My mind is an interesting place. I think I am a lot like my mother, and one of her friends always jokes that she has one of those little symbol monkeys clapping in there 24/7. Sometimes that doesn’t feel too far off for me!
Because of my symbol-monkey brain, I need to be able to instantly say whatever thing is flying around in there, or it takes it’s advantage and jumps right out never to be heard from again. Or to be heard from at a time when it makes no sense at all. Like a poop story at the dinner table! I still don’t see the problem but I have been told that this is frowned upon.
How have I kept my friends for so long??
Anyway, this tendancy causes me to keep writing impliments hidden in every nook and cranny of my home, car, and travel bags. I even keep a pen on my shirt so I am literally always ready to write something down, even if it has to be on my body somewhere so I don’t forget it.
I keep a notebook next to my bed for when I wake up from dreams and want to be able to write them down because they were either really strange or really cool. Or both. But this leads to some funny times, which my friends know because it also occasionally shows itself as sleep texting. Again, not sure why they stick around!
There’s a line in the movie Baby Mama, my favorite Tina and Amy flick, when Tina Fey is talking to Rob the smoothie guy. Tina Fey tries his papaya/coffee smoothie, which she says is disgusting and I KNOW must taste like straight up ass. I recently tried papaya for the first time and it was by far the most disgusting fruit I have ever eaten. Anyway!
He tells Tina that he writes these smoothie recipe notes down in his sleep and she says, “I do that too! And then I wake up and I have these notes that say things like, ‘make everybody be twins,’ and ‘electric toilet.'”
Pretty great example of the kinds of notes I wake up with. However, they can’t all be ridiculous, and sometimes I wake up with notes like this: “You’re more than this one moment.”
Okay sleep self, I see you!
When kids feel something super heavy they shrink into the current moment. I’m hungry, it’s making me angry, I’m going to scream about it. For kids that come to visit our nature center it’s usually: I can’t see the animal you’re holding, it’s making me upset, I’m going to push my friend over so I can see it.
Adults like to pretend that we are somehow above this behavior. Like we know so much and we are so much better. We aren’t. It just looks different now.
We don’t get the raise we wanted, we get angry, we shun our boss. We don’t meet the goals we set for ourselves, we get upset, we beat ourselves up. We’re hungry, it makes us angry, we scream about it.
Just like small children, we need reminders that we have the ability to cope with our responses to events and emotions.
You are more than this one moment.
You will have lunch soon, and when you do you will regret yelling at your friends.
If you are impatient and unkind to others you may lose privileges and not get to see the animal at all.
You are more than the raise you didn’t get or the goal you didn’t meet. Your life is entirely more significant than one moment in time.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
Can you? What does stretching this one moment of pain into a thousand do for you?
It’s hard for adult and child alike to think beyond ourselves and this current moment. It is difficult to stretch ourselves into the future and see that this is just a moment, but it’s so important.
Be patient and kind with yourself and others. We are all working on this thing together. Cut yourself a break, and when you forget how, remind yourself that you are more than this one moment. Even in the hardest time: when you’re hangry.