formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Be Still

Once, when Ryan was a toddler, I took her into a clothing store which, obviously, had no shopping carts. She'd gotten to the point where she didn't like to stay in her stroller, so I told her she had to stick close to me while I browsed. A little while later, having been absorbed in a display of spring sweaters, I looked down to where she should have been... and she was gone. My heart rose into my throat and then dropped immediately into my shoes, and I fought back the panic. After a few moments of frantic searching, I found her, giggling, under a rack of dresses. Needless to say, it was the last cartless shopping venture we attempted for a while.

I've discovered that Time is like a toddler, finally free from the confines of the shopping cart. It has an extraordinarily sneaky way of getting away from me, causing moments of panic when I look down to find an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year just... gone.

It's been a whole month since I've written here. I didn't intend to stay away. It's just been a busy month, full of nothing particularly extraordinary... just lots of weird, up-and-down weather, overwhelming loads of work, a fall down a dark driveway (that resulted in a few x-rays, cracked ribs, and painkillers), chores, good news, bad news, disappointing news...

Just... Life.

Onward through Time it moves, this Life, more quickly with each passing year, month, week, day, hour...

Sometimes, it feels chaotic. Noisy. Overwhelming. And when it is this way (more often than I care to acknowledge), I don't know which way to turn or what to do first, or how to turn it town, how to slow it down...

It's exhausting.

I have a wonderful therapist friend who is always telling me to rest... to just be still. When she gives me this advice, I agree with her... I nod, promise to do what she suggests... and then I go back to juggling the dozen single-working-mother-balls I have in the air at any given time.

And I wear down even further... lose focus... fade.

Last year, I gave my dog a bath outside, with the hose. I dried him with one of our many brightly-colored beach towels and then left it to dry on the deck railing. I forgot about it and a couple of weeks later, after hanging in the bright sun for too long, it was pastel-colored -- shades lighter than it had been originally.

I feel like that beach towel. Except that instead of too long in the sun, I've been too long in the shadows of 'Too Much To Do and Too Little Time To Do It.'

Turns out? Shadows fade, too.

So, faded, out of focus, and worn down, I'm falling back to my therapist friend's suggestion. Rest. Be still.

It's going to have to be my quiet holy mantra for a little while...

Be still... be still... be still... be still...

Be still...

Just. Be. Still.


Michael S Newstrom said...

It is difficult to be still. It doesn't seem like there is time. If you don't move on the tasks or relationships begging at you, things will most assuredly fall in to pieces - ones that cannot be repaired. And yet I have received the very same advice.

When I have followed the advice, with measure, I found it difficult to do and then almost too welcoming. I did discover a great deal. Things moved but not without me entirely. I gained some focus and experienced angst as well. I really learned the value of being still. I, like many, have said I know, I know; but when you do it, when you really do it, you gain a bit of yourself back. That part of you that is spread out all over the place. And you just feel better.

Rest my friend. Be still.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Still be.

Sam_I_am said...

I struggle with the guilt of being still. There's always something that needs to be done- dishes, cleaning, sorting, prepping for the new baby and if I'm resting, I'm not doing it. But, it's better for my family if I let those dishes sit and rest, because I get frustrated and tired and mean and I'm no good to be around then. Be still :-)

CJ said...

Being still ---I find it impossible.

I used to think that when I retired, I would relax, be still, and have all the time in the world to do all the things I enjoy doing or need to do like get this place in order so we can move to a smaller place that will require less house and yard work.

But there is one big DISadvantage of retirement.

When one has a job, it seems to take forever to get from Monday to Friday. It takes even longer on some days to move from starting time to the time when one can sign out and head home. Time creeps at a snail's pace.

But in retirement, it is June and suddenly, it's April. And what have I accomplished? Well, I read a lot of books and played zillions of hours of online solitaire. I've watched a ton of Netflix videos. The only exercise I got was shoveling snow (and more snow and more snow.)

But I haven't contributed much to my blog. I haven't written a word for three novels I started years ago. I haven't completed the hand-made books I started in the fall. I finally took some photos yesterday and went for a walk this morning.

I haven't sorted out all the clothes I want to give to Good Will. I haven't cleaned up the mess in my art studio. I haven't sold or given away the tons of stuff we don't need. I do laundry only when we have no clean underwear. I haven't called the plumber to fix a leak in the basement. I haven't scanned the ton of stuff to add to a blog I promised a friend I'd complete for her by the end of May.

Yet, I feel like I'm busy all the time ---doing nothing, but not relaxing or just being. I actually got more done at home when I worked 40-hours/week.