Am I Going to Let This Crappy Hairbrush Ruin My Day?

Am I Going to Let This Crappy Hairbrush Ruin My Day?

Am I going to let this crappy hairbrush ruin my day? No! But I will let it ruin a few minutes. Multiply that momentary descent into dissatisfaction by several other “problems” and I have relinquished a good chunk of time to dismay. 

I have this belief that if I eliminate everything from my to-do list, I can finally feel the way I want to feel. I have no idea what that feeling would feel like. I don’t know if it would be super great or not, because my to-do list has never emptied. This persistent belief causes me a lot of low-level anguish throughout the day. I am attempting to undermine this belief with conscious attention to what I add to the to-do list, when I add it, and how I tell myself to feel about the fact that we haven’t checked it off yet.

I was in the bathroom, doing bathroom stuff. The thought crossed my mind that I liked the new underwear I had recently bought. This is actually kind of a big deal. I ordered new underwear last May, in 2020. Even though it was listed as a product you could buy, it never came. It was always on back order and coming soon. What is more tedious than keeping on top of an underwear order? Three months later I gave up and canceled. I’d told my mom that if I liked the underwear, I would get her some too. So, the disappointment wasn’t just on my end. In fact, the disappointment was the only thing on our ends.

What I ordered next, unfortunately did arrive. Radically miscalculating the size and style combination I received something I’d describe as a billowy ass dress. If you’re wondering what style I got, it’s the one least like bikini. Maybe high cut? Is that supposed to be so high you can pull them over your bra? This did not look good with jeans. I didn’t wear them. I did contemplate leaving them anonymously in a friend’s dryer for a laugh, but we were still in the pandemic and I hadn’t seen any friend’s dryers in a while.  

I gave up and wore old underwear for a year until the urge hit again. I located something on amazon, a place I don’t necessarily love to support but I do have confidence their products will arrive. They’re great! They fit, they’re comfortable, two thirds of the underwear are NOT above my waistline, how cool!

So, what could possibly be the problem? How has successfully getting this off my to-do list after more than a freaking year started the cascade of feeling I have too much to do? Well, I may have gotten underwear for myself, but I haven’t got it for my mom! I need to get her size and place another order. Instead of enjoying that I can finally do this for her, I start unbraiding my hair and fretting.

It’s in this state that I notice the dilapidated old hairbrush, bristles popping out with each tug through the tangles. Oh great! Another thing I need to take care of. I am not even an hour into this day, and I am already behind. I feel a sense of dread. 

DREAD?! What a ridiculous over reaction. Just writing it out re-enforces how bat shit stupid, irrational and unconscious these thoughts are.

I stand at the mirror and tell myself, slow down! This moment is happening. Be in it! Don’t throw it away to feel DREAD about replacing a hairbrush

As I stand in the shower, I realize the feeling I want to feel is available now. I can actually experience it if I just stop telling myself to wait for it.

Okay! No more waiting. Feeling it now.

Yep, feels even better than I suspected!

Mindfulness in Folsom Prison

Mindfulness in Folsom Prison

Holding Still is a short documentary film about practicing centering prayer while serving time at Folsom Prison. I am sharing it here, because I am the editor and story writer.

This film is part of a larger project to raise awareness about centering prayer and to try and increase the availability of this practice for incarcerated people. Centering prayer is nonsectarian and requires no set of beliefs. There is no dogma. It is similar to meditation and mindfulness.

If you need a dose of hope in something substantial, check it out.

Thank you to the men who trusted us with their stories and wanted to share their peace. This film is only possible because of their insight and candor.

The film was made by incredible team of people. I am very honored to be part of that team.

Ray Leonardini – Producer and centering prayer facilitator at Folsom
Mary Trunk – Director
Caren McCaleb – Editor/Writer
Roman Zenz – Cinematographer
Lucky Atkare – 2nd Camera