like I’m slipping into a warm pool of creamy butter.
- Shit, now my stomach is going to growl because I didn’t eat breakfast. How long until lunch?
- Wow, I love having my feet massaged. Okay, here we go. I’m slipping underrrrrrrr.
You get the idea.It’s not so bad having a mind that never stops. It’s made me the unique person I am.My only regret? My 13 year-old son is the same way. Poor kid. It takes him 30 minutes to fall asleep every night. But he probably really will go on to solve the problems of the world. At least some of them. You’re welcome.