I Need To Take Better Care

Photo by Aron Visuals on unsplash.com

Huh, well this is odd. I can’t actually see the words I’m writing. I think I’m experiencing some sort of allergic reaction, and my vision is a bit blurry. Am I worried? Nope, though I probably should be because of…Things. It’ll be fine in a couple of days. I just took an antihistamine so, it’ll clear up, and I might be writing this high on whatever is in this stuff. 

It makes me feel goofy.

Typically, when I write, I like to see the blank page fill up with letters and watch the words form. Words don’t flow out of my mouth with ease, which is epically frustrating. But here? Here, the thoughts that are banging around in my head flow down my arms and out of my fingers. They land on this page, and I feel like I can breathe because someone can hear my voice. 

If I didn’t know better, I would call that magic or sorcery. I’d be in awe of the mystical creatures that capture my feelings and give them a written voice. If only I didn’t know that this is technology, not wizardry! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to temporarily suspend that knowledge and let the fantasy run wild?

Hey now, I’m writing this so, why can’t I enjoy a flight of medically induced fantasy? It won’t last forever, and the realities of the technological age will flood back in with a vengeance. My logical mind will always take back control, and that dream world will enter a state of suspended animation.

I want to let go and jump into the dream while I can still do it. After all, I can’t see the words that I’m typing. They’re nothing more than a blurry mess. If I can’t see the technology at work then why not add a little whimsy to my morning?

What if tiny Keyboard Elves were living inside of my computer? They’re a hybrid of Santa’s little helpers and the elves from Lord of The Rings. Pointy ears, delicate features, and smaller than a speck of dust. Invisible to the naked eye. Under a microscope? Well, I imagine it would be quite shocking to see a microscopic creature flipping you off. It’s best to leave them be and let them get on with the job at hand.

Every morning I power up my computer, and these tiny critters hit their alarms. They stretch, yawn, and pull back the covers because it’s time to get to work. After a quick shower, they sniff their uniforms to make sure they’re clean. Yeah, that’s close enough. Quick, get dressed and get to work. Hurry! 

The Keyboard Elves take pride in their work and happily take up their post in the letter gang. They’re creating magic! What’s better than that? I hit a letter and the first elf, let’s call her Tammy, catches it as it flies out of the pipeline. Her strong, slightly calloused hands hold it up, and she yells out the letter. Okay, we’ve got a H. You know what to do! Put your backs into it.

Tammy sounds bossy and gruff, but she’s just passionate about her profession. Sometimes it gets the better of her, but she has a heart of gold and fingers of steel. She’ll get the job done, no matter what. Good old Tammy. What would they do without her?

Through the ranks, a well-practiced song rises up as the letter is tossed from one elf to another. Hi ho, hi ho, up to the screen we go. There’s laughter as one cheeky elf adds a juggle and twist to his toss. Don’t drop it! Some of the elves fuss, but the letter is already on its way. In a flash, the last elf slaps the letter onto the page, and there’s a cheer of triumph.

Here comes another one!

At the end of the day, the group retires to their favourite watering hole, The Motherboard. I know, very original. They drink, eat, and recount the day’s triumphs. Did you see that X pop up out of nowhere? Yeah, we almost never see that letter. They raise their glasses and merrily cheer another successful transfer that, miraculously, formed the words you’re reading right now.  

If that isn’t a Pixar movie, then it should be, and I want credit for the idea. I should probably trademark it or, if I was sensible, delete the whole concept until I can pitch it to the back-catchers at the movie places. But what are the odds they hear me out? Zero to nada? That sounds about right.

I think I’ll leave the tale where it is because, if I didn’t, I’d squirrel it away until it becomes the latest thought to face eviction. I’ve been trying to do that a lot more lately. Get rid of thoughts that serve no purpose and file away ideas that amount to nothing more than a dream of a dream that I wished on a star.

I’m not saying this is a good or bad idea. It’s simply something I need to do because the clutter is getting out of hand. My mind has been overrun with too many thoughts, worries, and flights of fancy. I have very little room left to hold precious memories that make me smile, laugh, or blush with amusing embarrassment. 

I need to organize my mind, prioritize my thoughts, and make room for the ideas, dreams that will improve my life. To do that, I need to get rid of the things that are dragging me down and making me miserable. A lot of these things are beyond my control. I don’t have the power to change them. So, why am holding on to them so tightly?

