The thing about a sick day is that it sounds really good to think about the chance to just stay in bed and read all day. The problem is, as we so often forget, that we don’t necessarily feel well enough to even read. More likely, we are just there, flipping and flopping, trying to get comfortable, trying to sleep, and so long as I don’t turn my head too far this way, it won’t scream—too late.
So, we think. I think. I think sometimes more than I need to, and sometimes I think I am catching up on my thinking. Sometimes I feel way overdue on thinking time — time that is free from distractions of the usual kind, because bright lights (and low lights) hurt the eyes, and moving said eyes from left to right hurts, and it’s just a good idea to do nothing but maybe think a little. Or a lot.
I’m overdue on thinking, I know, because my head has been cluttered up with way too many things. All my carefully organized files have been corrupted by a summer of chaos and go and go and go. Appointments and photo sessions and work and paperwork and research and book edits and a second book-in-progress and content assignments and birthdays and speeches and pitches and managing and teaching, etc., and not nearly enough walking in nature and breathing in rest and just chilling with a good book to read. So, there I crashed, in my bed, with plenty of time in the day to think and sleep and then think some more.
For over a year, many of our belongings have remained boxed away in the garage. Our year was a bit in limbo, one we were aware of and accepted, so we left so much packed. But as the summer has given way to a longer stay, I’ve begun to drag those boxes out of the garage to explore what we haven’t apparently needed for 12 months. Mostly, I knew we left all wall decor aka family photos boxed, and at first glance, you’d think we already fully embraced the minimalist look based on the hollowness of this home. I’m thinking about these boxes and belongings as I rest because aside from the things I never intend to get rid of (pictures), much of what still resides in the garage is likely a bunch of just-in-case stuff.
To think of some of my just-in-cases, I immediately think of what is already in the house and what I recall packing (and wondering why I was packing said items). Magazines full of information because I might sit down long enough one day to flip through them and glean. Undergarments in case one day they are magically comfortable. Streams of ribbon for all the crafting I never, ever do. But maybe I will, you don’t know me! Books because they’re books, but maybe they’d be happier and well loved in a library, in a friend’s home, anywhere but in a box in the garage.
And don’t even get me started on all the random things I have. The once-used shipping envelopes because I recycle, man, and I can’t toss them, but by “recycle,” I mean I intend to use them to ship something else out. One day. Maybe. If I can ever find my way to a free moment to go to the post office, which is not how I like to spend my free moments, but since I don’t have any anyway, it’s a moot point. The clutter living in boxes and migrating onto shelves and drawers is unacceptable and I need to shut it down now before the house overflows again with the same kind of chaos that lives in my head.
I have so much time to think from my sick bed that my plans begin to form, and by the end of the next day, I’ve created a few magazine piles to give away (information to be gleaned by someone who will properly glean, I hope), a book pile, and I’ve thrown away the uncomfortable undergarments that have filled a drawer for too long. The drawer now has a few stray socks that I do wear, and it feels good. It feels…comfortable. I no longer feel like I need to keep some of these things because I paid for them. Or because someone gave them to me.
It’s so little, these small piles and discards, but it’s also a starting place, just as the words I put down becomes a starting place of a return to self, of an uncluttering of my mind so I can think and write and create and live and breathe again.