Just Sittin Here Watchin the Wheels

In Life Lessons on April 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I have two friends who are, right now, this instant, fighting for their lives. Well, one is technically not a friend of mine but the friend of a friend. But we do wave in carpool and occasionally say hi. We have several past get-togethers in common too.

She has cancer. You can read about her here. She’s a brilliant writer.

The other is an old friend from high school who I lost touch with only to be re-connected on Facebook. I remember about a year ago I saw her in Starbucks. She was wearing tiny shorts and a tank top and looked like what a fitness model would aspire to be. I was wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, a ball cap, hadn’t showered yet and was trying to hide behind the unidentifiable stains on the front of my shirt.

Right now she is unconscious on life support. She has been for a while. She has some infection that no one can fix. She’s only 34.

God – I feel for them and their families.

Though I write for a Jewish newspaper and look like a Muslim in my FB profile pic, I’m generally Catholic.  Its Easter season. I can’t help but think about life. I spent this past weekend thinking about life and how much of my allotted sentence has already gone by.

I don’t want to let it go. I LIKE it. I want more of it. I want to slow it down and hoard it like I’m on A&E.

One of my favorite bloggers ever likes to make exhaustive lists about things. Following his lead, I’ve made an exhaustive list of how I can slow down my own life a little bit. If you think of any other ways, please let me know.

1)      Get more rest. I know this seems counterintuitive since sleep takes up the precious time in which I could be LIVING. But getting enough sleep helps concentration and concentration helps awareness and therefore it’s imperative.

2)      Limit the amount of to-do’s in a day. I’m really considering hiring an India based company so I can outsource the things I don’t want to do. I already outsource chores like emptying the dishwasher and putting away the laundry and taking out the trash to the people I gave birth to. But I think I could get some more to-do’s knocked off if somebody in India would order my groceries, make my appointments, keep track of my tax deductions and so on. Until then, I’m going to cut things out.

 Scott says that he puts three big-ticket items on his to do list each day. That way they all get done and he can take the time to do his best. I like that idea. Unresolved lists stress me out.

However, lists also clear up my mind so I don’t have to think about what to do. It’s a careful balance. Three things it shall be, in addition to the many other things the house requires. Today, for me, it’s this blog, a chapter in my novel and my homework that is due tonight. I am almost done.

3)      Make walking a mediation. My poor dog can walk and pee at the same time. I think I should leave my iPod at home and be fully engaged in my walks with her. At least I should let her squat to pee. I’m always in such a hurry when I get out and walk.

4)      Spend more time listening. Especially to the people who empty the dishwasher, take out the trash and put away the laundry. I think that listening without thinking about what I need to do or what to say next is probably a Jedi mind trick. Therefore, it’s worthwhile.

5)      Play Board Games. Instead of computer games or Wii games. They are slower and more interactive.

6)      Don’t go to Chain Stores on the Weekend. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but living in the suburbs creeps me the hell out a lot of the time. Especially on Saturday. It’s like “Night of the Living Dead” and Target is calling us all to the Mothership. Kids sports games creep me out too. What a strange beast, this culture of the suburbs. Oh, I just noticed that the root word of “culture” is “cult.” Being out and about in the suburbs on the weekend makes me want to:  a. rush back home and b. rush to beat everybody else to the parking spot. I just don’t want to rush anymore. I want to BE with the people I love.

7)      Learn how to sit with myself. I want to learn how to be present in the moment. Everyone always says that. I want to learn how to encapsulate my days so I don’t have to worry about all the other days. I want to calm my monkey mind. When I’m walking, I want to walk. When I’m cooking, I want to cook. When I’m writing, I want to write. I want to use all my senses and be fully engaged in the world as its happening.

8)      Spend more time in nature. Of course, this gets easier as the weather gets better. This past weekend I was raking acorns. It’s a hopeless task. But it made me feel so peaceful.  I Felt like I had tapped into the speed of the world and it was right. Sometimes I go too fast and give myself anxiety and other times I go to slow and lie on the couch eating popcorn. But being outside makes me feel like Goldilocks. In other words, it’s just right.

9)      Speaking of Acorns…I think it’s helpful to have a long project that you know you won’t finish. That way, you aren’t in a rush to do so. The good thing about raking acorns is that by the time I get them all raked, the oak trees will drop more.

Maybe these are shallow thoughts in light of the opening paragraph of this post.  Fighting for your life is no joke at all. But, you know, I don’t think fighting life is too funny either. I think about that old John Lennon song, the one about the watching the wheels go round and round.  I don’t want to be on the wheel anymore.  


  1. I don’t think this list is shallow at all. It shows insight and it shows someone who wants to live every moment to the fullest. I’ll keep your friends in my thoughts and prayers. xoxo

  2. Message here is “Live every day like it’s the last one.”

    Every day I go to bed thinking, “I wouldn’t have done one thing differently about today,” is a good one for me.

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