You may have noticed a quiet time on my blog. It has been a while since I have written anything. I strangely have been at a loss for words. I am not sure how that can happen but it did. I spent last month working very hard on the train, serving and entertaining customers for nine or ten hours a day with little time off. It was grueling for me but I made it through. Then when it was over, I found I had nothing much to say. I tried to write but the words didn’t come and when they did they fell flat. That’s a real problem for a person who likes to write.
I guess it could be writer’s block but it manifested itself in my speech also. I simply didn’t have anything to say. I was unusually quiet. At this point in the blog, I have no idea where this is going so it ought to be interesting to see how it cones to fruition.
I have spent most of my life in this deep introspective mode where I analyze my actions, to compulsion, and I am constantly plotting my next move. Always coming up with a plan which is guaranteed to bring me that mysterious thing I’m always searching for. Obviously, I have fallen short more times than not as, here I am today, still in search of my personal Holy Grail. But yet today, I cannot seem to foster any images of a greater plan or a scheme of any kind. It’s as if my mind is tired of all the lists and excessive planning. My soul seems oddly at ease not worrying about every little thing. The constant banter inside my head has disappeared. I tried to worry about the radio silence inside me but the worry left me like morning dew on a hot summer day, it just evaporated away.
When I started the grueling schedule last month, I knew it was going to be one of the biggest challenges I have had to face in a long time. I knew myself and my many weaknesses and knew this schedule was going to test me not only physically but emotionally. I had a few minor breakdowns and one major one but I got through it as best I could. I must have learned a lesson along the way about just giving up the worry about a situation and just plowing through, doing the task at hand and not caring about the rest. That’s so unlike me.
I had spent many weeks prior worrying about it, then when the time came to actually do what needed done, I went into auto pilot mode and focused on just the work and what I needed to do for myself to accomplish the goal. I was, quite honestly, too tired to keep worrying. By the time I finished my 13 hour shift, I only had time to wash my uniform, eat and go to sleep before I had to get up and do it again and again. Life was suddenly very simple, I only had time to worry about the essentials.
Life is so full of static and white noise. Our attentions are constantly pulled in several directions at a time. The mental lists we all have inside us include all the things we have to do, all the things we don’t want to do but must in order to be responsible adults and all the things we want to do. Our internal lists are overwhelming. Some people can thrive on that kind of chaos but I don’t think we were meant to because there is no peace in the never ending chase of things to do. Peace is gone from our world and has been replaced by activities and obligations.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have obligations that need filled and things we need to accomplish. But what if you can shave off a thing or two from the list? There has to be something extraneous that can be removed. Scratch it off, don’t care if it’s not complete, and quit worrying about it. Would that simple act make life more peaceful? Probably not, but what if you could eventually scratch off several non-important things off the list and were able to focus just on the essentials; would that bring peace? I think it might.
For one month, my focus became very clear with very little room for variation. I did not have time or energy to worry about the myriad of things that probably would never happen. As part of my own self-preservation I tuned out anything that was not important and in doing so I found an odd peace inside me that I have never known before. Today as I sit here analyzing it, I realize that I can’t because I don’t want to go back to being that old person I was. I finally know what silence sounds like. I finally know what it’s like to not bite my nails to the quick for worrying. I finally feel what it’s like to be still.
It took something very difficult for me to find this place. I see now that I have been searching and looking when all I needed was to see focus in my life, to live with the essentials and forego the rest. Maybe now that I understand what has happened the words will come back to me. Not just any words, but words with meaning and clarity. Maybe my life was the writer’s block and now the words and ideas free to come forth and multiply. I don’t know for sure. This is still weird for me but I can feel the quiet and I like it. Maybe this is an example of losing something in order to gain something better. Again, per usual, I don’t have the answers but I’m starting to truly understand the question.