If you have an exceptional memory, you may recall TWO years ago I wrote a post about my teenage heartthrob, John Fogarty. If not, click on the album cover below (with gratuitous photo of said heartthrob).
In that post I mentioned I’d heard an NPR interview about Fogerty, who after fifty years playing guitar, still spends hours every morning practicing. I wrote, if anyone already knows how to play guitar, it’s John Fogerty! It set me wondering if there was anything I liked doing so much I’d spend hours doing it every day when I didn’t have to.
At first, I was disheartened, thinking I put off what I wanted to do until I’d caught up, had enough time, finished my to-do list, etc. But then I enumerated what I did every day and realized I actually did the thing(s) I wanted to be doing. I also realized there were two things I truly needed to do daily–like John Fogerty clearly needs to play guitar–and three others I wanted to do, and I could stop beating myself up about not doing whatever it was I thought I should have been doing.
I then asked “What are the thing(s) you want to/would do every day if you didn’t have to do the things you do?” And said: “Tell me yours and, in the next post, I’ll tell you mine.”
WELL. A bit o’ time has passed. I did, however, work on the answer, even though the responses from you were few. I realized that’s because many of you are: 1. OLD (i.e., you’ve already figured this out whereas although I too am old, I am still learning), 2. RETIRED (i.e., you have plenty of time to complete have-tos and want-tos whereas I was not whence I wrote the initial post), 3. TOO BUSY (i.e., either doing your have-tos like working or want-tos whatever they may be), 4. A FELLOW INTROVERT!
But I promised answers and thus here they are:
The TWO THINGS
I need to do everyday are (Ta Da): 1. THINKING and 2. BEING OUTDOORS
- I spend a damn lot of time thinking (Diagrams 1 and 2). This is probably more than you want to know, but I spent a long time THINKING about it, so here it is. I Process. Contemplate. Order. Figure. Munch. Chew. Digest. Wait. Build connections, neurons. It’s part of being an introvert, or maybe introvertedness comes from having a brain that processes like this. I experience; then my brain sorts, filters, categorizes, replays, builds networks, cross references…well, you get the idea. It takes a long, goddamn time. It’s why I live alone. Input equals processing time. More input equals more processing time. Yes, I can be quick and sharp and witty, and I can also stare at you dumbly as my brain creaks and clacks and spins reels looking for the right file. “I know I’ve got that here somewhere…” In fact, I have a story about that…okay, right, I’ll keep that one for a future post. Remind me.
Diagram 2. Mind Map Click on Image to Enlarge
(Use at Your Own Risk; some things were omitted for your safety)
2. Being Outdoors. I dunno why this is soooo important. When I was little my mom used to say, like every other minute, “Go outside and play.” I think now it was her brain’s way of getting some processing time. I went. And when her brain reached overload and blew, I went (quickly) to escape. And after a while, outdoors became waaay more comforting a place than indoors. That’s my theory anyway. Also I think and science has confirmed, I seem to recall, that deep in our brain’s structure lurks what researchers think is a hard-wired memory of our African savanna origins. Anyway, that’s my excuse. I, like Mr. Fogerty, have NEEDS. And one is to be outside, everyday, for hours.
The THREE OTHER THINGS
I think, ahem, two of the three are really subsets of the TWO THINGS, because they are A. Writing (and reading) and B. Riding which could really be part of Thinking and Being Outdoors, but I may be OVERTHINKING this. Animals. Big Thing. I’ve never really gotten over the fact I’m not an animal–well, I know I am–but I mean a REAL animal. You know, cute little round ears, cute nose, TAIL. I suppose that’s why I spend so much time with them; they are certainly much easier than people–much easier to process.
Speaking of which last, but by far not least, dear ones, is C. Friends. Gentle friends. I truly need my friends, in ways those who have family do not. My animals give me so much, but my friends…what can I say? Thank you.
And so my small gifts to you this solstice are my humble words, the links below for your enjoyment and play, and my many thanks for allowing me to be a small part of your world.
To make your own mind map, click here for a link to the SimpleMind+ app.