Too Much and Not Enough

Boyne River

The Boyne River. There’s just something about Irish rivers.

I’ve had millions of thoughts running through my head this week, which is, admittedly, pretty much normal, and probably is something everyone could easily say. Usually, I have a zillion ideas and they send me in a dozens of unproductive directions. This week the thinking has been a tad more philosophical and focused, which has been somewhat confusing to me. I am not used to it.

These threads are in the same flowing river, which I say not to be poetic, but to give an image to what I mean by “focused.” Most of the time, I have an idea in a lake in Maine, and a thought about the river in Egypt, and then I wonder about a pond in Germany, and a swimming pool in China. They are all bodies of water, but, they really, really, really don’t overlap.

Having a flow of thoughts in a single river, however, means that the ideas are all going in the same place, and I’m intrigued by this development, and I’m also finding it unnerving, because, it seems to be heading to a place I really ought to go, but, also that I am scared of it, and there is some active part of my lizard brain that keeps pulling a curtain in front of the path when I get close to glimpsing the thought’s destination. I am clearly afraid of seeing what is behind that curtain.

Several times this week I’ve had some really good thoughts in this river, and those thoughts have wanted me to sit down and write about them, to deliberately follow them to their conclusion, and I want to capture the elegant phrasing my mind churned up as I paid attention to it, and because I am in the store or not near a pen, I push it aside, and tell myself I’ll get to it shortly. I really haven’t managed to get to any of these things. I’m struggling even to recall any or all of them when I sat down to do the work. There are answers in there. I just need to have the courage to do what I know needs to be done, and I suspect, do just that will be wildly rewarding, if I get over being afraid of it all.

As I have sat down to write this, knowing that I’ve had many possible things to put here this week, and that I have largely dismissed them as being not substantive enough to sustain a full-length posting, (and yes, I know that part of that dismissal is me not wanting to face that particular topic), what I am acknowledging first and foremost is that I need to be more mindful of each of these notions and when they appear in my brain, I need to stop dismissing them. I need to give them ¬†enough space to be scary, and to put other things aside to focus on just that one thing. I need to stop deciding that whatever it is that has re-emerged into my brain is there for a reason. Does that mean that I should ignore things with deadlines or actual urgency? No. But, it does mean that it’s not time for me to decide I’m too busy for that now, when I know that “busy” is an illusion and a way for me to dismiss something that might take real work.

It’s a step. And it might mean that I am perhaps finally doing the hard, heavy lifting I need to do to move forward with something akin to purpose. It might be another illusion, but, it might also be a valuable clue to the next steps in the path.