the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 35 Thinking Day

Posted by themirrenlee on 04/02/2012

Do you give yourself enough Thinking time?

Thinking day.

That’s what today was. I think of days as falling  into Categories. Sometimes at the beginning of a day I can tell what Category is coming up, and then sometimes I don’t know what it was until it’s over. Whatever the Category is, it doesn’t mean it happened all day; it was just the “Theme” of the day.

The Categories are many and varied, and added to, of course, as new ones appear, because you never know what a day might bring. One thing Life doesn’t do is stand still!

Some of the Day Categories I’ve named are:

Busy, Productive, One of Those, Relaxing, Painful, Reading, Time Out, Tiring, Sick, Lost and Thinking.

I wonder if other people identify days like I do? They must, without realizing it, because I’ve often heard people say, “Oh, it’s One of Those days,” as well as, “I had such a Busy day.”

The “Lost” one is the worst for me, and I have to fight hard not to feel so guilty about a needed “Time Out”, or other positive day, that I call it a lost one. Those are the days when you feel you didn’t get “enough” done, it was totally wasted, and you need a do-over. I see it as a blank spot in my head, and of course that’s ridiculous because it doesn’t matter what happens during any of our days, they were still days of living where we learned or did something, even if we weren’t exactly sure what it was.

I woke up feeling today was going to be a Thinking day. After the big breakthrough about changing my Plans (see blogs from the last 2 days), I then spent a Productive yesterday setting those Plans in motion. This led to me pondering everything that was coming up in the near future, how I wanted to prioritize it, and the need to let it wander around in my head and think it all through.

Everybody has their own favorite things they like to do when they want to think things through. Some find walking or other forms of exercise keep their bodies busy while freeing their minds. Some go to the beach and look at the water. Others play solitaire, do crosswords or Sudoku, and I know I like to read mindless magazines (celebrity gossip!). It’s amazing how empty and “reset” my brain feels, ready for new input that seems to rush in, after I’ve spent an hour or so reading about other people’s “issues”. I know people who say they do their best thinking while listening to music. Even watching TV, movies, YouTube, listening to podcasts/the radio, or playing video games are “thinking strategies” for some people.  Everyone has their own “thing”.

For me, it’s books. While the mindless magazines can give me a quick fix, it takes “real” reading to help me to subconsciously think things through. And by that I don’t mean only “literature”, whatever that is. I don’t like the snobby separation of “literature” from crime/thriller/adventure, or any other fiction. I also count articles in wonderful online sites like Salon, or magazines like Vanity Fair, to be “real”.

But books are my main thinking tool. I also think well just wandering around in bookstores and libraries; being surrounded by books calms and soothes me. I have an emotional attachment to reading that goes well beyond the average person’s – again, because of my childhood.

As I’ve said before, I had acute, life threatening asthma attacks from the age of 5. It wasn’t until just after I turned 12 that American medical thinking changed from, “It’s all in your head,” to “Oh, it’s caused by allergens.” It was also then that the medications we know today, that help the asthma sufferer to control the condition and breathe like other people, started to hit the market.

However, without medication from 5-12 years old, I spent the greater part of my nights propped up in a chair (because I couldn’t breathe lying down) trying to distract myself from the wheezing, the weight I felt on my chest, and the feeling that I could never get enough air. I remember always having the idea in my head that if I could just make it until I saw the morning light start to come through the windows, I wouldn’t die from lack of oxygen. That’s when I discovered that reading took me away from it all, into other worlds and realities, where I didn’t think about my breathing or whether or not I’d survive the night.

No wonder I have an enormous emotional attachment to books! They were my reliable companions and a source of great comfort when I felt very alone and afraid. Today I am an avid reader, a very fast reader, and I guess because reading is so easy for me I’m able to think things through at the same time, even if it’s at a subconscious level.

I have read off and on all day. And thought about things, including what I would write about tonight. That led me to write this. Funny how that works.

I’m just thinkin’ …

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