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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chatting with TheBrains on a Sunday Morning

It's a perfect summer Sunday morning and I'm all alone in a sparkling clean house. The air is warm and slightly humid but not at all enervating. It's simply delicious. I can hear a cardinal going "boidee boidee boidee" outside the open front door. I'm sure he's saying "It's mine It's mine It's Mine" but I sometimes pretend he's saying "come out come out come out". 

 There's also an indigo bunting trilling its fluttery song further out along the edge of the field. This year that field is full of corn. It's so tall it makes a green convertible tunnel for the lane to bisect. It won't stay green. It is, after all, a harvest crop and we all want it to ripen into golden food, but right now, and for the next week or so, it'll be very Oz-like in its greenness.

I woke up sliding around on brand new Laura Ashley sheets all sprinkled with blue flowers. This was a rare purchase on Friday as I hunted and gathered things to spruce up my house. I never buy printed sheets ... not because I don't like the idea of printed sheets (Florence King and I will agree on that) but because I don't like the colors or the designs in housewares these days. I haven't been able to find a quilt or bedspread I like in 20 years!! I don't need quiet muted grey and taupe colors to calm me down - I want beauty - I want to sleep either in clouds or a bed of flowers. I mean - I'm the gal with the enchanted forest and who puts herself to sleep by taking imaginary trips in the Magic Flying Bed.

RIGHT BRAIN: psst. psst. that's not true. You found that Williamsburg blue and white one you liked - you know, printed like toille.

LEFT BRAIN:Hush your mouth. You know what she's talking about. that's the Only one she found and when it has to be cleaned there isn't a spare to rotate with.

Oh hello. I hoped you two would pop out.

LEFT BRAIN:We're always here.

Yes. I know. You two are the analytical and the emotional sides of our consolidated whole. Just in case our vast readership was wondering, you know.

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah. and I sometimes resent the fact that you use a devil to represent me in that other place we blog.

LEFT BRAIN:It was the only choice she had among those emoticons. Besides, I bet you are secretly pleased to be thought the devilish side of us.

RIGHT BRAIN: LOL. You're right. I do like being a little ... um ... naughty.

LEFT BRAIN:I thought so. And if you want something different, Miss Arty-pants, you'll have to draw it.

RIGHT BRAIN: I'm workin' on it.

Hey you two. Don't get into an argument - not on this gorgeous day. This last Sunday of June. I want to totally thoroughly completely savor this day. With watermelon for breakfast.


LEFT BRAIN:And nutritious. And we won't argue. And if I sounded snippy, I apologize. Who knew how hard it was going to be to translate our artistic idea. And it's not as if you-know-who hasn't been trying.

RIGHT BRAIN: It's okay. I felt you just wanted to show off your linguistic skills. I didn't mind.

LEFT BRAIN:LOL. Touche. Sometimes it seems as if the emotional side of us is all complaints and sadness and frustration when really most of the time you're full of kindness and joy. I appreciate that about you.

RIGHT BRAIN: Just like I appreciate how your list making and rule following don't just keep us safe, they make unpleasant things go by faster. They're efficient.

Well. This is all good. I'm glad to hear you two are both in a good place. Especially since this has been a struggling 6 months.

LEFT BRAIN:Even longer, when you think about how hard December was with that massive change to Weight Watchers.

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh la, yes. I still feel the pinch of how angry I was.

LEFT BRAIN:You're okay now, though, aren't you?

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah. But it's harder to stick with it now.

LEFT BRAIN:Is it? I mean - a year ago we hadn't been at goal for months and months and this year we've been at goal since March. Don't you think that just cutting back on sugar makes it quick to get back to goal when we slide away from it?

RIGHT BRAIN: Hmmm. well. I don't think, but if I did, I feel like I'd think that. Yeah.

LEFT BRAIN:(shoves gently) You goof. I think it anyway. I know it.

So tell me now how you two feel about the present. What you think we should do to go forward. You have both seemed more peaceful and confident this past week. What brought about the turnaround?

RIGHT BRAIN: I can't tell if it was just emotional overload or if something really shifted

LEFT BRAIN:Mercury is no longer going retrograde

RIGHT BRAIN: But suddenly it felt as if everything is going to be alright.

LEFT BRAIN:Yeah. Even if those things don't go the way I thought they should go - for them to be alright, y'know.

RIGHT BRAIN: There you have it. If LadyGrammar here will end a sentence with "y'know" then ... for sure we're more relaxed and maybe we care less.

LEFT BRAIN:And of course, we got really good advice from our secret team member, Martha Beck. Remember? On how to tame the scary things? Here it is:

Today, look upon your life, your bank account, your family, each person you meet, as a wild horse. If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more. Then begin encouraging small changes, putting just enough pressure on yourself to move one turtle step forward. Then rest, savor, celebrate. Then step again. You’ll find that slow is fast, gentle is powerful, and stillness moves mountains.
~ Taming Wild Mustangs...Insight From Martha Beck ~

And when we tried it - we slid forward 3 whole spaces!

RIGHT BRAIN: It sure felt like we did.

LEFT BRAIN:We got that credit thing done and backed out of that Tuesday commitment ...

RIGHT BRAIN: LOL. and even found time for some retail therapy!

