Friday, February 05, 2010

Live Each Moment How?

I am my happiest when inside my head.

Three situations or activities that make me feel great include list making, thinking and taking road trips.

Lists I find soothing. It's like dumping anxiety onto a page and putting some discernible order to it. Sorting it out to remove the anxious parts.

Thinking in many forms takes me away. I've always loved being away. I learned at a young age to wear a mask of attentiveness while allowing my brain to travel distant journeys of thought and story. I have clung to this skill. However, engaging in it while attempting to be Mom is ridiculous and irresponsible. That doesn't always stop me, but I try. Reading books gives me the same thinking pleasure. Immersing in something other than my normal surroundings and allowing my thoughts and emotions to entwine in the new, the unknown, the desire to be something else.

Road trips are the most engaged way I find happiness. After all, a solo road trip can be fun but never as fulfilling as tripping with a car full of family, friends, or just your significant other. It is the idea of potential that makes the car ride so appealing. What lies ahead, even mapped out, cannot be fully predicted. You might see a deer, a construction site, a waterfall, snow, rain, rainbows. You might lie back in your sun warmed seat and enjoy the smell of heat soaking into the flesh of your thighs as you daydream about walking the beach sands once you arrive. You might savor the smell of gasoline after pulling from a remote gas station with old fashioned pumps and then ease into the soothing lull of the engine till your brain takes your senses into relaxed stupor. You might load up on sugar and soda and talk till your jaw hurts, or sing loud to the radio. Whatever you might do or encounter, it is not the stuff of everyday existence. And in any car ride, especially the longer ones, the moments of utter quiet, when each individual is physically there with each other and yet off in their own self-made existence of staring at phone lines pass or watching the animals graze, come frequently and the opportunity to recede mentally happily presents itself with unabashed splendor.

Being here, on this blog, I can ruminate about all these things. A sort of marmalade of those things that take me inside my head, to the place of happy. You are aiding and abetting me in escapism. So thanks.

I think the trick to living in the moment is to understand what kinds of moments fulfill you as an individual. That is not to say ignoring my children to be in my head is excusable. Being with my kids requires truly being here, focusing on them. But the other moments of my life, when I have the freedom to be something other than Mom, is it wrong to fulfill my living by diving inside the eddies of thought coursing through my grey matter? I don't think so. I can still engage with the world around me. I can take afternoons to visit people, to go out and be social. But I love the moments of silence, when I'm all alone and the door to the inner world is easily opened. Like a peaceful vacation without moving from the couch.


jaded said...

I make list too, just not the same type. Most of mine are ToDo but I feel affirmed in a shallow way as I cross stuff off. Artificial accomplishment... a road trip sounds like a much better idea.

meno said...


I love road trips. Sheltered in the cocoon of 'other' places it's easier to be yourself.

Dick said...

Those mental pictures are one reason there will always be books. As you read, you create your own mental pictures. In the movies, you are seeing someone else' idea of what it should look like.

With your love of road trips, you would be a perfect candidate for owning an RV. They are like a magic carpet to escape in and you take your house along with you. Perfect for either retired folks like you guys will eventually be or for families. Think of all the places you could show the kids!

slow panic said...

I like lists too. when i get really frazzled i make lists and get myself back on track. when i'm at my best i'm keeping up with them.

Maggie said...

Jaded, I make those too. I never quite feel like I'm making progress unless I can see it crossed off a list. It's a satisfaction thing.

Meno, cocoon. Yes. Sometimes I can see where the cocoon is a detriment. It is much easier to hide than to force myself to stretch in different directions. Road trips are the best! What's your favorite car snack?

Dick, my husband and I sort of dream about having a Westfalia and becoming retiree gypsies of sorts.

Slow Panic, one of my big troubles is that I tend to make lists far too long to keep up with. Which can be discouraging. I need to rein in my list making now and then.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!