Jan 31, 2019
Does your mind ever wander? Mine does, all the time. I find that I am constantly thinking about things. My brain rarely(1) seems to keep quiet. In Tai Chi we call this 'The Jumping Monkey' which is a wonderful image. I suppose our brains are supposed to always be thinking, but sometimes it's really distracting. Shopping, for example, is a time when you want to have a clear plan of action with no distraction. If you don't, you could end up wasting time or money, or both. So many times I've come home from shopping with a car full of groceries, only to realize that I forgot the most needed items, like toilet paper or toothpaste. Or I get into the store and I realize that I left my shopping list at home. Perhaps its a fault in my genes; I can blame it on my parents. You can blame most things on your parents. But that doesn't help; it's the behavior that needs to change. So, I've figured out a solution to the shopping list problem: I either write it on my hand, or I simply remember a number, the number of items I need. If that is my approach, then when I am in the store, it's up to me to remember which items they are. And there's something else: shopping bags. Here in the States, predominantly plastic bags are used for customers. It's a real problem, as they are terrible for the environment. I have felt uncomfortable for years about bringing home so many. My son, Hudson, brought back some reusable bags from Paris as a gift for me last year. They are strong, large, and attractive. But do you think that I could remember to take them with me? So many times I would find myself in the store with a cart already half full of items, and it would dawn on(2) me that I needed the bags, and that they were, oops, at home. It was so frustrating. So I decided to make a change. I put three of the bags in the car, right in front of my nose, on the dashboard. Now whenever I go shopping, I remember to take them. I'm so happy. I know it sounds trivial(3), but I'm relieved to be making a difference to the environment this way - finally! And I'm also relieved to have freed myself from forgetfulness. The jumping monkey of my brain is now a little under control, and that is a good start.
1. 'Rarely' is the same as 'not very often' or 'hardly'. Out of the three expressions, it is the least used.
a. We rarely go to my sister-in-law's house as it is three hours away.
b. My mother rarely comes to our house as she is allergic to my husband.
2. 'To dawn on someone that ...' is a very imaginative way of saying 'to realize'. Think of what 'dawn' is: new, natural light rising up, just like a clear idea.
a. It dawned on me that I was paying for an international phone plan that I wasn't using.
b. After he bought the item online, it dawned on him that he had added an extra '0' and bought 100 pillows instead of 10.
3. 'Trivial' means of little importance.
a. It seems trivial to you, but it's important to me.
b. Our conversation was quite superficial; we talked about trivial things.