LEFT BRAIN:Yes. And we all know how much you love you some retail therapy. And doesn't it feel good to have the refrigerator cleaned? Don't you love those clear plastic organizers so you can pull out the bin of nuts or the bin of grains without having to paw through all that clutter?

RIGHT BRAIN: Yes. I've said it before. I love your organizing skills. I'm even willing to take out one thing for every new thing we add - especially new clothes.

LEFT BRAIN:Ahhh. Yes. That is really nice. And I don't mind us buying new clothes or things, so long as we can de-clutter as we go.... and, of course, so long as we don't spend money we don't have to spend.

Well. This all sounds very hunky-dory and happy and such. Just wanting to be sure, though. How about the crisis in the county government?

LEFT BRAIN:Oh that. It will sort itself out.

RIGHT BRAIN: And it isn't our responsibility. We should only pick up our own suitcase.

Okay - what about the national elections?

LEFT BRAIN:Same thing.

RIGHT BRAIN: Even more, probably.

What about the Hoskins Book?

LEFT BRAIN:Eh. You know we'll get it done.

RIGHT BRAIN: And you better stop bringing up stressful things or I'm going to lose my summertime carefree feeling.

LEFT BRAIN:No no. If there's something buried inside you'll become so frustrated you'll explode with something destructive and painful. Better look at it now and decide about it. Do you dread finishing it?

RIGHT BRAIN: No. No. I'm just so deeply bored with it. It's only fun to work on when H is here.

LEFT BRAIN:Well, she'll be back tomorrow. We can draw on her energy to get it done. And you will be happy when it's done, now, won't you?

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh gawd yes. I'll be so relieved it's over I'll have to be happy. I can't wait to cross it off your list.

LEFT BRAIN:Good. Then, to make you feel really happy, let's promise each other that every day until it's done we do something to push it forward. I'll make a list of steps.

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh. You mean a promise?

LEFT BRAIN:I mean a Vow!


LEFT BRAIN:Remember - you will be soooooooo happy when you never ever ever have to think about it


LEFT BRAIN:OR feel about it ever ever ever again in your whole life!

RIGHT BRAIN: (giggles) You are so right. Okay. That's a goal worth aiming for. I promise. No. I VOW!

LEFT BRAIN:Great. I bet you feel better already.


This is good. So. So what about the focus groups?


LEFT BRAIN:Hush. Calm. She's right. What about them?

RIGHT BRAIN: What about that walk in White Oak Swamp? What about my watermelon breakfast?

LEFT BRAIN:Breakfast can wait. What about clearing out all the clutter in our heart?

RIGHT BRAIN: Sigh. Okay. What about those focus groups?

LEFT BRAIN:Well. What if we set a deadline of Friday to have them designed and a letter of invitation written and a complete list of key people we want to include? July 1. Think we could do that?

RIGHT BRAIN: Hmmm. Yes. I'll bring my energy.

LEFT BRAIN:Great. I'll bring my sheet of paper and pen for list making.

Well now. This is even more goodness. Now I have only one more thing to ask.


LEFT BRAIN:What is it?

It's about You Know What - and what we are wanting - and how we have let things slide - and how we have not been honest in the most tee-tiny molecular steps and how making all those head-ducking choices has finally coalesced into TheBigUnhappy.

RIGHT BRAIN: Darn you! I thought I could keep that secret from you.

Sorry honey. You can't keep secrets. You can only tell lies to us. In the end you'll always expose the secret through unhappiness and depression and acting out.


That's the way it is. We're ALL in this together. And when you hurt, all of us hurts. All of me hurts. So - don't you think we should sit down and--

LEFT BRAIN:Make lists! Make a list of things we want that we're not getting and a list of things we are doing secretly that are totally harmless but display who we really are and make another list of things we don't like and want changed and

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh lordy. She's on a roll.

Yes. Just what I was hoping for. But you have to help her. Admit it. Even letting yourself imagine you're helping her has already made you feel happier, hasn't it?

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah. It's sooooo scary though. So scary to show people who you really are.

I know. But if you don't show people who you really are, they'll accidentally step all over you and hurt you way more than they would if you let them see you. The worst someone can do when she sees you and doesn't like you is to reject you. And honestly - why would you care if somebody rejects you? If she did, she'd be the crazy one. She'd be wrong.

RIGHT BRAIN: (chuckles) I'd forgotten that.

Well, remember it.

 LEFT BRAIN:Yes. Remember it. And help me with that list too. This week. Promise.

RIGHT BRAIN: Oh lord. More promises.

LEFT BRAIN:Yes. Promise me on this one too. Don't worry. I'm not asking you to post that list. Just make it. So you can bring it out when the time is right.

RIGHT BRAIN: Fair enough. Okay. I'll join you. But not right now. Right now it's breakfast time. And Enchanted Forest time.

LEFT BRAIN:And pack up the winter sweaters time.

RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah. and clean out the battery drawer time

LEFT BRAIN:And roll out that rug time

RIGHT BRAIN: And clean out the back porch cabinet time

Alright you two. what it sounds like is Procrastination time.


I know. It only sounded like it - I know some things take time to cook. Just so long as you get to this important happiness making project soon. In a "timely" manner.



RIGHT BRAIN: I hope you don't have any more questions.

Nope. I'm done.

LEFT BRAIN: RIGHT BRAIN: Thank goodness.

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