I drafted this post last Wednesday but never sent it because it's so long.
If you want the short version, here it is: I think too much. There you have it. I make too many lists and don't live in the moment.
That all changed after this post. Literally, it did! I've had an amazing week since I wrote this. I've played with the kids, laughed a lot, smelled flowers, enjoying life.
Okay, if you want the longer version... keep reading.
Over Thinking It: For the Last Time
This is the last power thinking post for a while...you'll see in a minute.
Yet again, God has answered my prayer for help. The answer was not what I was looking for. I was looking for something I could do to finally feel in control of my life. Finally feel caught up and ready to be the mom I want to be. I prayed for this because I’m tired of feeling like I’m treading water. I’m never ready for my kids when I pick them up from school. I always have tasks hanging over my head and the need to study hanging on my back. I never feel ready to play. Never feel ready to live.
So I prayed for an answer.
And this is what I got.
Stop thinking so much.
I am always in my head. Thinking non stop. Making lists, both mentally and on paper, of whatever is on my mind at the moment. Things I need to do, ideas for getting my kids to behave, how to improve a situation, what’s bothering me. The lists go on and on.
Sometimes I think I’m being smart by thinking so much. Like if I think hard enough, all of my problems will find answers and life will be perfect.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a “deep” person, always giving my thoughts room to grow.
But the truth is, all of this thinking is robbing me of mental serenity and it’s keeping me every where but the present. You see, if I’m thinking about what went wrong before school, how I will discipline the kids when they get home, or ideas to stay cool during the summertime – if I’m thinking about all of those things (and more), I’m not living in the present. I’m living in the past and the future. Every minute of every day. Because, see, when school gets out and it’s time to discipline the kids in the manner I have so well thought out, I’m thinking about something else. I’m making another list, of what to study for my next Physiology exam or what needs to get done when the kids are in bed.
Not to mention that all this thinking makes me tired! Thinking all day takes mental energy. Then when the kids require my mental energy – say to break up a fight, think of ways to entertain them, or pull together a dinner with a bare cupboard – well, by then I’m drained. My mental reserves are on empty and my brain says, “on break”.
Up until this realization, I have whole heartedly believed that what was keeping me from serenity was all of the “things” that need to get done. If I could just complete my list, finish my tasks, think it through completely, I could have peace. Now I realize it’s not the “stuff” on the list that’s robbing me of peace. It’s the list itself.
Yes, I need to stop thinking so much.
But how does one stop thinking? I’ll tell you how. I stop thinking by being present. If I’m living in the moment, I am noticing green trees, feeling a cool wind on my shoulder, witnessing a belly laugh from a 3 yr old. There is no room for deep thought in the present. Living, instead of planning to live. That’s what I’m doing.
Indeed, God is worthy of my praise. This simple realization, that I’m wasting today thinking about tomorrow, changed my whole day. I am pretty sure it’s going to change my tomorrow too. How do I know this? Because there are dishes in the sink but the only thing I want to do is go pick my kids up from school. Nothing else seems important now. I miss them and I want to play. I haven’t felt that way in a long, long time. That tells me God is working on my heart. Peeling back the layers to allow me to love like He wants me to.