You probably thought this post is about cleaning out those overstuffed closets in order to simplify my life. No it’s not (although that could be another post another time). This is about brain storage.
I have a room in my brain where I store all of my worries about the world: local, national, global. Inside that room are boxes for each worry, so that on a daily basis, if I don’t open a box, I can delay worrying about that issue for another day.
A very large box is reserved for The Donald and Mitch. This box has flaming red WARNING signs on it, since opening it tends to raise my blood pressure.
It is so large that a number of sub-boxes reside there:
- The cesspool that is Washington DC: Power and corruption
- The loss of democracy as we have known it
- Overpaid and over-influential lobbyists
The remainder of the room is full of boxes which are just as important, but don’t hit me over the head every single day:
- Wildfires and will they ever end?
- Climate Change from our own actions and values
- Starvation in Yemen, caused in part by U.S. military support
- Britain’s fight over a Brexit plan
- That crazy guy in North Korea
- White male rural gun-toting people
- The suffering plight of immigrants, legal or illegal
- Opioid addiction
- Technology gone wild
- The next generation and their future
- Corporate moguls and their share of the wealth
- Cancer in general and in our own home
- Depletion of animal species – habitat loss, pollution.
- Many more which I have delightfully forgotten right now….
Today, I realized that this room is now FULL. There is NO VACANCY. I cannot take another box of worries. My “personal” worries aren’t even listed yet.
Personal worries don’t get a room or even a box. They float around in my brain unconstrained, raising their heads whenever they see an opening. Perhaps “worry” is not the correct term for most of these. They fall into categories like:
- I need to fix…
- I need to clean…
- I need to get…
- I need to call…
- I need to write….
- I need to pay….
Surely, it is the six “needs” above which suck up my life and steal from the richness and meaning of the limited time I have on this earth.
Buddhism insists that the menial tasks in life are meaningful and important. That you should clean a toilet with gratitude and presence of mind. Hmmmm… I’m still working on that.