It’s a song, isn’t it? Free your mind, and the rest will follow you down a yellow brick road. No, I’m fusing things together again. My bad. But maybe there’s some wisdom in that idea? Freeing my mind from the burdens I’ve placed on it. Crack a window and let some fresh air in.

It might be a horrible, no good, very bad idea, and it might be a fool’s errand. Though, I should emphasize the word practice because some of my thoughts are squatters that yell about their bill of rights. I send them the eviction notices, but they wave the document in my face as if it’s a permission slip they got from their moms.

No, I don’t care what your mom said, you gotta go.

My brain is full of worries, fears, and too many uncertainties. I can’t think about anything else, let alone dream or look to the future. For that, there has to be a sense of hope and wonder. Those feelings don’t have to be boundless, just present. A small glimmer of light goes a long way in the dark.

That sounds like a science thing, right?

Lately, my thoughts have been too twisted and troubled to see much of anything else. They’ve had a big bright spotlight illuminating every worry. They’re all I can see, feel, and I’ve been stuck in an emotional loop. Around it goes. I try to look for any glimmer of hope, hiding in the dark, but it can’t be seen. The light, focused on my troubled thoughts, is too bright, and I can’t see past the circle drawn around me.

Do my thoughts think I can’t cross the line? A ring of salt can’t keep me in. I’m not a creature from those movies with scary things. See, I can hop out and back in. Out. In. Out. In. 

Except, the light is here and out there is dark. I don’t know what’s out there. There could be scary things or, maybe there could be elves living in keyboards. There are so many possibilities. What do I do? Stay in the light, even though it kind of sucks, or go out into the unknown?

Should I trust my decision to a coin toss? No, that’s probably a bad idea.

Yesterday, I forced my feet into my hiking boots and kicked my ass out of the door. I haven’t been in weeks, and I didn’t want to go now. I looked for any excuse to stay home. We’re in a pandemic! It’s not safe. Stay home, right? Except, I’m heading out in the middle of nowhere, and this is one activity that my local public health officials have given the thumbs up.

Damn it, no more excuses.

 My head felt heavy, and everything felt so hard. I didn’t want to go, but I did! Mostly, because I told my dog we were going to the park, and he kept looking at me until we went. All the excuses in the world pale in comparison to those puppy dog eyes.

I dragged my feet along the trail for the first two kilometres and thought about turning around a dozen times at least. After a while, I found my footing, and I stepped out of my head. I looked out instead of in. I didn’t think, I just experienced the moment and when I looked up, I realized it really was a beautiful day. The sky was clear blue. The crisp, cool air had a bit of a bite, but it was refreshing.

I met some riders and their horses. They’re giant creatures with massive brains. The horses, not the riders though I’m sure they’re intelligent as well. However, I’ll never understand why anyone would want to ride an animal that can have so many thoughts. Thoughts bring ideas, and ideas trigger reactions. Nope, I’ll keep my respectful distance from those mammoth creatures, but to each their own.

Okay, I have a slight phobia when it comes to horses, but even I can appreciate their beauty. My dog, however, didn’t know what to make of them and looked utterly gobsmacked. I think his eyes nearly popped out of his head. Yeah, that gave me a chuckle.

Oh, and in a fit of whimsy, I said hi to the horse, and it decided I was a friend. It leaned over and licked my ear. Phobia aside, it was sweet, and after I stopped flinching, I felt special. So what if the horse treats all the girls like that? I’m going to pretend that I’m unique, and we had a bond. You don’t know. It could be true. Let’s not harsh a moment of happiness with logic and reason.

By the time I got home, the tension had eased just a bit, and my mind felt more open than it had in some time. I know it’s just the start. For all of its good, self-care isn’t a one and done. It’s a process that takes continued effort and diligent practice. It’s a lifestyle discipline that takes commitment, but when I put the effort in, it make a difference.

My mind doesn’t feel so clutter and I’m not overrun by worry. So, maybe the strong was right. Free my mind and let the rest follow. It worked, a bit, and I realize now that I need to take better care of myself. I’ve been slacking, letting myself down, and I can do better.

But first, I need to wait for my vision to clear. Seriously, what am I allergic to? The elves in my keyboard? No! Not Tammy!

Forget what I said about our special bond. I’m blaming the horse.


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