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Friday, August 29, 2014

Being Alone with My (Lack of) Thoughts

Well, friends.  I have some serious summer brain going on.

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that I live with a lot of boys.  And they are around a lot of late.  And they need all manner of water and provisions and shelter and also rides all over the neighborhood at differing and conflicting times. Shockingly, this afternoon I find myself with an hour or so alone.  Either that or I just locked myself out on the porch, plugged my ears up with my music, sat down here, clicked on my long neglected blog and stared at the cursor blinking at me.

And it kept blinking and kept blinking.

In the words of the wise philosopher Joey Tribbiani of Friends, "I thought I would enjoy being alone with my thoughts, but it turns out I don't have so many."

To be frank, it is difficult to write complete sentences when one has not had a complete thought since mid June.

So, I decided to just make a list in no reasonable order  It turns out this list has about five or six unrelated, completely random items that in some way or another relate to some fleeting thoughts I've had in the last few weeks.  Proceed with very low expectations.

1.  College Football Season:  as in it's almost here.  Well, for some it was here last night but those people wear maroon and they won big last night and I can't even.  The Longhorns have a new coach with an awesome name and I am all kinds of fired up about it.  And I have found that the fashion world is FULL of burnt orange this season which obviously means good things for my 'Horns.  I bought this scarf and it makes me enormously happy.

2.  Reading:  as in I was practically the only one in this family who read this summer.  I finished Where'd You Go, BernadetteLove Life by Rob Lowe and two books by Emily Giffin.  Plus I read 7:  A Mutiny Against Excess again.  On the other hand, I can proudly report that my two oldest children have now officially completed the entire Friday Night Lights series just in time for school to start.  Neither of them has completed a book.  Please hold your applause for my parenting skills.  When it's time for college essays to roll around we're looking at a piece on the internal struggles of man vs. underage drinking and questionable decision making that conflicts our hero, Tim Riggins.

3.  Running: as in  I am training for the Army 10 Miler which is October 12th.  I am up to 8 miles so I think I might be able to pull it off.  In fact, I ran 8 miles in the rain last week.  Not in the drizzle.  Not in the periodic rain shower, but in a full on downpour, stepping in puddles, worrying that my clothes were going to become so heavy with water that they would fall off.  The only reason I mention this is because if you ever find yourself running in the rain you should listen to THIS SONG.  It will make you happy and make you cry at the same time, but most importantly you will keep running.

4.  Infomercials:  as in the other morning I woke up crazy early and turned on the TV which blessedly, for once, I had to myself.  I flipped through all the important information on Ferguson, ISIS and whatnot because have I mentioned my lack of an ability to think thoughts?  I, responsible, informed American woman that I am, landed on a show titled  Have a Turkey Neck?  And I was intrigued because there was this unfortunate picture of Joe and someone I don't recognize from the Nationals game last week.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. 

According to the girl who played Amanda Alison* on Melrose Place who now has a new gig on the Have a Turkey Neck? show, if you have ignored your turkey neck for all these many years, like that poor woman in the photo above has, it is not too late!  You can start now!  No need for guilt about the blatant disregard you have shown your turkey neck.  And Amanda Alison* from Melrose Place is honestly FREAKING OUT about the turkey neck product.  She is completely beside herself.  And this is the thing.  I might have mentioned a time or two that if a beauty product uses a science-y name on its label, I AM IN. This stuff is called Dr. Perricone's Cold Plasma Sub-D.  I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I ordered it.  I did.  My name is Jenn and I am powerless over people who make up words to put on stuff that is probably basically Vaseline and I also have a turkey neck.  I had no choice, don't you see?  Also, I have that cute burnt orange scarf, just in case.

5.  Blue Ridge, the fish, lives on, people.  He cannot be defeated.  He's like Mark Wahlberg in Lone Survivor. 

6.  Prayer:  as in the needs of His people don't take a summer vacation.  And today, though my thoughts are scattered and I can't quite pull together a cohesive paragraph, I find great comfort in knowing that my God knows the pleadings of my heart even when I can't seem to eek out a prayer that makes any sense.  I have not been as fully engaged with my work in the childhood cancer community this summer as I will be in the coming weeks.  I, frankly, have that luxury.  Many do not.  Cancer does not take a vacation.  Doctors and nurses and caregivers don't get a respite. Many of us are trying to turn fear into faith today and horror into hope and the brutality of life's obstacles into beauty.  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  There will be lots of activities, events, fundraising opportunities and lots and lots of prayer.  I'll be back with more on that next week.

Happy End of Summer, friends.  Have a blessed weekend.

*Updated.  Fifteen minutes after this post was published I had a legitimate  thought.  An honest to goodness epiphany right from the depths of my summer brain.  And it was that the girl on the Turkey Neck infomercial was the girl who played Alison - Billy's girlfriend - also the girl from that sitcom with Jim Belushi.  Not Amanda - pencil-skirted  ex-wife of Richie from BonJovi who needs to eat a sandwich or two - Heather Locklear.  My thoughts are coming back, y'all.  I'm so happy.

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