Monday, March 21, 2011

Brain Dump

I'm sort of OCD when it comes to cleaning and organizing. I never live up to my own standards, but maybe because it's spring, or maybe because we just helped Ralph & Judy move 40+ years worth of stuff, I'm in de-cluttering mode. I could start with my closet, my hard drive, my photos, my pantry, my storage room...but I've decided to sort and organize some of my thoughts. Most of them are mundane, a few of them are destructive, and there might be a couple I'd like to come back and develop later.

If you make it to the end of this post it's safe to say you are:
a) insanely bored,
b) a masochist,
c) a kindred spirit, or
d) all of the above.

So here goes. This is what has been on my mind recently.

1) The best decision I ever made was to marry Rob. I love it when he does little things to make me happy, like filling up my water bottle (with water from the refrigerator, not the tap, even though he swears there's no difference). When I went to put my shoes on this morning, I found some Girl Scout Thin Mints waiting for me. He thinks he's proving that he loves me the most, but he's just giving me more reasons to love him the most.

2) Books and friends are often my "inciting incidents." In a good way. There is a long blog post waiting here. If you've read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years you'll probably get this.

3) I am tired. I am lazy. I need to lose weight. I need to be nicer to my kids. I'm clumping a lot of negative thoughts here that need to change into something productive or go away. Time to re-read The Feeling Good Book.

4) Most people are amazing. Sometimes I get this almost overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the people around me, even if I don't know them well.

5) WHY don't I do the things that I know will make me happy? I know that scripture study and exercise make my day, and that when it comes down to it, it's the things we do daily that really make a difference. How many times do I need to relearn these lessons to make them stick for good?

6) Listening to the scriptures while I'm doing the dishes or laundry really doesn't cut it. It may be better than nothing, but my thoughts always wander. On the scale of good/better/best, it is only good.

7) I love the stage of life I'm in right now. No totally dependent and high-maintenence babies, no teenagers who want to be totally independent, some time to myself, but family fun too. Sometimes I worry that this might be the peak, but I hope that I'll enjoy each stage as it comes.

8) Urgent v. Important. My to-do list is long, and most everything on it has been there for a while. Sometimes I'll get something on the list finished because I have a deadline (taxes, birthday, activity) that forces the issue. Most of them are not, so they get pushed back by the everyday need for order (dishes, laundry, dinner). I want to check off some of the things that are important. I need some inciting incidents. Also, so many of the things that are truly important (spending time with family, friends, scriptures, nature) are not even on my list. Would it help if I re-write my list? Again, why don't I do what I know?

9) Service. I need to move beyond "I want to do better at this" to a plan. Who, what, when, where, why, how... I also want to help my kids learn to love service, big or small. What are my passions, and how can I meld my service with them? Reading, photography, food, running, memories? I've done some service things with these, but need some more thinking (and action) here.

10) Disneyland. Ainsley's been sitting on my lap as I've been typing this, and we just had a conversation about all the fun things we'd be doing if we were there. There is definitely an element of "fakeness" there that made Rob and I think we would NEVER take our kids, and even if we did, we'd simply endure it for their sake. But we have loved it every time we've gone! This is probably in part because all of the urgent things disappear and some important family bonding happens. We've got $356 Disney reward dollars to spend...

11) I need to get our Washington D.C. trip planned. The plane tickets are booked but that is all. I've got some work to do.

12) I'd love to try laser hair removal, but I'm a chicken. And too cheap. Plus, I don't want to be shallow (even if I am).

13) What would I regret if I died? Or what would I do if I knew I only had a year to live? I just read The Council of Dads, written by a guy in that position. I would regret not finishing (or even starting) a scrapbook for Ainsley. I made a baby book (until age one) for Robbie and Joey, and got about half-way done with Ellie's before I quit scrapbooking. I actually prefer blogging, and the whole point for me is to leave them with memories and a sure knowledge of my love for them, so that's okay. But the comparison would always be there, and it is a tangible, made-especially-for-me-by-mom proof, and I want to get it done. I actually do have a plan to get started, which is a weekend in St. George with Melissa (and hopefully Judy) where we do nothing but scrapbook while watching chick flicks and ordering take-out. I can't wait.

14) Blogging. I have such mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I think it is a pain, a waste of time, way too exhibitionist for someone who prefers privacy and anonymity. But this line from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years sums up my reason for photo-journaling:

"[Bob] said he captures memories, because if he forgets them, it's as though they didn't happen; it's as though he hadn't lived the parts he doesn't remember."

It's kind of the philosophic question, "If a tree falls and no one hears it..." Here's my thinking. It falls, but it doesn't matter as much. My photo-journal is public only because I've been inspired and entertained by others blogs, and a few of you have been kind enough to tell me you like reading mine too.

15) Self-doubt. Hmm, should I even push the publish button? Maybe I should have left out the bolded parts? Why would I put this out there? What was I thinking? Rob is going to think this is cheesy.

16) Simplicity. I have a way of over-analyzing everything. Can you tell? I love the idea of yoga, meditation or just focusing on breathing as a way to turn off my brain, but rarely do it. Maybe it's time for that now...

So, what's on your mind? Vent with me.


6 comments:

Natalia said...

I think you should write a book.

Melissa said...

Thanks for dumping a bunch of my thoughts out there for me. Can I just link to your blog and call it good? Because I've got some urgent things that are pushing back my important things. I am loving The Council of Dads. I may even buy it.

Michelle said...

Natalie, oh, you made me smile. Laugh, even. I'm still cracking up as I come up with titles for this hypothetical book. Average in Every Way or Confessions of the Semi-Neurotic? How about Thinner, Wealthier and Better Sex in One Week? That way I could sell a few copies before anyone discovered that I had nothing relevant to say. :)

Amy said...

I fall into the category of (c). I've been feeling this way for a long time, particularly after "A Million Miles..." I totally could identify with #3, 4, 5, and 14. I wish I were OCD when it came to decluttering and organizing. My soul feels cluttered because I've got so many spaces in my house that are overwhelming me. I can't know how to start. Help! Ah hell, let's just go to lunch.

(Really and truly seriously thinking about starting a blog.)

Aimerz said...

I love this post! You've summed up how I have felt for the past few months. Riley...you are amazing! I don't know how you do all that you do, but I am so inspired by you! Thank you! Ü

Julie said...

Perfect post, because I have so many of those same doubts and questions in my own life and it's nice to know that pretty much everyone feels the same. I also love your happy moments too - isn't it those charmed moments and associations that make life beautiful?

Btw, there is ONE spot open in my new yoga class - it's in the cove and the next session begins next week - perfect: www.yourpathyoga.com . . . come join me Tuesday mornings at 9:30 if you can - it's good for the soul :-)