Clearing My Cookies
So it’s Thursday and I know I have a blog post due tomorrow. This isn’t something I owe someone else. It isn’t something that will make me money. It’s a commitment I made to myself which makes completing the task even more important. And it is the tensile strength of that single thread on which my motivation now relies because it feels like every other thread that makes up the weave of my life has unraveled.
I ate so many cookies this week.
Taking an entire day to coax myself through the process of finding inspiration and organizing words on the paper resulted in using that day to stare at a blank screen. And this activity was broken up by puttering around attempting other projects, all of which yielded what felt like a minuscule amount of success.
Yup. It was about like that.
It is now Thursday night and the paper is still blank. But after walking the dog who currently looks like I feel (she pretty much looks like a tumbleweed), I came home and flipped a brain switch. I sat down at the computer and I committed to making this happen. Still lacking inspiration, I turned to old faithful, YouTube, and sitting there in my recommendations was a TED talk entitled “Getting Stuck in the Negative.” Fitting, I thought.
While watching the video, I thought about all the things that brought me down this week and I realized that, while there were odds and ends that were less than enjoyable, nothing ~actually~ happened to make me THIS depressed and anxious. As the video continued I rolled my eyes and grumbled while the psychologist spoke about practicing positivity but, with a heavy sigh I tried to find some perspective. And then it dawned on me…
I have been no more than a ghost, trading in the present for a narrative in my head that has been constant and unending. It rambled about the things I should have done, it rambled about the things I should be doing and it worried about the future that I will and will not have.
I had a drama teacher who always said: “Be in the moment.” It kind of made me want to slug her. And it galls me to say she was right. So I’ll pretend the advice came from Cookie Monster instead. After all, he was right about the cookies.
I totally ate them.
Negative tapes have been repeating in my head and pressing <STOP> felt like an impossible task. But the moment I went looking for inspiration, it brought those negative thoughts to a halt. Becoming conscious of them left no other choice.
Now I sit here aware of my breathing. I feel the breeze coming through the windows. I hear the traffic out on the main street. And as I listen to the noise of the world around me, the noise in my head remains quiet. Sometimes finding peace feels like an impossible task, but if you take that moment to step outside of yourself and to become aware of your surroundings, it’s often as simple as flipping a switch.
I’ve given Cookie Monster back his cookies for now, happy once more to walk amongst the living. And I can only hope that each time I learn this lesson, doing so will make it easier to put down the cookies before I feel compelled to pick them up.
This post was brought to you by the letter C (as in cookie) and the number 24 (as in the number of cookies I ate.)
Written by: Heather of EVP