I don’t know about you, but I think about things. A lot.
Things I have no control of, and things I do. Things that won’t matter 5 days—or 5 years—from now, and things that will. Things that I should be doing, things that I shouldn’t. Things I wish were happening, things I wish weren’t.
If you’ve followed my blog the past few years, you’ll notice this is a reoccurring theme. Apparently I haven’t quite gotten this under control yet. And man, it’s exhausting.
Sometimes, all that thinking is a great thing—when I’m working through projects at work or when I’m pondering the plot for my next book. Definitely great when I’m writing. Other times, it can really wear on you. Or worse, steal the joy you could be having in any given moment.
I was mowing last night (oh, the joys of summer!) and as usual had my earbuds in, trying to tune out the day and get lost in the mindless trek back and forth across my yard. And it worked…sort of. But all too often, my mind wandered right back to where I didn’t want it to. Back to the land of “what if’s” and “why’s”.
And then…breakthrough. What triggered it?
I focused on something else.
There’s a tree in my backyard I love, but it’s getting a bit big for its britches. Once a year or so, I’ve got to trim its lowest branches, because the farther they grow, the heavier they get and the lower they hang. After ducking around them a mow or two (oh, let’s be honest – at least half a dozen times), I get fed up and bring out the loppers. I do so love those loppers…
The branches were thicker than I’d realized, and trimming took some doing. But soon enough it was mission accomplished, mowing path cleared. And as I was hauling the large, victim branches back around the side of the house to break down and dispose of, I felt a surge of accomplishment. Of confidence.
Silly? Maybe, but you know what? I’m owning it. The action I took, it was all mine. I saw, I came, I conquered. And I won’t have to duck for another dozen months or so while I mow.
Even better, it shut my damn brain off for a while.
Thinking can be a wonderful thing, greatly beneficial at times. But when thinking starts eclipsing doing (or living in the moment) then we start selling ourselves short. Shifting my focus and rolling up the proverbial sleeves worked last night, and helped pull me out of my funk. It’s a trick I need to try and remember.
Sure, I try to catch myself before my mind wanders too far down the rabbit hole, but it’s not easy. And because habits can certainly be hard to break, it seems I have some work ahead.
Guess it’s a good thing I like to be challenged. 😉
Happy Tuesday, everyone. And to all my American readers, happy Independence Day tomorrow!