I said. Stop.
I said. One at a time.
I said. Please.
So then my thoughts dutifully gathered themselves up and presented themselves to me, one by one.
I want to publish my stories. I want to take my story collection and send it out. This is the dream I routinely defeat with, "Oh, they're just short stories, no-one wants to publish short stories." But I want to put my dream, and my stories, into the universe. Because they will never be published if I NEVER send them out.
I want to write a book for young people. I want to finish the book for young people I am writing. I want to finish the book for young people I am writing and I want to write stories about animals for my girl and I want to write funny stories that will make kids laugh and I want to write. I so want to write. Just write and write and write.
I need to organise my next writers workshops. The THREE workshops I now run, each one just a bit (or a lot) different. The workshops are wonderful. I love them. But they do need to be planned, organised, prepared for. What will I do for workshop A, and B, and C?
Workshop thoughts A, B, and C started putting their hands up, and calling out. And I said, "Please, no need to shout! One at a time! Order in the court!"
But it was time for Fourth thought, which said:
I want to write a blog post. But my head seems to be so crowded and so empty all at once. What will I write about? And other people's blogs are so awesome and mine is so very small. Oh, what is the meaning of life/blogs/life?
That's when my thoughts got a little self-doubty. Started fussing and fretting.
The workshop thoughts kept shouting out ideas. The 'I want to write' thoughts sloped about the back looking mopey and desperate.
And then the 'Grocery shopping' thoughts came rushing in and so did the 'Cleaning the house' thoughts.
The 'How to get the cat to like the kitten' thoughts opened the door and asked, "Excuse me, but do you have a minute?"
The 'How to find time for my beautiful husband' thought then asked politely if it was its turn.
The 'How to make healthy vegetarian meals that have iron and vitamin B and protein' thoughts and the 'How to find time to exercise' thoughts started arm wrestling.
And the 'How to homeschool with clarity and kindness, freedom and vision' sat in the centre of the room with its arms folded and said it wasn't going anywhere until someone listened to it.
It's hard to see a path through when they're all behaving like that!
So perhaps I should just pick one thought. And think that for a while. Or perhaps I should just play a game with my children and put the thoughts in a drawer for another time. Or perhaps I should take myself back to bed?
Or perhaps I should just laugh. My husband read about a study that said when you are feeling stressed or angry or upset, you should force yourself to smile. Your body feels the upturn of your mouth and sends it to your brain, which suddenly thinks, Hey, nice!
And your brain sends messages back to your whole body and tells it, "You're feeling okay. You might even be happy." Your brain might even say: "Yep, you're totally on vacation in Hawaii right now. You're warm and sitting by the sea, which is drifting in and drifting out, doing sea tai-chi. And in a minute the waiter will come with a smoothie, and soon your children will run up, wet from the sea, and give you enormous dripping kisses."
And then your whole body smiles.
Just like I am, smiling suddenly,
as I write these