Yesterday my imagination was a semi going too fast down a mountain road with no runaway ramp to slow it down; it was completely out of control. And I was the byproduct of that messiness.
Monday, the first day back after a long (and much-needed break from all-the-things) Thanksgiving holiday. Monday, also the first of only 15 working days remaining on this calendar year before the week of Christmas arrives, bringing with it more (still-needed) respite from all-the-things.
Scheduled meetings, and many not, punctuated the morning hours, whittling them (the hours) down to mere minutes remaining on the clock and then, there were none. No minutes making up hours were left.
Picture me picturing myself at this noon juncture: one very not-put-together human managing and simultaneously spinning multiple activities, which activities included but were definitely not limited to: three loads of laundry, sheet changing (because Clean Sheet Day will be observed at our house, at any and all cost), client outreaches and responses via email, text, and email, surprise/unscheduled phone calls (thank goodness they were on the phone and not on video), loungewear being worn because a self-promised bike ride was still in my future (and on the other side of which ride would be a glorious hot shower, and on the other side of said shower would be clean, lovely and intentional clothes, you know like a put-together outfit), meal planning and preparing (mind you this was merely on the LIST; it was definitely not being done, dear reader, not at all), scheduled meetings and conversations that were always meant to be had, the putting away of various bags, boxes, containers, and necessaries congregating at the top of the stairs that decidedly belong down, returning a pair of borrowed shoes that came with a pleasant, albeit ill-timed, conversation because friends will be loved here only always, and the folding of sheets and socks and towels upon towels for those lucky enough moments when bike rides happen and brows are mopped.
And in the time it took me to create that inconclusive but lengthy list for Patrick, you might now picture me picturing myself at 6pm with nothing but hanging chads littering my imagination’s floor, nothing complete except for the soap dispensers at every sink basin being now refilled.
And what tale had my imagination been writing all day that I was now reading in my mind’s eye?
Only this: that I was a waste of space, never completing anything, terrible at tasks and their management, out-of-shape and probably fat and undesirable because of it, unkempt, definitely not put together, lacking a plan for supper because I am a failure at doing anything and while we’re looking through the kitchen file, how could you not have gotten your bread starter started so you would now have fresh-baked bread tonight? Oh, and remember the pizza dough you started ON THANKSGIVING?? It’s still hanging out in the refrigerator just waiting to be taken care of, you dolt. And your sweetheart will be home any minute and you have what to show him? He’s totally going to be unimpressed with you and this will be — YOU WILL BE — the reason he rejects you.
My friend Steve Chandler said, “Worry is a misuse of your imagination,” and dammit, he’s right, right?
Thank goodness my imagination’s creation was only entirely made up.
Curtis and I promptly (well I swapped my lounge pants for “proper” pants first) went out for dinner at our favorite Mexican place, his hand firmly holding mine, and my heart wrapped up and held by his loving reassurance that the product of my day’s imagination was ridiculous. Not me, my imagination’s creation.
And that’s it: worrying, storytelling, fear-mongering, self-shaming, guilt-tripping, negative talking, overwhelming. . . they’re all just a misuse of the imagination.
As it turns out, none of those things I made up about myself were true — far far from it, in fact. What did yesterday actually look like?
-First day back from holiday with a bang!
-Crushed all client calls, the planned and the unplanned ones.
-Managed SIX separate accounts, each with multiple people involved.
-Completed — sorted to folded to put away — three loads of laundry.
-Put away all extraneous/leftover items from holiday fun with family.
-Walked the dog.
-Fed the dog.
-Had meaningful and important conversations with two friends.
-Held a much-needed space with my mother in a difficult moment in her life.
-Scheduled our annual health insurance review.
-Showed up fully for my two full-time jobs.
-Confirmed my ukulele lesson for this Saturday.
-Changed the sheets and made the bed beautiful.
-Said yes to everything and to everyone that mattered.
Today I am managing my imagination and creating stories that serve and honor me and the truth of who I am: threads weaving together the tapestry of my created life.
P.S. I got that bike ride in first thing this morning, put on a put-together outfit, and realized the benefit of a well-timed burrito is way more powerful than all of yesterday’s runaway trucks combined.