I’m not a planner. I am a “jump in with both feet and see what happens” kind of person when it comes to anxiety projects.
Okay, not just projects. Life in general. Normally, this is where I say that my approach hasn’t worked out too well for me, but I don’t think that is fair.
I am here. So my approach can’t be all bad.
I talked a while back about needing a project. Having a that project requires repetitive motion is my “go to” when anxiety burns like an unholy fire.
I thought I would start with a painting project, but ended up gluing beads to a wire plant stand.
It took a few months of gluing stuff to things, but I did get it done. The final product doesn’t much matter, it’s the process that I need.
I have been told many times to try meditating. I have tried. I have tried so hard. So far, this is as far as I’ve gotten with meditation:
This is dumb.
How am I supposed to think about nothing? I can’t think about nothing. I can’t think about fewer than ten things at a time. I’m never going to get to “nothing”. I don’t think I can get to seven.
What I have learned, if I occupy the part of my brain that won’t cooperate with meditating, I can at least come close to a meditative state. At least I think I do.
I feel more calm when I’m done and the obsessive, circular thoughts go away.
My finished product might look like the work of a toddler.
I do not care.
My plant stand is gaudy and messy and doesn’t match anything I own, but to be fair, I’ve never been overly concerned about shit matching, so it’s all good.
One evening, as I glued little plastic beads to a wire plant stand, I was reminded of my mother.
I grew up in a ramshackle house owned by my mother’s aunt. We lived in Covington, Ky and could see the Cincinnati skyline from our house. Well, very nearly.
I had neighborhood friends, but my school friends all lived in a subdivision. All the houses were the same and had rec rooms and the basements weren’t terrifying. They also didn’t live directly in front of a cemetery. I wanted to live where they lived so bad.
The living room ceiling and the walls by a big window were water stained. We lived in our house for free and were poor, so obviously, hiring a contractor to fix the damage wasn’t going to happen.
This was the seventies, so all the colors were earthy and there were a lot of stripes. My mom stapled yards and yards of blue and green and black striped material to the walls and over the ceiling to cover the water stains. In retrospect, I think it probably looked really cool.
At the time? I thought it was the most stupid thing ever. My friends had houses with pictures of windmills and waterfalls on the walls, not funky blue and green and black striped material. At my friend’s houses I saw things like Hummel figurines and rec rooms that had wallpaper with playing cards on it. At my house, they saw art projects in various stages and a TV with a wire coat hanger for an antennae and a pair of pliers to change the channel.
It occurred to me the plant stand color scheme was the exact same color scheme my mother chose to cover our water stained walls.
Do I think I did that subconsciously? Probably not. I had a loose idea for color scheme, but the bead colors available at the grocery store played a part in that decision.
I don’t care if I meant to do it or not. I’m glad they’re the same color scheme. I am glad that gluing stuff to things triggered a memory that ended up being good and comforting.
I’m going to have to start a new project now.
I took Randy back to Pennsylvania this weekend so that he could help out a family member for another week. I am glad he is there to help, but it’s hard when he’s away.
I think I will do something that doesn’t require the use of a glue gun as I would like to give my fingertips a break from the constant burning.