Mental Meanderings—A Look-Back at Yesterday (Sunday–021923)

Note, this is a good way to get some words on paper (or computer). It’s a lot like free-writing.

Most of us DO things and THINK thoughts. Both the doing and the thinking occur in consciousness.

Here’s what I recall DOING yesterday:
Alarm at 3:55 AM
Kitchen for coffee
Meditation—waking up app
Worked on Millie’s story
Outside to let dogs out/fed & watered dogs
Grabbed breakfast bar
Return to desk
Wandered around internet
Administrative work on website
Kindle reading
Breakfast—oatmeal, banana, OJ
TV–Watched episode of Hanna (growing less interested)
Semi-napping in lazy boy
Trip to tractor supply (with Eddie/lab rescue)
Return/work on electric fence
Semi-napping in lazy boy
Biking & listening
Difficulty focusing/understanding a Marginalian article
TV—lost all interest in Hanna; watched law and order
Bed at 8:15 PM
Read chapter in ‘Stranger
Wasted ten minutes on Twitter

I’ve listed yesterday’s DOINGs, what about yesterday’s thoughts?

I’ll start with last night’s dream. There were four characters: me, my dad (he died in 2012), and two unidentified women.

Apparently the setting was a huge house I’d acquired that was in great need of renovation. I was showing my dad a task I wanted/needed him to perform. It was a wall with missing boards, boards that needed cutting (2 x 4s), short pieces.

Then, there was a high ledge occupied by several items that were similar to garden tillers. The two women were on the ledge (20 or 30). I recall telling my dad we needed to go up there and help lower those items to the ground. Before we could act, the two women had tied a rope to each ‘tiller’ and were lowering them to the ground.

I also recall thinking there was a large section of the house that was missing.

What a dream. Where did it come from? From my subconscious? Yes, I suppose, but it entered my consciousness or I wouldn’t have ever been aware of it.

I’d like to know how many other thoughts I had yesterday. We all likely can agree that we have many, and some of them are strange. Where in heck do they come from? And, by the way, random thoughts also appear while we’re DOING things. For example, do you ever have a thought while your washing the dishes?

Thoughts just appear. We don’t create them; something else (the physics of the universe?) causes them. We, no I, better speak only for myself even though I suspect it’s the same for you.

I’ll try to recall some of yesterday’s thoughts but I’m more confident to speak broadly, of what subjects I commonly think about.

But first, try this with me. Sit still, close your eyes, and focus your attention on your breathing. Don’t do anything else for five minutes. I’ll bet you a Big Mac or a Whopper you couldn’t do it WITHOUT becoming lost in thought. If you can, jot down a few.

Notice, what likely happened with each one. They unraveled, especially if you reminded yourself to return to focusing on your breath.

The point is. It takes effort to NOT get lost in thought. The automatic operation of your minds is to become lost in thought.

In a real sense, we don’t have control over the appearance of our thoughts. They just appear in consciousness, unravel at some point, and disappear (I guess making room for another random thought).

Now, to those things that seem to routinely appear in my thoughts—including yesterday I suppose. I’ll speak broadly to not incriminate anyone—including myself.

The past. As an example, every night after I’ve removed my nightly meds from the corner nightstand I pass a framed photo of my maternal grandmother, and another one of my parents. I touch their face and tell them I love them. This is both doing and thinking. There always arises a memory of a past event that involves one or all of them. And, there’s more past thoughts. Regrets—things I wished I done, done differently, or never done.

The present. The thought of extending my daily bike ride, which, selfishly, would give me more time to listen to a podcast (I normally listen to a novel). Fact, yesterday, during my ride I had the thought of biking to Tractor Supply for an electric fence tester but chose not to—lazy I guess. And, there’s more present thoughts. I’ll just label them ‘issues.’ Things that bother me, some BIG TIME.

The future. Health, books I hope to write, family, family health issues, finances, selling restaurant building and Jonathan and I building a place here at Hickory Hollow, and road trips to out-of-state biking trails, or in-state for that matter. And, on and on.

What about you? What thoughts did you have yesterday?

Idea. Why not, at least for a while, start keeping a journal of our thoughts. I anticipate that will be rather difficult, cumbersome to say the least.

Okay, enough mental meanderings. Question: did everything I just wrote appear in my brain before it did in my consciousness? If not, do I consciously think before I think? I guess the former.

Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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