Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It’s Time To Tell The Voices In My Head To “Shut The F*** Up!!!”

            I am suddenly aware it’s the second time this year I’ve used the F-bomb in the subject of a blog entry. Oops. Sometimes the F-bomb is necessary (sorry, mom). But I digress… Does anyone out there feel the way I do? Who, besides me, hears voices in their head? No, I’m not talking about the scary-creepy-schizophrenic kind, but the bossy, stressful voice continually reminding you of all the things you need “TO DO?” Yeah, THAT voice.

            I’ve always been a hard worker. I was the geek in high school who woke up in the middle of the night to study MORE for an exam I was probably already prepared for. (My own parents had to tell me to stop working so hard.) A virtual “To Do” list was something that was always running around my brain – kind of like the ticker that runs around the building in Times Square telling us about the latest news headlines.

            While it’s great to keep track of the tasks at hand, a perpetual ticker in my brain is NOT so great. I’ve tried making physical lists and setting alarms on my calendar, in an attempt to get that “To Do” list out of my head, but it doesn’t matter. The ticker never shuts off. It spins around and around, and sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night. And as this ticker keeps spinning in my head, my life is spinning by at the same time.

            I was talking to a friend the other day about an approaching deadline I have for my writing – one that was self-imposed of course – and I was freaking out:
ME: “I have TO DO it by December 31st.”
FRIEND: “Why?”
ME: “Because I have to.”
FRIEND: “Why?”
ME: “Because I just DO!”
Okay, is it me, or do I sound like a bratty eight-year old? What the hell does “Because I have to” or “Because I just do” even mean? Where’s the rationale or the logic? Answer: there is none.

            I saw a great indie flick this week called “Stuck In Love.”  One of the characters, Samantha (played by Lily Collins), is talking a mile a minute to a guy at a party about how she feels—about how we all live life in fast forward, never stopping to be in the moment. Samantha comments, “We’re too busy rushing through everything so we can get on with what we’re really supposed to be doing with our lives.” And she suddenly realizes that life is happening RIGHT NOW and one day it will all be over, so she’d better enjoy it while she can. For a moment, I felt like I was watching myself on the screen. Oh Samantha, you GET me! (I guess I should give props to the screenwriter, Josh Boone, too) I have expressed these exact sentiments numerous times. Was someone trying to tell me something?  Do I need to stop and enjoy the moment? If only it were that easy! Isn’t it John Lennon who said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans?” Oh, what to do about those annoying TO DO’s…

            Nothing like the last day of the year to make a resolution! In 2014, I am going to make sure I am in the present moment at least once a day, and put that dreaded “To Do” list away for a few minutes—hopefully longer. “To Do’s” are always there—cross one off your list and another one will inevitably crop up in its place. But when a moment passes you by, nothing crops up in its place. It’s simply… gone.

But what about that self-imposed December 31st writing deadline? Well you can’t totally teach an old gal, new tricks. I will make the deadline, and do something, though it won’t be enough to completely cross it off my list. “But you have TO DO it today,” says the Voice In My Head. Actually, I DON’T. “Shut the f*** up,” I calmly reply. Right now, I have some moments I need to enjoy!

Happy last day of the year, everyone!!! Hope you all find some time to enjoy YOUR moments...

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