Writing comes in waves. Sometimes those waves crash into the walls of normalcy and produce nonsense; for me at least. (Like this point)
I’ve found that when I am overly busy with physical things (cleaning, fixing, working, etc.) I am unable to hear my mind because it isn’t working. I’ve written often about solitude and focus and even discussed how the life of Jesus emulated these disciplines. For people who have made a life of listening, thinking, learning, and teaching, a strict routine is mandatory. I used to be able to work with my body (manual labor) for untold hours without stopping. Those days are over. I also used to be able to multitask with both my body and mind in tow. That too has long been gone.
So, I can either study and prepare to teach or I can do everything else. For whatever reason, I can no longer do both. I am mentally unable to engage in the mindset of anything else if I have to set time out for mental work. This includes my writing, which is why last week I missed two days.
The rigidity of the schedule and minimal change are the fuels of my productivity. Spontaneity is something I utterly abhor. When things happen in the sense of urgency or crisis, I am able to mitigate quick responses, but if these matters create the need for development (a broken leg vs. an existential crisis), they have to be brought into the structure of order. This is why it is imperative that time to think about difficult things, just like doing hard things, must be scheduled, limited, and within the framework of requirements that don’t dilute other important responsibilities.
Some folks don’t understand this and they don’t have to. Each human being has different ways in which they process requirements and circumstances, this is how God has made my mind work. This is also why I despise a false crisis. People who refuse the simple task of doing what is required to keep sanity and order but expect others to jump off the cliff with an extra parachute and catch them before they hit the ground. Advocating in my earlier years kept me on this cliff, and away from my family. In one season, these types of matters kept me from sanity.
Why share this?
I am no expert in the human mind, but I am an expert in my experiences. I have learned that while no one in the world is just like me, there are people who have intersected my way of thinking, to some degree, and can relate and find solace knowing they’re not alone. Having structure keeps things moving. And before you say, “Well, I have structure,” let me give you a few details.
I have to know the amount of coffee, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, trash bags, toothpaste, deodorant, and milk (to name a few) that are in the house at any given time. I have a minimum expectancy of what must be in stock and if that falls short, I restock or get restless until I do. I also watch the Kilowatt hours and monthly gallon usage of our utilities. I discover reasons why these things fluctuate. I only trim my fingernails on Friday, and before I do anything else. I have a set way and order in which I prepare for my evenings, mornings, and daily routines. If I have a meeting at 2 PM, I will not do anything that would require me to shower or alter the focus of that meeting beforehand. I wake up every single day between four and five AM without fail. Sometimes I go back to sleep. But I check the clock either way. At any given moment I know where all sets of keys are for everything. I check locks, lights, filters, switches, and vacuum canisters on an ongoing basis.
I have days that I study, times that I read, routines that I follow, and things that I schedule to read and listen to. As I check my email (only in the mornings) or my texts, (only in the afternoons), I make a schedule. I make a list of things on social media that I want to visit, I copy-paste important messages into text files for later consumption, and at the end of the day, I revisit what I didn’t get to and either move it down the list or collect it in a bottomless file of “later”. I very rarely, if ever, look at something at random or read a quick blurb.
I hate memes, videos of injuries, and anything related to entertainment or Hollywood, and couldn’t care less about political issues. I sort my mail in the box and toss the dross before coming into the house. I labor over the unfinished things and prepare them for my Sunday evening braindump. I am visual, in everything. I do not enjoy long or important dialog via text or messenger but have learned to use it to a degree. I will not banter back and forth, however, I just do not grasp the form of such communication and cannot stand in one place while waiting for responses. When I am able to talk, we talk, but I am unable to just talk for a second… this really makes me anxious when I have a hot pot that could boil over on the upper burner.
So, the rantings of a broken mind are exposed. That is why I have not been formulating ideas lately because I have been so busy with other things. But, that is good. I need change. When my health failed me in 2021 my doctors learned it was due to stress and a near mental break. Complications from that seven months of sepsis, broken foot, depression, and a slew of other matters, arose this Spring (2022) and coupled with a short battle of dehydration, set another five-month illness that I could not overcome. My body just broke. God declared it was time I learned to sit still and do what I needed to do, not what everyone else wanted me to do.
So, my writing is for me, as I need it. My writing is also for you, as you care to read it. Either way, it is what it is, and that’s a good thing.
When the world makes judgments based on its determined rules and routines the best we can do is just ignore it. When friends make much of what they think we should be doing and being, we should filter it. The nature of humanity seeks to be upset and triggered. We are all heading toward death in this mortal realm, can we not find peace and focus?
For me, I am always blessed by those who walk by the Spirit and are in a calm space. I am also learning that I cannot have two types of people in my life. I have to choose those with joy and the desire for peace. Because when I switch on the lights in my yard, the darkness flees. I can’t have both the lights on and the darkness in the same spot, it doesn’t work.
For those who track… keep on. For those who are a bit confused, I’m sorry. Ask, and I am happy to explain. As for my writing.. well, there are deeper things in the works. Things that will begin to STORM the brain and SLAY the sadness.