Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anxiety and the inability to sit still

When I complain about not having enough opportunities to relax, I have to remind myself that part of this inability has absolutely nothing to do with the kids.  I was a fidgety person long before my kids were ever part of my life.  I have a terrible, terrible time sitting still.

Friends and acquaintances have asked how I have time to blog or scrapbook or keep journals for the kids.  And the answer is that I don't watch tv.  Just about every weekend I sit down with D to watch one Netflix movie.  That is all the tv viewing I can tolerate.  I would say that the only time I can be found watching tv is when I am sick, but I am a mom of 3 kids, so I don't get to lay down on the couch and watch the boob tube even when I'm honking, sneezing, snorting or puking.

I guess it is the anxiety that makes it hard for me to sit still, although I don't consciously feel anxious a lot of the time.  As soon as I sit, I immediately think of something that needs to be the laundry that has been sitting in the washtub over night or that I need to jot down a supply I need to purchase for N's Girl Scout meeting.  When my mind is blank I find that something pops in there, something that I had been wanting to get done, had thought about repeatedly and been unable to write down because I forgot it before the pen was in hand.  This usually occurs when I am lathering up in the shower.  By the time I get out to jot down what I remembered needing to do, the thought is, alas, gone again.

I would like to be more mindful of stillness, of quiet.  But it honestly requires that I be in a class.  Be forced outside of my home, in a warm, silent room with strangers.

This may be why I sometimes feel a longing to be back in a church.  Not to participate in services or hear a sermon, but just to sit still in the quiet.

It has occurred to me numerous times that some of the best moments I have with my children are when I am alone with one or the other of them in a physician's exam room.  Because when it is just me and N or me and G or me and M in an exam room, there are no distractions.  There is no laundry that I can do.  No Facebook.  No meat defrosting in the refrigerator.  I can just focus on my child.  Talk to him or her.  Really look at his or her face.  Enjoy the moment.  

While I think that being "on top of things" as I am is a good quality to have, there is something great to be said for being able to totally enjoy one's slugness.  I imagine I will be on the quest for my inner slug for many years to come.


Brandi said...

Again, another post where I'm looking in a mirror. In fact, this week at my session I was told I need to work on being "mindful of the moment" and stillness in my mind. I need to really live in the moment and cherish it for all that it's worth.

I hope we both find that gift for the rest of our lives!

Keri said...

How in the world do I get so behind on your blog?

Anyway, I can somewhat relate to your inability to relax, although mine has only crept up since motherhood made my life extra busy. I have a hard time feeling justified in sitting and relaxing when there's so much to do. That's somewhat different from your anxiety-induced issue, I realize. But I do relate.