Mary Beth Writes

Like many of you, I am emerging from my den of “Wow, that was Sure a Full Couple of Months!” I have been either chased by or chasing my calendar since the middle of October. We’ve had a plethora of family get-togethers (we all have birthdays at the end of the year), plus somehow all my dental/medical checkups/appointments ended up around now. Most things we did or attended over the holidays were rich and good, but it still filled days and kept me feeling a little spinny. (Or was that the cough syrup?)

This morning, while reading a book review that has nothing to do with what I want to say (I’ll put the proper URL at the bottom of this to give credit to the woman who wrote it), I read this phrase. “Mistrust your sense of urgency.”

“Mistrust your sense of urgency.”

It made me consider how fast my mind goes, how I make a daily to-do list on paper … but don’t doubt that I also have a backup list burning in my soul. The one on paper reminds me to tutor at the elementary school today plus bring up the laundry from the basement. The internal one reminds me to not miss All the Deeply Meaningful Things Before I Die. (I blame WAY TOO MANY altar calls in my youth. How many times can you ask a third grader where she will go if she dies tonight – without messing with her head forever?)

Resisting urgency does not mean we won’t attempt hard and important things.  It does mean we can tamp down our panic at the greediness, destruction, and self-serving politics around us. We can try to figure out our ways to respond without living in knots. We don’t have to fix everything. We just have to do what we can do. While living our lives and taking out the trash and reading books and keeping the kids safe.

Right now I am going to resist my sense of urgency to write more. This phrase will either make sense to you or it won’t.

For me? These are things I am going to do this week to resist false urgency

1. Not going to wear my pedometer for a week. 

2. Not add any anything to this week’s calendar unless it involves kids or hiking.

3. Not put anything else on a numbered to-do list.

 

.....

The quote was from this unrelated but interesting review of why a writer wrote a crime novel. https://crimereads.com/the-true-crime-story-that-changed-my-life/

Comments

Leonard's picture

This is from Alice "Through the Looking Glass" "Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing." "A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

Ahhhh. Thank you for this! Just what I needed today. After launching a new program yesterday, I'm excited and breathless. Wanting to do all the things and reach all the people. But my core self is constantly thinking, "What's the rush?" and I need to stay connected to her if I'm to remain happy & fulfilled in this process. My personal wake-up phrase is, "I'm not doing brain surgery, here." ha ha. Things take time. Good things take time. And I have time!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks! And thanks for plugging this piece in The Perpetual You Society ... https://www.facebook.com/groups/theperpetualyousociety/

This was good and yeh, the phrase made sense. No surprise there. Sigh.

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Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.

...

 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.

 …

Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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