Oct 31, 2016

The Advantages of Thinking Less

by b+ Clematis in my Oregon yard.

I will be fine but I just had some time on my hands and I thought I would let you feel my suffering. :>)


Those of us that are retired can have a lot of time on our hands. Even though we fill calendars with dates for activities, it just doesn't seem to be enough to keep us from over thinking just about everything.

Because each and every event in our lives involves interaction with other people that share our life experience, even when we are busy, there is always time to commiserate with those around us. It is very true that misery love company.

Take our spouses for example. No matter how long you have been married, if you are not on your honeymoon, you have a litany to share with everyone around you. And those you share with have a litany of their own.

Then there is our aches and pains. Each day could bring stories of a stiff shoulder or weak ankle if we wanted. I had a friend that called this the "organ recital". He heard it every Saturday as he and his friends gathered for breakfast at the local Denny's restaurant.

Golf games can be hashed and rehashed until the mind is dizzy from telling the story about what happened on the 17th hole. A dear old man left our park last week to return home to live with his son. His last words to me were "Boy that 11th hole at Rolling Hills was hard." He will take that memory back with him.

So, it could be that there is some advantage in thinking less. Maybe we need more learning and doing because, if we let life get to us at this age, we are not happy and we certainly don't make those around us happy either.

I am sure that you can tell that I am struggling with the negative right now. I will be fine but I just had some time on my hands and I thought I would let you feel my suffering. :)

What do you think?

b+


17 comments:

  1. Perhaps it is time to volunteer your time to a worthy cause? There are plenty of organizations just begging for an extra set of hands ...

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    Replies
    1. Yes there are and that is a wonderful idea, one that I often consider. I am very busy doing what good I can for those close to me. But unhappy people make me unhappy too. I am just that way.

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  2. Thinking less, what a great concept. I wish I could do it, ha ha. I like Tami's comment, volunteering at a retirement home keeps me out of trouble, at least part of the time.

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    1. That is wonderful Terra. People like you are an inspiration for the rest of us.

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  3. Organ recital, that cracks me up. Not literally! Thinking less means not overthinking which is good. My SIL who I adored and has passed would overthink to death past conversations and often I would say to her, You are overthinking there is no subtext! I think I was right most of the time!

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    Replies
    1. I have learned that the past does not exist. That keeps me sane.

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  4. When I am in a funk, I tend to get quiet. But, oh boy, have I ever been sharing my agony with Clostridium Difficile for the past six months! I'm sure people were tired of hearing about it. But, then again, they should't ask how I'm doing if they don't want to hear the answer. Surprising, husband Andy says I never complain.

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    Replies
    1. So so true. I like your husband. 😜

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  5. My husband just told me yesterday that he noticed I was recently overthinking everything. It's not my usual style so here I am trying to figure it out. Keep moving forward!

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    Replies
    1. It is a trap we can fall into. It will be okay.

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  6. We all have those moments in our lives. The cure? You can get busy, as Tami says, or . . . you can go to the beach, which is what we have done.

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  7. When I'm in a funk I tend to blog or now Facebook it. Though I often couch the problems in other problems--old ones of mine, other peoples, the countries or the world.
    I worked in a nursing home and wouldn't volunteer in one now as I would "get" every problem a person has. We just had a hurricane and a friend and I organized a local benefit for some families who didn't want their needs known publicly. That was fun. I try to be around for my community---I do get what you're saying about unhappy people but there are many other ways of giving back.
    It's hard. I spent too many years sidetracked from own goals because I felt that I had to help people who have the invisible disability I didn't learn the name of until I was almost 57. After having spent years helping them, I'm back to my book---the editing stage which isn't fun but necessary. I did get sidetracked by the election but again that was productive in that I convinced more younger people than I would have thought not to waste their vote. I don't know if you saw this article but think that you will appreciate it and it might bring a smile to your face as you do stay involved!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/science/facebook-longer-life.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=15&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2016%2F11%2F01%2Fscience%2Ffacebook-longer-life.html&eventName=Watching-article-click

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  8. I am in a funk over the election. I wish I could just let it go, but I'll manage to survive no matter what happens. :-)

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  9. Oh my gosh, this is so true!! And it isn't just about retirement. It starts young. In the last week, I have heard so many complaints about children and spouses from young people! I think our habit of complaining comes from a need to connect. For reasons that I don't fully understand, we tend to connect over negative opinions of the weather, politics, our spouses, our jobs, our health, whatever. We could just as easily connect over positive or grateful opinions.

    Several years ago, a minister, fed up with the atmosphere of chronic complaining in his congregation, started a complaint free challenge. The goal was to go 21 straight days without complaining. If you complain, you start the count over. The result of this effort is to make ourselves aware of all the complaining we unconsciously engage in, and then to break the habit. I tried it, and while I never made it to the full 21 days (I think my record was 15), I absolutely decreased my complaining habit and began to see the world with gratitude for all my blessings.

    Also, studies show that the overwhelming majority of habitual thinking our minds engage in is negative! So your solution is spot on--think less!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughts Galen. Yes, it does seem that the majority of "habitual thinking" is negative and it is a very hard habit to break. Unfortunately, that line of thinking takes those around us down too.

      This morning someone was telling me about...well it was an organ recital! I jumped up and down with joy because I did not have what they were talking about. We all laughed!

      Be well.

      b+

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