Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

How Hard It Is To Be Still

Lately, more than one person has said to me: “You have trouble being still. You are never still.”

My initial reaction to this statement is always millions of unspoken thoughts of how impossible it is to be still. Try living my life and see if you can be still. As a single parent, I ask myself: when am I supposed to be still? Maybe you can relate. If you’re a parent, a working parent, a parent of multiple children, a caregiver for elderly parents, or any combination of these roles, you know how hard it is to be still. There is always a to-do list, and it is always impossibly long. You’re always being pulled in multiple directions, and sometimes, those directions are physically and mentally exhausting.

For me, I must add to the trouble of being still the desire to be involved in activities (I’ve always been a joiner), my fear of life being too short and missing out on anything, ambitious goals, and my avoidance of tough, emotional issues—and that equals being too busy, never being still, and feeling completely overwhelmed.

But it’s catching up to me. I’m exhausted. And my loved ones would not be telling me that it’s important to relax and be still if they didn’t see the negative effects of my current lifestyle.

This is a blog post that’s difficult to write because at this point, it has no ending. I’m not writing this because I have a magical answer for how to be still. I try to meditate. I say no to some requests for my time. I prioritize tasks. But this problem for me goes beyond that busy calendar–this problem is because I am uncomfortable with myself, and that is the root. How do I get comfortable spending time with this person underneath all the labels and responsibilities, tasks and to-do lists, flaws and quirks and joys, and be still with her?

If I can figure that out, then I think I can be still.  It’s similar to the saying: Being comfortable in your own skin. If you are constantly moving and exhausted, you don’t have to worry about any of that because you don’t have time for it.

How about you?  Are you still?

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4 Comments

  1. I’m an angst-filled person, so I understand what you’re saying. It’s hard to keep up with everything we want to do, and even harder with a young kiddo. Sometimes meditating works for me, and sometimes it doesn’t. They say it takes lots of practice, so maybe I’m not being dedicated enough.

    One of the best ways for me to unwind and relax is to laugh. I’ll put in a movie or some old comedy television sitcoms and simply enjoy them. I Love Lucy is my own personal Xanax. 🙂

    • luvboxerdogs

      May 13, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Lately, my friends have been talking about yoga. It’s something I’ve thought about doing, but then I think..is that just one more class I’m going to have to try to get to and then what is KT going to do and it’s one more expense…see how my mind works. I know there are You Tube yoga videos but I don’t think that would do it for me. Anyway, good idea with the funny TV show. I also do that sometimes.

  2. All I can do is say I am the same way. I think I finally diagnosed myself as being a combination of ADHD and OCD. I can say as you get older, age and physical condition will slow you down a little bit. I found the one thing helpful I learned to do was to ask myself “Is this necessary to your long-term goals?” At least it helped me drop off a board I was on, not to join an organization I have considered joining for years, and to look harder at the day to day decisions that keep coming up. In other words, I have to sell myself on things, and I’m a really hard sell. I have a collection of about 30 paperback detective novels I use for a sleep medication. They are interesting enough to hold my attention if I’m really not that sleepy, yet, but I have read them so many times, I pretty well remember what is coming next. Sometimes, I’ll read several pages one night. Then there are the times it will take me a week or two to digest a single page. By focusing my thoughts on these books, I turn off the internal voice saying “Oh, you have to do this tomorrow, what are you going to write for that, what should I get so-and-so for their birthday, what do I fix for supper tomorrow evening?” I was serious when I said it sometimes takes a week or two to get to the next page. They have to be books you enjoy. They also have to be books you’ve enjoyed the heck out of in the past. That way they become a soporific.

    • luvboxerdogs

      May 13, 2018 at 8:27 am

      I have asked myself that same question before: Is this helping my long-term goal? I also ask myself: Is this a priority? What are my priorities? I like your sleep medication book idea. 🙂

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