A Somewhat Crazy Mother’s 70,000 Thoughts (And What She Does About Them)

by Becky on November 5, 2012

in Music, Parenting

Zandvoort_8548

Sometimes you can’t see the beach for the shells, you know what I mean? This is a function of what I like to call RTS (Racing Thoughts Syndrome), where your mind races out of control, your thoughts jauntily boomerang-ing (I just made that word up!) at the speed of light while the rest of you moves in ultra-slow-mo, like you’re wading through wet sand.  (Picture me raising my hand to admit that yes, this describes me, perfectly.)

I most certainly have RTS.  In fact, I think that if folks could actually see the lightning storm of chaotic electrical activity going on inside my head, they’d politely say, “Um, I’ve got somewhere I’ve got to be right now,” then run away, as fast as their legs could carry them.  According to one group of researchers, we have around 70,000 thoughts a day!  Mindblowing, no?  I figure that, given how much time I spend thinking about my kids, roughtly 69,950 (give or take) of those thoughts have to do with how to mother them.  (I am rather manic, however, so a thought that gets stuck in my head and starts looping probably makes the rounds 30,000 or-so times before I manage to reset with a second one.)

Examples of thoughts that fall into the “30,000 plus” category.  How will Miss Z. move forward with her vocal music in Spain, without her teacher and without a piano??  (Multiply that single, potent thought by 30,000.  There–you get the idea.)  Or, How how how how how (times this by 6,000, since I already lined up five iterations of the thought at the beginning of the sentence) is Miss Lavender going to finish her online physics class given how passionately she hates the subject and how impossible it is to connect with the tutors back in the states?  Or HOW (times this one by 30,000, plus a migraine, indicated by all CAPS) am I going to send a proper Christmas package to our young Mr. Beethoven back in the states, without filling it with nonsense he won’t need and without spending  hundreds of dollars to get it there??

See what I mean?

If you, too, are a victim of racing, looping thoughts that seem to be a function, ironically, of your love for your children, I suggest a brief moment of meditation.  I’ve tried meditating before, by the way.  I am not good at it, for the aforementioned reasons.  BUT when I see a beautiful image, I can sometimes manage to lock on and go to that place, which frees me momentarily from the scary math going on inside my head.  Likewise, when I hear a cool piece of music, I can lock onto that, too.  I plan to step up my meditating in the weeks and months to come, eventually (and hopefully) segue-ing to the proper–i.e., more quiet–kind.  I know this will require significant discipline, especially because those darn times tables are constantly sabotaging my efforts to slow down and smooth out my thoughts.  (I also know this may require a full brain transplant, so I’ll keep you posted.)

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I invite you to let your thoughts return for a moment to a place you found restful. For me, that would be Zandvoort, on the Dutch Coast, where, back on July 3rd, three of the Eleven O’Clock kids looked as meditative as I’ve ever seen them.  Must be something in the air in the Netherlands.

I also invite you to check out some music that helps me chill.  What would I do without Yo-Yo Ma’s immortal Obrigado Brazil album?  (Not everyone’s thing, but the combination of classical and jazz totally works for me.)

Finally, I invite you to share your thoughts . . . about racing thoughts!  And about your meditative practices.  I’d love to know what you do to increase the productivity of your mothering efforts and to decrease the chances that such efforts will be undercut by old habits of thinking, let’s say, or just those rogue thoughts that run away with us!  And if you have ideas for music, by all means, share!

May your morning be peaceful.  May your thoughts be yours to direct, especially as you embrace another day of mothering!

 

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