Settling in for a short spate of reading before drifting off to sleep last night, I heard Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.” Something in the lyrics resonated within me. While the activities mentioned in the song are not necessarily the ones I would do in such a situation, I could see the wisdom in the thoughts behind the lyrics.
The idea behind the lyrics ties in with my plan to start living with the end in mind. It encourages me to look more for the ways to live each day in such a way that at the end of the day I will be a bit closer to the ultimate end(s) I am working toward for this year and beyond.
Today, in and of itself, has been a bit frustrating in that I have had to fill in at work. An overabundance of calls meant that the supervisor had to have me log in. I had hoped to be able to head up to the attic to pull down some fabric bins from the attic to go through. I need to decide if the things in the bins are worth keeping or if I should send them on the way to new homes. However, I remember that it will be extra $$ in the paycheck at the end of the month and that makes it workable.
In order to ‘begin with the end in mind,’ I’m going to have to overcome one thing; making and sticking to a list. For some reason, I have Not been able to make lists of things to do and follow them. Something inside of me gets very rebellious and refuses to stick to the list.
All the distractions and side trips seem like lots more fun than doing what I know I need to do.
I welcome any suggestions or ideas on how you successfully keep to a To-Do List.
“Allow your mind to settle – like the muddy water churned up by a boat, it will soon become clear when settled” from A Thousand Paths to Happiness by David Baird.
Next time you’re at a lake, notice how the water can become murky when a high powered boat zooms by too close to shore. All the silt and bits of stuff on the bottom gets churned up and you can no longer see anything clearly. Wait for a while and everything settles back to the bottom and the water clears once more.
Once you see the bottom clearly again, you may spot a bit of treasure that you never noticed before. This happens because when things are stirred up they don’t always settle into their old places.
The next time you feel like your thoughts are chasing themselves around in never-ending circles, put on some relaxing music, sit down and focus on the music, allowing your thoughts to settle and your mind to come to rest.
When your thoughts have stopped chasing themselves round and round in circles, problems seem to solve themselves. The constant chasing of an answer, striving to solve problems only serves to churn up the silt of your mind, obscuring the answer that was right there all the time.
Worry acts as a way to churn up the silt of your mind. Once you start worrying about one thing, don’t you find that other things spring up to worry about? This is because worry acts like that power boat zooming in too close to shore over and over again as it races around the lake. No sooner does the murky water begin to settle when the boat comes racing back through again churning everything up once more in its wake.
Becoming aware of your own thought-circles and how they churn up your mind is the first step in mastering the art of allowing your mind to settle and clear. When that happens, you’ll be able to see answers to old problems and perhaps those new, creative ideas to share with others.
What are some things you do to help yourself settle your thoughts?
As I was dozing off around 11 p.m. last night, I heard some commotion in the kitchen below me. Since there were no sounds of imminent mayhem, I let it go and didn’t think too much about it.
This morning I find out that someone in the house made themselves a bowl of cereal and left spilled milk all over the counter. The next person who came in to fix a late supper found it and had to clean up the mess which had by this time reached the floor around the counter. It’ not hard to figure out that she was rightfully annoyed by this, as such neglect had been discussed at the house meeting on April 15th. Not know who the culprit was, she left a note on the hall bulletin board.
That triggered another house member (who tends to take Everything as aimed at her as a slight or an attack) to write a long diatribe about the first person not signing/dating their note and attacking other members of the house. Her note began “If this is directed at me, I …” and rambled through a number of defensive things as though the first note had been directed exclusively at her.
That’s only a small part of the picture. This is a rooming house of supposed adults ranging in age from early 20’s to mid-60’s. Everyone who lives here is theoretically able-bodied and capable of taking care of themselves when it comes to cooking, cleaning up and the like. We are all working stiffs or students with outside responsibilities and lives for the most part. A couple of house members do not work because of various health issues but those issues do not prevent them from handling basic care issues.
Everyone is supposed to pitch in with chores around the house — from putting away dishes each evening to cleaning bathrooms (3) and taking out recyclables. It is part of the rent we pay for living here.
At times, though, it seems as if people forget that simple fact. Dish nights get ‘forgotten’ until someone else takes care of the pileup. People ‘forget’ their chore and get upset when someone reminds them that they agreed to do that when they moved in.
And short of beating them about the head and shoulders with a clue-by-four I am running out of ideas to encourage people to do their part to be part of the community that is this house.
You see, as the designated House Manager, it is my job to keep this ship sailing smoothly and at the moment, we are veering away from the course that was set when the owner bought the place and started ‘collecting people to help pay for it.’