The Seconds Struggle


My inner resistance usually starts as soon as I begin to think about setting aside the time to do the required adult tasks of paying bills and balancing books. I would much rather be playing or creating.

Today I manufactured many other tasks that needed attention first. Procrastination never reduces anxiety, but I always imagine it might.

I could empty and re-fill the ice cube trays (yes, we still have ice cube trays in our house).

My deadline for completion of organizing the closet past, I decided I had a few hours to do that this morning. With an eye toward reducing the contents of the large walk-in closet, I sorted outdated, out of season, and worn clothing. But it wasn’t that easy. I made this dress for the second pregnancy; my mother made this skirt for my first job interview; these worn and frayed t-shirts remain my favorites (maybe I could make a t-shirt quilt). The connection between objects and memories fascinates me, and today my own memories attached to these objects slow me down. By the time a large portion of the contents of the closet have found new homes in boxes to be trashed or given away, I want lunch.

Pacing the floor, undecided where to start after lunch, I pause. The paperwork needs to be done before the post office closes. Looking out the window I see a beautiful day.

I take my phone and decide to simply walk outside for just one minute to clear my head.

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Once outside, I set the timer for one minute. The lush greens of the grass and trees captivate me. I see a sudden small movement on the ground. It’s a baby toad. Walking up the long driveway I notice the abundant recent rains have encouraged even more grasses to find their way through the asphalt. Tall green stalks at the edge of the flower bed let me know that Queen Ann’s Lace will bloom soon. A breeze carries the scent of freshly mown grass. The peonies have faded. There is poison ivy on the side of the driveway.

The timer beeps. I feel more mentally clear, better focused, less anxious. Amazingly it takes very little time to finish the paperwork and get to the post office.

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Mentastics Minute:

Go outside with your timer. Set the timer for one minute and walk. See the colors in the natural world around you – any trees, grasses, plants. Feel the ground. When the timer beeps, pause to notice your body and your feelings.