Last night I was trying to get to sleep and I was listening to a podcast made by the lovely Pip Lincolne of Meet Me at Mikes and JustB fame. I'd had it open in a browser on my iPhone for a few weeks to get to when I found the time and brain space to listen properly. That time came and as I listened to her lovely voice and did nothing else except breathe, I felt a great stillness.
Then I realised the absence of that stillness is pretty much always with me. I'm always so very, very busy in my head. Busy and not achieving much because I'm worn out by all the spinning around of ideas, wants, worries and wonderings that are constantly happening without anything... happening.
Do you know that feeling? I call it the Borders 1999 Feeling. Allow me to explain. In 1999 I moved out of home for the first time, lived at uni and would go on trains and trams and drive myself places without checking in with mum and dad or needing lifts, for the first time. I wasn't far from other people, they were all around me and I gravitated to bookstores and record stores and cinemas and wound up one day at Borders on Chapel Street with a notebook I always carried with me. I started listening to things at the listening station and made myself a little list. That list just kept going, pages and pages filling and spilling with books and albums and I had to sit on the floor because it was all just too much! How would I ever grasp all these things in my hands that I wanted so badly, to fill and expand my mind and line my shelves and surround me wherever I was living?
Good grief. It's lucky we live a long time and have many years of gathering these items and artworks for our nests. I didn't know that then, not really. I was 18 years old and needed it all right now because what if it's too late and it all flies away?
These days I'm kind of in the same boat if I'm honest with myself. It's books and records. Blogs and craft projects. Travel, recipes, renovations, gigs, people I want to see, documentaries I'd love to make, podcasts (make and listen to), things I'd like to grow in my garden, walks, shoes, skills, languages, etc etc etc.
I saw this link of great blogs of 2013 and nearly cried. I want all of that! To read it all! What if I miss out! FOMO!!!!!!
Today I'm recovering from the flu so there isn't a lot going on. I'm listening to Aural Text on Triple R, we've just had a wood delivery that needs to be stacked, it's the first day out of bed/couch really so I'm a bit sweaty and tentative. I'd like to plant some seedlings in the garden, prepare Homebrew for Monday, go to the post office to pick up a parcel, tackle my emails, call my mum and on it goes.
My friend Dan Vo told me that to be successful in life you should make a list of three things to achieve in any given day, and not exceed those three things (it may have been five). Are you freaking kidding me Dan? Don't you know that there are approximately nine thousand things that I absolutely must get done today, or the sky could quite possibly fall in?
He's right, you know. When I'm overwhelmed I get distracted by every fricken shiny thing in the world, when I'm underwhelmed I'm empty. My goal is just to be whelmed. Nicely in the middle - spirit level style.
Smiling Mind is a nice start, it's a great app for meditation. They're not too long or kooky, just help to slow the brains a bit. I'm a really crap meditator but I try every now and then.
So. Today my three things:
Stack the wood
Write this blog
Then tomorrow I can go on a friend date with Lily and her wee person and see some art and have some lunch.
How are you? Are you whelmed?