I have a busy brain.
That’s a polite way of saying I’m a bit scatterbrained. Maybe more than a bit. How about somewhat? That’s slightly more than a bit but not quite a lot. So now that we’ve established the degree of my scatterbrainedness, let me explain.
Life is busy. You’d think the older we get the less busy we are but I find it to be the opposite. Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation (I hear), being free to do whatever you want…or nothing at all, if that’s your thing. I don’t know what nothing at all feels like. Running a nonprofit in my supposed retirement years pretty much seals the fact that the word rest is not in my vocabulary.
Besides being on call every day, my 8 animals keep me hopping. And I always have a To-Do list for my house. My ex used to call me Mrs. Winchester because I never seem to finish working on the place.
The Winchester Mystery House — 160 rooms built over 38 years
Adding to my activities, there’s family I need to see and tennis to be played. And I can’t forget time spent with my besties — having them over for dinner, going to movies and out to lunch, shopping and traveling. Who has time for rest? I’ll do that when I’m dead. In the meantime, I need to find a way to quiet my mind because the rest of me isn’t cooperating.
So I decided to practice meditating. As in sitting still for an exorbitant period of time, thereby removing all thought from my mind in order to gain clarity, peace and perspective. At least I think this is what meditation entails. Maybe I should look that up.
I have to say I don’t have high hopes I’ll succeed at this endeavor. The idea of me actually sitting still for more than 30 seconds and clearing my head of the multitudes of random thought constantly permeating my gray matter is like expecting Trump to go a day without tweeting. But hey, I’m willing to give it a try.
So last week I looked the part — sat alone upstairs in cross-legged fashion, the back of my hands on my knees, palms turned upward, thumbs touching middle fingers in the traditional meditation pose.
Then I realized I had no mantra. So I got up and Googled the only chant that came to mind: Tina Turner’s mantra in her movie, What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Back upstairs and anxious to reach that trance-like state, I began chanting. But my busy brain resisted. It went something like this:
Is that the gardener blowing leaves in the rain? Why doesn’t he take the day off?
Relax, Janet. Calm your mind.
Hum, maybe I’ll make some minestrone tonight. Wonder if I have enough veggies?
Breathe, Janet, breathe.
Don’t forget to buy batteries. Who are you fooling? You’ll never remember the batteries. Better write it down when you’re done meditating.
That’s how it went for what felt like 20 minutes but in reality was 120 seconds. Just two minutes in and I knew this meditation stuff would be one of the more difficult things I’ve tried. Parachuting from a plane was way easier than attempting to keep my body still and mind quiet.
On second thought, maybe gaining clarity, peace and perspective isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I, for one, will probably never know.