I’m having a confused morning.
What the shuffling seems to have done is left a mess in my head. And I can tolerate a mess, but I don’t like it. I like things to be neat, orderly, tidy, arranged. Mess is supposed to be a temporary state, something you make while you are trying to make something else.
It’s what happens when you decide it’s time to organize the basement or the closets or the garage and everything gets taken out and examined, and usually what happens is there’s this really ugly stage where everything is out and you’re looking at it. Some things seem to go in piles. They belong together. So you do that. And many things are just lying there, because you’re not sure what they go with and and anyway you don’t know if they would fit if you put them with things they might go with. So they just sit there.
There are other things, of course, that need to be thrown out. This might mean that you have a pile of things to throw away, and a pile of things to give to charity, and another–often larger pile–of things you aren’t sure about. Should you keep them? You don’t know. So they just sit there too.
That’s what I seem to have done.
I have dragged out everything I know about myself, other people, the mind, and what I should do to get better, and it’s in piles. And that’s pretty much as far as I’ve gotten. And it’s a mess.
It’s also not getting appreciably better. I might have tidied up a few corners. And a part of me thinks for no discernible reason, “Oh, I just need more stuff.” And I go off and read something, and the piles get bigger. Then I have more to organize.
So, for example, yesterday I was reading about chimpanzees. I now have a number of bits of trivia to share with you: they kiss on the mouth, but only some groups of chimpanzees do this. They groom each other after conflicts to re-establish relationships, but they also use mediators for this. Sometimes things are just too painful, and they need help getting started picking bits of debris out of each other’s fur. And they have culture.
How exactly does this help me?
I don’t know. But that seems to be what I do. If I can’t organize the mess in my head, I go out and find more things to put up there with all the rest of the crap. It’s like I think Google Books is a Container Store. All I need is the right sized plastic bins and all will be well. Only I keep buying things that don’t turn out to be more containers, or the containers keep turning out to be the wrong size. I just end up with more stuff to organize. It’s horrible. Someone should make me stop.
I’ve just finished watching 13 years of Midsomer Murders. (That thought alone is a bit frightening.) It’s not that I was such a great fan, but I’d run out of other things to watch that involve figuring out how a dead body got to be dead. And now I can’t find much of anything to replace it with. And so I’ve moved on to Star Trek.
I watched Star Trek Voyager for four hours yesterday. In a row. There should be laws against that. I’m not sure if that kind of thing is safe.
Nonetheless, there was a point somewhere in the middle where I felt really pretty happy doing this. I felt, in fact, like I was about five years old and being read a nice story. And then that feeling subsided, but I kept doing it. I kept watching this silly old TV show.
I suppose I was hoping I could get that feeling would come back. It didn’t.
And so does organizing my brain.
I realized something else: doing things I enjoy makes me feel valued. And that’s really the reason to do it–not to unwind or relax or bring a bit of joy into my life, although those are good reasons to do them as well, but to work against the pain of the Paper Cup self and to send that message to myself loud and clear that I matter.
Sometimes for four hours.