On finding one’s own peace of mind, using your children’s names judiciously, and having it all.
:: The Mental Neat Freak (Conversion Diary)
And finally, after digging my way through piles and piles of words, I hit the core of the issue: ‘It brings order to my brain. It’s like . . . there are all these things that happen in my days that make my mind feel — I don’t know how else to describe it — messy. Like I’m surrounded by chaos, but on the inside. And it keeps piling up and piling up, to the point where sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.’ ‘And writing helps you tidy up, so to speak,’ she said, finishing my thoughts for me. ‘Exactly!’ I replied. And then I fell silent for a second. Because I knew that this insight she’d led me to was huge.
:: Don’t Wear Your Child’s Name Out (Like Mother, Like Daughter)
I talked to The Chief about it and we agreed that we can hardly imagine it. In fact, he remembers thinking, as a young child in school, that one’s name, spoken out loud, had an actual, physical effect on one. In his experience as an elementary school student, hearing “Philip!” gave him an electric shock, and he thought this was a universal phenomenon, well known to science.
But everywhere you go, there are children running around whose response to their name isn’t an electrical shock, it isn’t a “Yes, Ma’am?” (oh, how I wish I were born Southern and could have taught my children to say Ma’am and Sir!), it’s . . . nothing. Why? Because their families have worn their names out!
Personally, I believe having it all can last longer than that. It might be a fleeting moment — drinking a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning when the light is especially bright. It might also be a few undisturbed hours with a novel I’m in love with, a three-hour lunch with my best friend, reading “Goodnight Moon” to a child, watching a Nadal-Federer match. Having it all definitely involves an ability to seize the moment, especially when it comes to sports. It can be eating in bed when you’re living on your own for the first time or the first weeks of a new job when everything is new, uncertain and a bit scary. It’s when all your senses are engaged. It’s when you feel at peace with someone you love. And that isn’t often. Loving someone and being at peace with him (or her) are two different things. Having it all are moments in life when you suspend judgment. It’s when I attain that elusive thing called peace of mind.
:: Ballpoint Barber (Peter Simon)