Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

I talk to myself, not infrequently. Quite a bit, actually. I also talk to jars of jelly I want to set up, my chickens, the cat. I talk to myself so regularly that when someone mentions that they saw me at the grocery store or walking down the street, the first thing I ask is, "Was I talking to myself?" Oh, and my first year of teaching, the kids did a skit, and the kid who played me walked around, muttering. I recognized myself instantly.

I prefer to think of it less like homeless people muttering and more along the lines of very nearly genius muttering. I have been known to have entire conversations with people in my head and then be utterly shocked when I haven't said anything. Blogging feels like talking to myself at times (like when I ask a question and no one responds), and parenting is like talking to yourself (when you give an order and it is ignored), as is teaching (same example). When NFL players do it on the sidelines (All. The. Time), they call it "Miked Up" and get their own little specials that sports fans cling to (and all they are doing is wandering around, making inane comments, some of which make no sense, even from an adrenaline-fueled, sports-motivational-speaking point of view), but when I do it, it seems borderline crazy.

I talk to myself to keep the list in my head clear, to focus my thoughts and to connect to what I am doing. In my everyday life, I run a house, a school, a business and a rental property. I also coordinate three tutoring company jobs, plus five independent tutoring clients, do the majority of shopping, cleaning, family care and yardwork on five acres (and take care of a growing flock of chickens, two goats and a horse). I have three calendars within five feet of my desk, and four clocks. This is not necessarily a good thing - it simply is. Talking to myself as I move through my day gets the whirling mess out of my head and into the world, even under my breath, so I don't get sucked into the undertow of details.  I outline what I am doing, list the steps and follow them. I am overtaxed, definitely, but if there is nothing that can be removed right now then this is how I work to keep it running (relatively) smoothly.

So my kid's friends think I am odd when I ask the jalapeno jelly to please set up in all of its green-flecked glory. If I was professional athlete, that would be worth millions.

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