On Sunday night I had an impossible time falling asleep. What blog posts do I have scheduled for the week? Who did I forget on our holiday card list (apologies in advance). When will I have time to show Adam my top holiday card picks? Did I send that client a follow-up email? Will I have time to fix the sconce that broke in our dining room? I need to get a 2″ hole puncher for a baby shower party favor tag. But wait, did the Etsy person send me the graphic? What should I get Evan for his birthday? Is Evan’s Mickey shirt clean? Crap, I forgot to get more peanut butter. I need to order white table cloths for the party. Sarah really needs more socks that fit her… order ASAP. What should I wear to this conference in DC? Will I freeze to death? Man, I forget to invite someone to the kiddies party, be sure to invite tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at now 11:24 pm, Adam is scanning through football scores and politics on his iPad before bed.
I once asked Adam many years early on in our marriage, “What are you thinking right now?”
His response: “nothing.”
“Seriously, what are you thinking right now? What’s on your mind?,” I annoyingly pushed, as he watched TV or something.
“I mean it, nothing. Literally nothing.”
And, he meant it. His brain — which I must say is impressively smart and quick witted — was sitting there quietly empty. Blank. No thoughts, no task and to-do list trails.
I candidly cannot even fathom the thought of a quiet mind.
Despite knowing that I guess that’s what they say yoga and meditation is for, I just can’t imagine it.
We’ve discussed this with friends over the years, joking that when men — particularly in early-stage relationships — say they’re really thinking about nothing right now, they’re not saying that to get us off their jock. It’s just temporary cobwebs up there.
As women, we analyze every minutiae. It’s what keeps the brain going.
Do you think he’s waiting to call me? We had a great date, wait, I mean there was that one moment. I mean, maybe it wasn’t so great. I guess? Should I call him? Maybe I should just call him.
Why do you think she texted like that? Did I do something to annoy her? I don’t think I said anything. Ugh, it always takes her so long to reply. I know she has her phone right there. She’s ignoring me. Do you think she’s ignoring me?
We can’t help ourselves. And, men, nope. None of these stream-of-consciousness-craziness goes on up there for probably 99.2 percent of men.
If it’s bad pre-parenting, it only gets more grandiose as you head to mom life.
Dad: alright, let’s go!
Mom: grab the diapers and wipes. Mentally calculates how many hours we’ll be gone — must bring more snacks. Where are we eating? Do we have a paci? Wait, where are the sippy cups? We need that paci! Races upstairs to grab their jackets, and must get extra shirt in case he spills. Can’t be home too late, we need to get her homework done. But wait, whaaaattt am I forgetting?! Proceeds to do a mental inventory of every room and crevice in the house, followed by mental calendar check for next eight hours.
It must be such a glorious, simple existence to think of the world and each day in such rudimentary terms.
I mean, I’ll never know but it sounds glorious.