Tag Archives: Mental Health

Whatever will be, will be; or whatever was, was; forget about it

When I read recently in Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please that one of the acts her improv troupe performed began with asking an audience member about his day and then acting out how his dreams might look, I thought that made sense. My dreams are mostly nonsensical recombinations of my day. I only wish Amy Poehler was involved because I might laugh more in my sleep.

Instead, I woke up (I typed work up first — how Freudian) the other morning in a cold sweat. Actually, it was a hot sweat. A tiny hot flash. I had been dreaming about being editor in chief of the University Chronicle, which I was once, 30 years ago when I was a fifth-year senior at college. In my dream, I had completely missed publishing the first issue of the fall term. I was in charge, and I missed the reporters meeting, I missed editing any of the stories, I missed laying out the pages. Everything. Poof. Just forgot. I showed up for the second issue, suddenly mortified I had blanked on the first issue. This is terrible, absolutely terrible, I thought. I blew it completely.

I vaguely recall the ads were still published. That’s how it was in the newspaper biz at the time. The news side had nothing to do with selling or creating ads. I would just show up on the appointed afternoon, and the ads would be designed and placed on the pages. Big white holes between the ads would be waiting for our stellar news copy to fill them.

The ads must go on. Without or without the news, I guess. (Sort of like my Facebook newsfeed some days.)

Where did that flashback come from? I’ve read that dreams like that are metaphors for one’s current life. When I was editor of the college paper, there was a lot of deadline pressure and a lot of stress managing people (they mostly managed themselves, let’s be honest, but I was stressed about it in any case). Something about my current life had my subconscious reliving that pressure and stress. And failing miserably, I guess, since I missed an entire issue of the paper.

My life is a less pressure packed nowadays. Or maybe I’m just more accepting about my ability to control anything. But I guess I need to bring my subconscious up to speed.

Note to subconscious: You’re not as important as you might think. Whatever you miss that seems so urgent and earth-shattering is probably not that important either.

Que sera sera.

Driven to distraction: How to hitch a ride back to Focus Town

Such a crazy day today, and my brain is overflowing. Like tollway by my little village undergoing construction for more lanes, I need more neural pathways to keep track of everything.

I am normally a focused thinker. I wish I could take credit for it, but like my low cholesterol, we can probably attribute this to genetics or good parenting in childhood.

Today was a different story. While juggling house guests, a photo organizing job, a list of things to do that was as long as my arm (and I’m the sort of person whose wrists hang out of my “long” sleeves) and a bunch of errands for my Beloved, I was keeping my eye on my virtual connections because my book was featured in the daily newspaper nearest my hometown. Thanks to that exposure, “The Percussionist’s Wife” climbed to No. 72 among Kindle’s Memoirs & Biographies about Women (No. 1 in that category? Julie Andrews’ “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years”).

Arcane minutia? Maybe, but it’s exciting stuff for a first-time author.

That’s all front burner stuff. Meanwhile, in the background, I’m sorting through ideas for my second book. More on that later. Much later. Can’t concentrate right now. Trying to build back-burner neural pathways.

How to get it all done?

Must stay focused, must stay focused, must stay focused.

That’s my first tip: Mantras. Several times today, I forced myself to remember the next three things to do by chanting them: Finish invoice, feed dog, load of laundry …

(Talk about minutia.)

Tip No. 2: Lists. I actually wrote down my to-do list three times today.

Can’t forget. Can’t forget. Can’t forget.

And No. 3: Run. I was taking steps two at a time more than once today. And the lawn never got mowed so fast.

Be mindful, be mindful, be mindful.