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Need to learn to relax, I think

So this is dumb: I slept, according to my Fitbit dingus, for less than an hour and a half last night. Feels about right. Why? Because I have this stupid tendency to obsess over solving problems. Why have I allowed this tendency to develop? Well…here’s the weird thing: I have a history of actually solving problems with it. I mean, lots of them. It’s one of those intermittent-reinforcement things, y’know? Hard to shake the habit, ’cause when it works it feels so good.

But this time I can’t solve anything, at least in the short term, and I somehow need to give myself permission to clear my head. A basic grown-up sort of life skill, I fully realize. Way overdue.

Can’t really give you guys the details. It’s just…I trust some people, and not other people, and I feel/claim responsibilities I can’t necessarily live up to right now. All I can do, you might tell me, is do what I can do. And move on to something else. Right. Got it. But I want to think of something else. Some other approach. An end run that fixes a problem. Not impossible, right?

Yeah. Okay. Right now I really need patience, and sleep. So I think I’ll take a kid to a pool, and find something else to do that’s fun, and maybe read some fiction. Pet the cat. Stuff like that. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight.

I love writing fiction. But it’s not the sort of therapy for me that I can imagine it might be for other people. I don’t write down my problems. I daydream for fun. Can’t do that at the moment.

On the bright side, that same wrist-dingus tells me I’ve paced about six miles since I got out of bed six hours ago. So, exercise-wise, all’s well. Cool!

Seriously, I need to do better. And I will. Call it my new project.

More tomorrow.

Published inMy Fiction


  1. You’re a whole lot vague, but I understand the basics – there are things you have to think about, and it doesn’t let you sleep to have them on your mind.

    I’d say, though, to give them some time during the day, and do the thinking in writing (so your subconscious feels acknowledged, and believes you’re serious), because you can’t DO too much about problems when you need rest.

    Except for the insight bits – mine usually come during my mini-naps during the day, in the first few minutes with my eyes closed. I need to stop thinking about other things, lie in extension on the rug, stretch my back, and relax. I keep a pad of paper next to me for the solution (if I think of one), so I won’t lose it. It usually takes 1-3 minis (each 5 min. on a timer) to clear my head.

    • David

      Had to do with kids, most of whom don’t live here anymore. I’m pretty worried about where they went, and what’s clearly happened to them already over there, and my feeling that nobody in a position to do anything about it seems to care. If I were free to talk about it, I would…but right now that’d just make it much harder for us to help other kids, and probably still not do much good for the ones who left. I don’t like any part of the above.

      I might try that thinking-in-writing bit. Mostly I compartmentalize the writing, but I don’t see any harm in trying the suggestion. As for the rest/insight notion, I seem to get most of my insights and ideas while pacing and daydreaming. My sister gave me a Fitbit recently, and I like the gadget, but I don’t seem to have much use for it from a practical perspective–my pacing/wandering puts me way over the “daily goal” it defaulted to by around noon on most days. I can pace or walk on a trail when I’m sleepy, too, but it seems less productive.

      Really hoping I can get all the dictation bugs worked out! Imagine walking down a trail, dictating fiction…or other thoughts…I’m pretty close, but not quite there yet. I don’t trust the recording to be there, or to be transcribed if it is. And so far the distrust has been justified.

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