Nov 21, 2014

Overarching Rules and Thinking In Speeches...

One of the ways the Littler One makes sense of his world is by making overarching rules and decrees upon finding new knowledge. That boy can bend & break the rules like no other, to a point that he appears to have a complete and utter disregard for them. But the truth is he craves and asks for the structure. He wants to know all about the rules...I suspect because he wants to know exactly how far he is bending and breaking them. He was home sick one day a couple weeks ago, and asked how he would put away his laundry since he didn’t feel well, and I said I’d do it for him as a favor. He then sort of straightened a little—in his tiny sweet languishing on the couch way—and solemnly said, “So, whenever I’m home sick, you will put my laundry away; that’s the rule.” To which I replied, “I’m making no commitment beyond today.” 

He’ll do similar things with his friends and siblings. As they work out/fight over a toy he will then declare the conditions and circumstances under which the toy will go to whom, and so on. 

From a grown-up perspective it’s adorable to watch his gears turning as he is finding how things work and making his own categories and framework of the world around him. I was struck today, though, by how similar it is to when I speak and think in speeches. Hence, example #347 of why grown-ups are just giant little kids.

As I’ve done my self-work over these past few months, the cacophony in my brain has quieted quite a bit. I’m simplifying my daily routine and focus, and practicing being in the moment more, and learning how to direct my thoughts better when they try to bombard me. Still, when I’m out jogging or even folding laundry on the bed, I’m continually forming little blog posts in my mind. In the Hispanic foods aisle at the store I had some sort of salsa-based wisdom going. It was brilliant, I tell you. And I think probably at my core I am—much like the Littler One—forming and revising my own structure, trying to make sense of the world around me. 

This is mostly harmless, except that it does keep a sort of white noise going in the back of my mind, and I wonder if in a way it can keep me from being in the moment. Also, I think it actually hinders me from putting anything down in writing because, like anyone, my structure of daily experience is constantly revising, and I think I might’ve convinced myself that I can’t write down anything I’m unsure of, because then if I contradict myself or change my mind it will be too messy to sort it out, and then how will I ever become a real blogger who is able to manage a speaking schedule????

(I’m not quite sure how I always end up worrying about that)

So for today I am learning to see it when it happens and take a breath, and remind myself that right now my goal is a little more structure to my thoughts. They’re going to come no matter what—that’s what thoughts do—but I can learn to handle them and put up limits when needed. And even send them on their way, because that is actually possible (I’m told). And when I have an experience that makes an impression or otherwise moves me, yes it is part of the bigger picture, but maybe some(most)times it is OK to see it for that moment’s lesson and nothing more. To keep it to a sentence or two and step off the soapbox. 

Much like putting away the Littler One's Laundry--making no commitment beyond that day…

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