Thursday, December 17, 2009

Women Who Think Too Much

Yes, this is the title of a real book.  No, I did not write it, I do not own it, and I have not read it.  I found it at the library, skimmed the table of contents, and put it back.  Too stressful!

I do not believe that I am alone in being one of those women who thinks too much.  I over-analyze.  I look for the hidden meaning.  I drive my husband crazy.

"That's not what I said!"
"But it's what you meant!"

But I over-think in other ways as well.  Too often I cannot sleep because there are so many thoughts running through my mind.  They can be pleasant, like if I'm excited about something or making plans.  Or they can be unpleasant, like if I'm stressed or working on something difficult in my life.  My mind will race from topic to topic, worried that something will slip by that is important or that I won't remember in the morning.  Sometimes writing it down helps, other times nothing does and I am up playing Word Whomp on the computer for hours.  Too often I am seeing 5:00am from the ugly side (as if 5:00am has a good side).

It's what my Buddhist meditation dvd calls a monkey mind.  I have a monkey mind.  Flitting from one thing to the next like a monkey through the branches of a tree.

I have also been accused of being a deep thinker.  Maybe accused isn't the best choice of words here; people usually mean it as a compliment.  But it isn't always a good thing.  Sometimes I miss a lot by skipping the shallow thinking (as others put it).  Sometimes I skip right by the obvious and basic and see only the complicated and heavy. 

And as frustrating as thinking too much can be, as crazy as I make myself when I can't shut my brain down, it's nothing compared to those days when I can barely think at all.  Those days when I can't seem to really lock onto a single thought long enough to process it through.  Those days when the best I can hope for is to pay attention long enough to find the plot in a fluff movie.  I hate those days!

The in-between days are sure nice.  How come I can only recognize them in the rear view mirror?


Kazzy said...

Yeah, the shallow pool is fun to splash around in. True. But the real exercising comes from deep full-bodied strokes.

The balance can be hard to find, but I often find it by changing up my environment. I kind of like the back and forth. Laughing over silly stuff with an old roomie one night and having a heady discussion at book club the next.

Sorry you feel tormented in your own thoughts sometimes. I think your thoughtfulness is a cool thing about you.

Jessica Grosland said...

I am SO SICK of people telling me I overthink things. My whole life I used to listen to those people, and let them make me feel like an idiot for the way I see the world. But I came to a realization a while back that has completely changed my attitude: Who decided that the way I think is wrong? Why should I feel like my different thinking style is a mistake?

I always knew I thought more about things than other people, and not just in the girl ways (analyzing everything the boy says/does). I remember in middle school writing a poem about wandering through the chasms of my mind, afraid of getting lost in the endless labyrinthine caves. But I always thought of it as a virtue, not a flaw. I used to think it was what made me poetic.

So I refuse to let people tell me how to think anymore. It's my mind, and God gave it to me. It sounds weird, but I bear testimony of it. God made people different. Why do we have to decide that one way is better than another?

(Sorry my comment is so long. I get kind of heated on this topic.)