Sometimes we think too much; it’s time to get moving and doing

#474 in a series of true experiences in real estate
November 2004, Hills Newspapers

It was a day off, no need to get up early, and maybe that was the problem. No appointments, and so I was free to wake up fretting.

My mind was full of discomforts, mostly small, but larger ones, too. So many disquieting thoughts whirled about that I had a hard time concentrating on any single one. The insurance carrier for my house; what to do about a client’s cloudy double-glazed windows; I must eat more vegetables, take my vitamins, exercise.

I wasn’t conscious enough yet to think more than randomly, but before long I moved onto a project and its details, a listing and how its various problems might be solved. I chewed on that for awhile. Trees could use pruning; hot water heater should be strapped; where can we find new window cranks?

Round and round my mind flitted. The car needs washing. Jerry is sick. I wonder if we’ll ever take a vacation.

I became so uncomfortable that although I didn’t need to get up, I did. I thought that just standing on the floor and finding that I could walk, could still move about in my world might allow me to concentrate on something – anything – and stop the frenzy.

I got a cup of coffee and began to read the newspapers, read of public housing projects gone bad, local glass blowing classes. Headlines in one paper announced that the housing market is down, but in another, the market couldn’t be better.

I arranged dirty dishes in the dishwasher and added water to a bouquet on the windowsill. The dentist’s office called to change an appointment.

Life is complicated, I thought. So very complex, so many parts, so many people in the world. Each person is going about on the bus, in the car, getting gas. Working long hours, calling mom on the phone.

Take the kids to the park, pants need mending, not feeling well today, neighbor’s dog barks all night.

The quantity and variety of our experiences – for each of us – are so vast, almost beyond our comprehension. In just moments we feel, think, consider, respond to so very many things. It’s hard to believe that we are capable of doing so much so often even before we actually do anything.

This morning I finally was able to look up and out of my windows. I walked into my garden thinking that my sanity depends on being able to filter well, to concentrate on one idea, if only for a split second, before considering the next.

Right away, I began to feel better. I remembered then that when I get into a jumbledy state, the best cure is to get something real done. I need to feel productive, to accomplish something.

This would be a good day for cleaning out cupboards, I thought, or going through stacks of paper and throwing a lot away.

My day went quite well. There wasn’t anything I could do about many of the things I’d been worrying about.

I worked on a jigsaw puzzle for a time, my form of meditation. Peacefully fit those pieces together, make a whole, think about life — or nothing.

The weather was beautiful so I spent an hour cleaning up the garden, went inside to clean out files, and moved on to the kitchen counters and shelves.

I found satisfaction in washing and in organizing and discarding, so much so that I found that I wanted to clean the bathroom.

A clean bathroom always makes me feel good, and so I did it, even washing the bathtub, sweeping down corner cobwebs, and putting the throw rugs in the washer.

That did it for me. A sparkling bath, a good distraction for a time.

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