So I found this book about “finding your default state of mind”. Flipping through it, I could feel the familiar anxious tightening of my stomach (metaphorical of course, the literal tightening of my stomach might imply having done some “core” work, which - it cannot be overstated - is not a familiar feeling). Stress causes my stomach to ball up in a knot. Was stressed out my default state of mind? That didn’t feel it quite covered it. It was bigger than that...hmm...oh! Overwhelmed! That was my default state of mind! Overwhelmed! Somehow I knew it instinctively.
I needed to prove the theory. When I got home, the first thing I did was to make a list. "Things that overwhelm me." Maybe then I could find a pattern of where I was always going wrong. I went to grab a pen to write them down. The pen drawer was a mess because it is, in fact, more than a pen drawer. If you were to require a tiny screwdriver it was the screw-driver drawer. A battery? The battery drawer. I went to unusual lengths to keep from calling it what it actually was (the “junk” drawer).
I started to organize it a little, thinking how beneficial those little drawer organizers would be. Dollar store! Then I remembered about 20 other items I had been meaning to pick up from the dollar store, so I began to jot them down. Then I started fretting about all this shopping at the dollar store - was quantity really better than quality? How many dollar store items have only spent a brief hiatus on my kitchen counter before ending up at the Goodwill? How many items broke upon first use (or in my case, upon removal from the package itself?) And furthermore...shouldn't I be supporting locally made products as opposed to the mass-produced ones in China that cause, um, economic mayhem?.
Speaking of economic mayhem (or mayhem in general) shouldn't I be more concerned with my purpose here on this planet? Shouldn’t I be doing something? Shouldn't I know the breakdown of the crisis in the Middle-east? Gun to my head (machete to my head?) could I actually find the countries which make up the “Middle-east”? Do I know you can't just add "zkstan" and hope for the best? I really need to pick up a book sometime. Instead of just going to the bookstore and flipping through the bestsellers. I mean...the news magazines. Okay, FINE! People magazine.
Or that I don't admit that the bookstore is sometimes just a cover story for the Caramel Macchiato I will be getting from the adjoining Starbucks. Which naturally leads me to think: I buy way too much coffee out. That spare change could really add up, I should really try to budget more carefully. I should give back.
That’s when nausea hit me. Giving back! Paying it forward! My money goes strictly sideways!! Weren’t there starving children and/or orphans somewhere needing my coffee money to eat today? Just to eat today? What is wrong with me? I should be volunteering somewhere!! On that note how do people volunteer for things anyway? I should really google it.
At my age, I should know these things. I should have already been doing these things! Of course, the age thing puts me in mind of wrinkles - as most things tend to do because I’m basically self-absorbed and vain (concern for starving children notwithstanding). I really think I need to be looking into some sort of age-reversal cream immediately. I am not giving up the hope that, right at this moment, a mad scientist somewhere is right on the brink of discovering how to make us all go backwards, Benjamin Button-style. Tell me there is? (then direct me to his/her website.)
Somewhere in this exhausting little mental game I become aware of my hand which is jammed firmly in a box of animal cookies. They are a calorie bargain at 10 per cookie but perhaps not so much when you eat the whole box (even less so when - having woken the beast - they usher you on to regular cookies).
Aaaand exercise. Yup - there it is. Oh, don’t look surprised, you knew that’d be next. I really should do it more!! I should be doing it right now….but my treadmill is currently serving as a drying rack for the laundry.
Oh no, the laundry! I forgot to switch on the dryer! No clean jeans and angry teenage girls will descend on me like a swarm of bees. I’ll never get it done before I have to start supper.
Supper! Again!!? Was it not just yesterday that I made stupid supper? Is it bad to serve spaghetti 3 nights a week? I’m thinking it’s maybe bad. I’m also thinking my head might explode.
I have completely forgotten what started this train-wreck until I look down at the list in front of me. "Things that overwhelm me." Oh. I remove my hand from the box of cookies. Slowly. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.