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 #141 August 5, 2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain. It is a quietly stupendous memoir.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s, grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mom would simmer stones for dinner - not because they were going to eat that - but so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not know how poor they were. A whole different take on the children’s tale "Stone Soup".

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

Quarantine Diary #124 7/17/2020 As if it makes sense …

Our family lost a friend this week. I won’t go into too many details other than Tom died of a bike accident on a sunny day while riding in the country with friends. His wheel somehow got stuck in gravel, he fell, the fall twisted, and he died.

This is not his obituary or eulogy. This is a just a reflection on losing friends and how do we make sense of this?

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