My mind races, every minute of every day. I may be sitting quietly, but there is commotion under the surface. Deep in my over-active brain.
I have seen commercials for “over-active leg syndrome” but never anything for “over-active brain syndrome”. Maybe I am the only one?
In the moments where I am seeking peace, seeking quiet, seeking nothingness… no such luck.
My husband used to ask me, “what are you thinking about?”
I must have a ‘face’ during my brain flurry.
I used to answer “nothing”. Not because I didn’t want to tell him. And certainly not because there really was “nothing” crowding my thoughts. Mostly because I had no way to put into words the jumbled mess that was happening upstairs.
One day, I finally tried. When he asked me, I answered with a slightly snotty “do you really want to know?” He was so sweet and naive and said, “of course I do”.
BIG mistake. He didn’t know what he was in for. I rattled off at least a dozen things I was thinking in that random moment in time.
“I want to move the bookcase over there, need to plan dinner for tomorrow, thinking the walls would be better in yellow, need to look for drapes, have to focus on my new client acquisition at work and I’m worried about that, can’t remember if I turned my curling iron off, that picture is crooked, I think we are out of bread, I should be working out, need to lose ten pounds, why’s it so warm in here, there is a mound of dishes in the sink getting good and crusty, I hope you don’t snore so loudly tonight, that plant needs to be watered, crap I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer!”
Perhaps that rant should have ended with “squirrel“!
As I spit out the crazy contents of my brain, I could see his expression growing more and more disturbed. His smile fell. His eyes got big. His brow furled. His lips tensed.
“Really?” he asked.
“Ummm YES! All day, every day. Never stops.”
I mustered the courage to ask him what he thinks about when he is sitting still like that and then prepared myself for his answer. Any guesses as to what he said?
Nothing! And he was serious. There really was no to-do list constantly streaming, or worries that surfaced regularly, or plans he was making. When he was quiet, his mind was clear. Empty. Nothing.
I used to be so jealous of that ability to completely block out the world and think of nothingness. I wanted my own over-active brain to give me just five minutes of peace and quiet from its rambling ways. I needed a break!
But over the years, I have come to appreciate my constant stream of thoughts. In the quiet moments, during my brain dumps, my best ideas come. If I had been truly able to achieve thinking of nothing, I would never create or contemplate. I need that random electric impulse activity in my head to shake out the really good stuff. The ‘I didn’t see that on Pinterest, but actually thought of that myself’ stuff.
That is just how my brain works. That is how God created me. And it turns out, that is a blessing.
Now when my sweet husband reluctantly asks me what I’m thinking – although he rarely asks anymore after that episode – I simply say… “Do you really want to know?”
Today’s rambling is in response to Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday topic, “nothing”. You can link up too! Just visit her blog for details.