Whose Mind Is This Anyway
In reality it is full of lap swimmers and we’re all indoors and it is in the forties and cloudy outside, although it is supposed to warm up to fifty by noon.
I drop the older boy off at the school his uncles attended at his age and wave from the car to the principal at the curb. The once young rabbi now sees me as old.
I sing Frere Jacques with the three-year old on our way to my apartment. We park and lug up the groceries in a cart at the service elevator (he pushes the up button). Moments later he is mixing his second breakfast, baby pancakes. He doesn't start school until nine. The pancakes go in a plastic bag because he won't eat a single one. I test them. They are excellent. He will leave them in his schoolbag where his mother will notice them and toss them, maybe, late at night or perhaps the following day when she packs new lunches. As in therapy, for a three-year old, life is all about the process, not the content.
My son-in-law chimes in from work, texts that he will give me a check, to stop by. He’s excited at the prospect of school pictures. We arrange the pick-up.
But surely most of it will be forgotten, my voice lost before hitting the showers.
Realizing that trying to control life while paddling in water is ridiculous, the brain's executive manager (we all have one, some are better than others) proceeds to the cognitive strategy that works best for her, a stopping technique. When one is not doing backstroke, a good thought stoppage technique is to clap one's hands as loudly as possible.
The chosen intervention is word review, using new words in sentences, words and sentences direct from the Kaplan GRE Vocabulary I-phone ap. You are never too old to learn words like abjure, abscond. This works, stops the obsessive thinking. The reason it will always work is that the brain cannot consciously parallel process, cannot comprehend two sentences at the very same time. When you try to hear two people talking at the same time, no matter at cocktails or a business conference, you will fail to comprehend either.
True cookie people all agree that once a cookie has cooled off it isn't as good anyway, perhaps isn't worth eating. Take this as a health tip.
Also, one of my married sons will be visiting and he likes cookies. He is coming to collect his collectibles, rooms full of them at my old house, the one his sister now occupies. He finally has the space for his stuff, a real home of his own. If you wait long enough, there is progress in life. You may find a place for your stuff.
Or you may get rid of it.
For weeks the response has been, We are waiting for insurance.
This key word, insurance, makes me feel guilty. There are people who lost their homes in a hurricane and here I am, worrying about a crack in a bedroom wall.
How can anyone make any kind of move in life without insurance? Apparently it is impossible.
Conflict is not my style, however, so I take some of my newly baked cookies, still warm, and put them on a paper plate, cordially bring them down to the building manager.
I agree (would I argue?) but must go. No time to talk ingredients. Toodaloo.
The race is on. In one hour, the following, erased:
1. Pick up check for Picture Day from s-i-l. Admire amazing new office.
5. Take pic of Conference Day schedule on classroom door so daught can switch hers with someone if necessary. Shoot it over to her.
“Gary, you must hate me!”
“I love you,” he offers back.
“It’s so late! I’ve had the check in my purse for weeks!”
9. Ride over to mother’s apartment. She is going to a dinner tonight and needs help putting on jewelry. This takes only ten minutes and she is unbelievably grateful but perseverates on the dangers of riding a bicycle to work.
10. Ride to work.
11. Ride home in the dark, scare a raccoon, maybe.
Still, it is better to rely on this, to know that it is there, with an ever-changing list of things to do, than to give the never-ending list attention while swimming. If the errand isn't on the phone then it probably isn't very important. Lightning will not strike, either (cognitive-rational thinking) if something isn't done, is lost in the shuffle.
Now if only there were an ap to eliminate obsessive dialogue.
Post script: The maintenance engineers are working on the bedroom! Eitherthis had to do with no rent, or maybe, just maybe, somebody is worried about the blog.