talking to myself about nothing.


Today has been a day.And it is still before 10 am.
And mostly I don’t have any great excuse to tell you why it has been so awful. I didn’t spill my coffee. I didn’t fight with my husband. My car started. I didn’t get a ticket on the way to school.

It has a been a perfectly normal Thursday morning. I overslept a little. Had my copies ready to go and didn’t even have to scrape ice off my windshield. But last night I was up with something on my mind . Not all night. Just when I woke up to let the dog out or back in, or soothe a nightmare, or get a drink, or pull a sweet little girl and her blankie and her dolly who padded into my room into my bed and under my covers. 

Instead of going right back to sleep this little something  was the first thing I thought of.  And this something was mostly a nothing. But it was like a train. That I knew I shouldn’t get on but did. This one negative iffy thought turned into a hundred others. And pulled me down roads I didn’t want to go at racing speeds. 
This one thought spiraled at least a dozen potential awkward conversations in my head. And translated to things in the past and the future and places it didn’t really belong at all.  I connected dots that weren’t there. I made up motivations and scenarios and endings that will never play out in real life. And usually after a few minutes I managed to talk some sense into myself. And convince myself that it was really in fact nothing. And would go back to sleep.

But somehow I kept insisting on making it something. Giving this lie relevance and truth and a place to land that it didn’t deserve. I rolled out the red carpet for it. I welcomed it in and let it bring all its friends.
And when I woke up it was still there and had grown considerably overnight. And on my way to school I turned up the music. Made coffee and kept telling myself it was nothing. 

But by then nothing had turned into something. I had apparently given it permission and cleaned out a drawer for it. I prayed really whiny prayers.  Mostly decided that avoidance was my best tactic to kicking out my nothing-now-something.  And I certainly wasn’t going to honor it by writing about it or having any conversations about it.  It was getting enough air time as it was.

And it was almost working.

And then I hit a glitch in my day.  And then another bigger glitch. That on a normal day would be enough to throw me off for a bit. Nothing another cup of  coffee or funny email couldn’t fix. But this was no normal day. I had unwelcome company. And even though my nothing and this glitch were completely and totally unrelated. They became fast friends. 

And the train kept moving south.

And so I am here. Attempting to type it out. Listening to the same song over and over. Trying to convince myself that the day is not ruined.  That this negative ride I have taken isn’t really my destination.

That nothing is in fact nothing.

And I’ll be honest. So far it has only worked a little bit.
Nothing can become something in seconds if you let it.  But the reverse process takes a bit longer.  And I wonder if other people do this. Surely they do. And how do most people get off this train?
For me….Good music. Whiny prayers. Funny emails. Pointless conversations with people I like the best. Laughing even when I don’t feel like it. Cheese. More coffee. Writing it down. Funny teenagers. And/Or  a good long run usually do the trick. And when that doesn’t work.  Just the assurance that the next day will be better. Even if I have to make it.

(and because I can assure you I wasn't about to post this whiny rant yesterday...or at all...but then figured other people probably talk to themselves too....why not let the rest of the world (or all 12 of you) into my head.......I can tell you that today is already 100% better.....and I'm still listening to that same song.)

3 comments:

Kristin said...

I hope you work though it....and PS, I'm loving me some Joshua Radin.

samskat said...

I do it. It is probably the biggest reason for my insomnia. I hate the phrase, "What if..." because it can really ruin my whole day...hope you can talk yourself into believing its nothing...which i'm sure it is.

Kate said...

Oh, that south bound train... And those bumps that get you off the road and on the tracks... Yup. Me too. Glad today was better.