The mind is a powerful thing.

En route to the hardware store, the thought flittered through my consciousness.

“Did I shut the garage door?

By the time I left the hardware store – freshly minted key copies in hand – I had not only convinced myself that the garage door was wide open – oh no, that would be far too easy – I was certain that a posse of cold-hearted criminals had been prowling my safe, secluded neighborhood on this particular morning.  They were cleaning out my garage at that very moment – I just knew it.  The half-full paint cans!  The dusty fake plant in the corner!  The Christmas tree and holiday decorations!  They were emptying the extra fridge of its assorted Gatorades and Vitamin Water’s.  As I rushed home, I knew I would arrive too late to save anything, despite my best efforts.

I even turned right on red in this one spot that explicitly declares “No Right On Red” in bold, black-and white-signage.  This is capital L-B Law-Breaking in my world.  But it was okay if the cops caught me at that one, I thought – they could follow me home and see the scene of the robbery firsthand.

I turned the corner and saw my house right away.

The garage door was closed.

As I turned around and drove toward the remainder of my day, I thought about the lessons I could learn.

First, be present and conscious – watch the garage door close, see the red light go dark on the curling iron as it is clicked off, think about the click of the lock as the key turns in the keyhole.  Every day is full of so many ordinary moments that go untracked by the conscious mind.  There can be joy in ordinary things – or at the very least, angst avoided by remembering those things specifically.

Second, wherever I am in any given moment is where I am supposed to be.  Even if it is driving across town for no good reason.  I’ll never know why; I can only accept and be thankful that life works out as it should.

Finally, the mind is a powerful thing.  Whenever possible, use it to convince of good, not evil.

Have you ever convinced yourself of a would-be-tragedy that wasn’t? 


8 thoughts on “The mind is a powerful thing.

  1. Oh man, I have convinced myself of far too many would-be tragedies. In fact, Christopher loves telling the story of how I was convinced he had been struck by lightning and was dead because he didn’t show up for our psychology class one day when we were in college. We hadn’t been dating that long and I had no idea what a prolific class-skipper he was. The only reason I could ever think to miss a class would be if you were dead (obviously I was NOT a skipper, haha!). Anyway, there was a massive storm with lots of lightning and I just naturally thought that the only reason he didn’t show up to class was because he’d been struck. In my defense, this was before the days of txting (neither of us even had cellphones!) so I didn’t have a way to make sure all was well. As it turns out, he was busy taking a nap on that rainy day. ;) I am certainly highly imaginative, haha! {for the record, the longer we dated the better he was about going to classes – I was a good influence on him and his GPA!}

  2. Every…time… I go on vacation, I convince myself that I left the iron plugged in by accident or something like that. And I’m so scared that the house will burn down! I’ve had to train myself to be conscious of the fact that I did lock up appropriately and that the house is in order. Ha, ha.

  3. Oddly, I never worry about my house but imagine horrible things might happen to the people I love. Terrifying! Also, I’m so distracted in the shower. It’s my thinking time! I often end up turning the water on a second time because I remember that I forgot something (usually washing my face since it’s last). haha. So weird. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder to be present!

  4. Oh how well I know these thoughts. You are so right: we do so many things during the day without focusing on them, thoughts miles away.
    I love your lessons, I want to print those out and review daily!

  5. oh gosh, this is the story of my life every.single.time i use the oven – i’ve even thought about putting a sticky in my car so that i don’t drive away before the nagging thoughts invade…

  6. For some reason, I always worry about whether or not I flushed the toilet…? Again, #weirdo. Being present is so important, even when it’s a minor task.

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