Friday, September 3, 2010

The First Real Chill

Can a person tell when their own brain is turning to mush? After I went to the organic vegetable work shop, I seem to have collapsed into a heap of indecisiveness. It has involved a lot of napping and apparent slow circular meanderings with minimal accomplishments. Perhaps I just don't take to goofing off well.

My sabbatical/tragic under-employment is now three years old. It has been three years of no set schedule with no real deadlines. There is a routine of sorts, but it is very fluid. This style of living has wrecked my former abilities to multi-task, both physically and mentally. I can only think one thing at a time anymore.

Now that could be a good thing, if I can get completely comfortable with it. People actually strive for a state of mind in that condition. In the past an effort would be needed, a concentration on a butterfly with Ageratina, to calm the mind. Now my mind floats on the breeze like a butterfly. I am untethered.

Or still annoyed by systems that continue to wobble and prevent me from moving on. The check engine light in the newly repaired truck came back on after just three trips to town. The resident gardeners bathroom remodel is done. The throne has been returned to its rightful place, but the shower still leaks, less, but it leaks. My back is much improved, yet it refuses to stop reminding me of the former ordeal.

I need to float on.

The computers were switched in the hopes of more speed. No such thing happened. Instead it has been days of upgrades, over the use limit cutoffs by Hughes and a new annoying start up error message that won't go away no matter how many times I follow the directions for repair.

Then a brilliant thought, I will remove the overflow of photos on my computer to the new external hard drive to free up computer brain space. In the process I lost a chunk of pictures. A pathetic filing system and photos scattered hither and yon makes what was lost somewhat unknowable. Oh well, less clutter. They could be elsewhere, on a blog, in Picasa, hidden in the nether regions of the computer.

During this computer madness I have been doing my volunteer work for the West Asheville Garden Stroll, working on the website. Hard to believe isn't it. Me on a pitiful satellite connection and with a cranky computer.

I watch butterflies float over Ironweed, then hang on tight when a stiff wind blows the stalks back and forth. Something is coming.

Such woes are just the nagging aspects of life. In the absence of a set schedule and proper routine to consume most of my thinking hours, the woes gain added dragging weight. My thoughts circle around them, now tethered.

Ageratina with blue pot sits still. I can only think one thing at a time anymore.

It blasted through in a couple of hours. Wind, then rain and more wind. The first cold wind. Fifty degrees in the morning cold wind. I felt chilled and meandered in circles accomplishing minimal amounts.

Puttering loses its form and purpose as life starts to move in slow motion.

Can a person tell if their own brain is turning to mush? I have become a heap of indecisiveness, chilled, not yet frozen.


chuck b. said...

My lack of routine for most of the last few years (the whole time you've known me) made me go back to school. Nothing structures the brain like quite math classes.

Siria said...

I agree and it is very difficult to get into a set schedule, but well worth it. Like Chuck, I have thought about going back to school. We'll see...hang in there! The cool weather will zap you into action.

Anonymous said...

I have known exactly what you are talking about since I retired, 6 years ago. We are so goal-oriented that absence of an overabundance of goals at once makes us think we are not doing anything. You still have plenty goals left, like moving into the cozy cabin and constructing a wonderful garden! I think part of our brains turning to mush in this season is a subconscious hibernation for the cold season.


Pam said...

Boy do I understand. All of it. Although I'm still working like crazy, I need the structure of a job - even when I work, I don't feel like I am (I have no boss, no paycheck, no one say 'that's good' or 'that's bad'...) so for the most part I feel like I'm in a parallel universe, floating.

(I also think my current 'view' of a full day is a bit distorted - actually, I don't know if it is, but I worry that it might be. And now I worry how I will do when I'm re-employed at some point - and have meetings to attend, classes to teach, etc. I can't remember what that was like, and it's only be a year.)

Les said...

I don't know, but I would be willing to try free form for a while. Perhaps this time of year will help to center you more. The weeks after Labor Day have always been a time of schedules and routine.

Christopher C. NC said...

Chuck I think my math brain cells have withered and died.

Siria I bet with all your kids grown and in college your routine was really changed. I expect a routine will develop for me in time.

Bev it is odd that with so many projects going on, building, gardening, more work all the time, a little volunteering, elder assistance, that I would feel this way. There is an underlying fear at work here I think.

Pam I worry a bit too about what happens when I begin to work full time after this period of "why do I even think this is not working, I'm physically wore out at times." Maybe the mind just isn't used to this amount of freedom from attending to others.

Les the first two years were quite enjoyable. I just went with it. Now I may be worrying a bit about the duration and the lack of financial independence. Yes bulb planting and fall cleanup season is soon to be here.

Alison Kerr said...

Love the ironweed. I shall have to plant some of that. Is it shade tolerant?

Christopher C. NC said...

Alison the Ironweed, Vernonia noveboracensis wants full sun. We do have some growing in our sunnier shade, like half day full sun. It blooms, but the heads are smaller.