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 #15 3/28/2020

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining?

Quarantine #14 3/27/2020

Last night we did another wild and crazy thing. We got in our car and went for a drive! The first thing we remarked to each other was that we had not been in the car together in weeks.  It felt a little odd to be in there, next to each other, about to GO SOMEPLACE! Maybe this is the way it feels to be the family dog when they let you sit in the front seat and EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING!

We drove west into the rosy sunset, filled with excitement to, um, see the sky.  Quarantines are easiest on people who have a low bar for excitement.

Quarantine Diary #13 3/26/2020

What do you miss?  What, in our new pandemical world do you miss most from our pre-pandemical world?You know, the one we lived in till two weeks ago?

I don’t mean the heartbreaking realities such as safe medical care providers and enough places to go should one become ill and the loved ones that we are losing.

I just mean, what are we getting used to? Or trying to get used to. What might we never go back to?

Quarantine Diary #12 3/25/2020

Right now it is 11:00AM.  Got up this morning at the regular time. Did regular things. Came to the office to write. Worked (hardly at all) on a project, wrapped an item for eBay. Announced to Len at 10:30 that I was sleepy and going to take a nap.

You know what he said?  He said, “Me, too.”

The following half hour he took the sofa and I took our bed and both of us slept like toddlers on cots.

Quarantine Diary #11 3/24/2020

Most mornings we wake up, get coffee, then sit in bed to read news websites and Twitter on our phones. This isn’t the most spiritually centering way to begin a day but IMHO any morning one can actually rouse oneself at all is good enough.

Except this. Remember when Len and I went to Kearny, Nebraska last spring to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes? (Right here.) 

When I have freaked out enough about the news, I go to this crane cam. 

Quarantine Diary #10 3/23/2020

This was a really good part of today. When my daughter was putting the baby down for his nap, Len and I read storybooks to our 3-year old granddaughter before her nap. Literally, she was sitting on her little bed in Chicagoland while holding mommy’s phone.  I read; Len moved the phone around carefully to show the illustrations. 

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