Thoughts from a fragmented mind

Published 7:17 am Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Column: Something About Nothing

Fragmented minds are a gift to a creative soul. I know that doesn’t make much sense. That is a quote that I made up. Why should I make any sense at this point in my life? I am a creative person and my mind is always fragmented. I leave a little fragment of my mind here and there as my creative juices are flowing.

It is very easy for a creative soul to jump from one thought to another quickly. It is hard for those we love to follow our thoughts. But find another creative soul and we read each other’s fragmented minds without having to finish the sentences. I have finally accepted that it is acceptable for me to be fragmented even if it drives other people crazy. That is who I am.

Grumpy means surly and ill-tempered. Grumpy is grouchy. Grumpy was also one of the seven dwarfs. Grumpy of Seven Dwarfs fame was always against everything. No matter what anyone said he was always against it. Have you met Grumpy? I used to have an uncle that lived in the big city of L.A., and he would seem grumpy, but on the inside just like Seven Dwarfs’ Grumpy, this uncle of mine was an old softy. If you have met Grumpy perhaps you might look for that soft spot waiting to show itself. If you are Grumpy, look for Happy. Happy might make you less Grumpy.

Have you ever wondered how many people are calling you names while you are driving down a freeway and they are passing you? I started thinking about that this weekend after I muttered a few names under my breath at Car Arizona, Car Texas and Car California driving 70 mph and passing everyone on a slippery highway. And then there is the part of you that is secretly wishing that you find them farther down the road in a ditch (not hurt, of course) or stopped by a state trooper.

I started thinking about many of my experiences of riding with other people. The other people group includes friends and family. There is seldom a car ride that goes by where the driver whether it be male or female doesn’t comment, sometimes heatedly comment, on another person’s driving. That must mean that those people we are commenting on are probably commenting with the same language or worse on our driving. That is just a fragmented thought.

Seven-year-olds are very smart people. My granddaughter is helping me edit a children’s book I am writing. Since she is a child I thought her input would be helpful. Actually her input was very wise. We need to listen more to 7-year-olds. We would be much wiser.

When I was a young housewife and mother I would have cried had I gotten towels or a mixer for Christmas. Christmas was for those gifts we would not buy ourselves and didn’t need, perhaps something romantic or frivolous. This year I got towels and a mixer and I was very excited. It doesn’t mean I have given up on romance but priorities seem to have shifted in my older age.

Recently I read a story about a car accident. The story stated that an elderly couple had been hit in an intersection. They then gave the couples age as 70. I thought, What? Seventy is not elderly. Seventy is older! I looked up the definition of elderly, and the definition said being past middle age and approaching old age. I thought that was a little confusing. It also said elderly means advanced in years. It did not give a specific age.

Some people see elderly as starting at 60. I am 60 and I don’t know that I feel too elderly. I was thinking I was more middle aged. So I checked out the age for middle aged. I found there is an actual website called middleage.org. It is founded by Bob Adams and he founded it to help each of us treat the middle of our lives as far more than the end of our lives. But there was no exact answer to what age middle age is and what age elderly starts.

I conclude that it depends on the person writing the story and making the observation. One person’s 70 may be elderly while the other person’s observation of 70 may be older or middle aged. If you choose to be middle aged until 90 shout it to the rooftops.

Over Christmas I learned that I do not know how to jump anymore. I was playing a river raft game with my grandson with his Xbox Kinect. It required us to actually jump in the air. I realized I had lost my jumping skills. I don’t know where they went. I can’t remember the last time I tried to jump. Did I lose my skills because I am the age I am or did I lose my skills because I forgot to practice my jumping? We will find out if I can regain my jumping skills. It is time to practice my bunny hop.

Fragmentation is a great thing. It means you can write a column, bake a cheesecake, watch a soap opera, check Facebook and talk to someone all within the frame of minutes. If you are fragmented it can mean you lead an interesting life. Fragmentation can mean you are never bored. Fragmentation gives you freedom. No one expects that you can possibly devote a lot of meaningful time to a project that someone needs done. If they think you are fragmented, they won’t ask.

Fragmentation is taking a pink cake to the funeral committee. Take a pink cake once and they won’t ask you again. That is why fragmented minds are a gift of a creative soul. You will leave a piece of your creativity everywhere you go; the secret is most people won’t ever know.

I’ve given you a little taste of my fragmented mind. Mine this week is the result of Christmas, the cough, work, home, weather, Xbox, and my list could go on. The truth is that we lead fragmented lives. We take bits and pieces of our day and try and fit them together so they work. Sometimes those fragments of our day don’t fit together and it leaves us exhausted worrying about trying to put the pieces all together. We find ourselves constantly apologizing for not getting something done, missing a meeting, forgetting someone’s name and bringing home takeout for dinner.

We ask ourselves why we can’t get it together. Maybe we need to lean into that fragmentation and accept that our lives and sometimes our minds will always be fragmented. For some of us perhaps fragmentation is good. It keeps us on our toes. It is who we are. Our fragmentation is like the particles of dust floating in space(meteoroids). When we use a piece of our fragmented mind to touch a task we become that shooting star leaving pieces of ourselves in everything we do.

“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps ‘Oh look at that!’ Then- whoosh, and I’m gone … and they’ll never see anything like it ever again … and they won’t be able to forget me — ever.” — rock singer and poet Jim Morrison

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net. Her blog is paringdown.wordpress.com. Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”