Ordering up the secret sauce

When I am too much in my head, I search for an outlet for the anxiety, the racing thoughts, the bedlam any of us experiences if we let our intellect completely run wild.

Little girl reading in bed with flashlight
A safe haven

As a little girl, I retreated into the world of books. It allowed me to escape from my own world, which was causing the anxiety or racing thoughts. Many an author, some hundreds of years gone, helped me create a safe haven. I experienced others’ triumphs and tribulations on the page while running from my own.

As a teenager, I realized creating and releasing energy physically provided a similar escape. I ran. But my best running occurred during thunderstorms. The wet drops pelting my face, soaking my clothes. The roll of the thunder. The flash of the lightning. All of it fed my senses, putting them into an overload that somehow calmed my racing mind.

dirty feet runner closeup
Calming a racing mind

As a mother, holding my little ones was a cure-all, at least while they slept in my arms. Their sweet little boy smell, the sound of their steady breathing, those long eyelashes against their cherubic cheeks, and the curls that inevitably spilled over onto my arm—all made for a soothing lullaby. A mantra that all was right with the world. With my world, at least.

In my middle age, I am not sure any one of these bits helps. Books are a sedentary activity I am, at times, too restless to endure. Running requires an energy I have to muster from the bottom of my being after a long work day. And my little ones are not so little anymore—not at an age where I can hold them while they sleep.

I try to meditate. Pray. Turn it over to a Higher Power. I put order to chaos in my house—closets, dishes, laundry. I walk the dog. Try to stay in the moment and not extrapolate too far ahead or look too far gone for happier memories.

I have no words of wisdom here. I try the mix—all of it—at alternating times and rhythms. I hug my boys more often, even if the holding is now taboo to their growing man/boy selves.

I think of the other souls out there trying their own mix, trying to find the lasting secret sauce.

I’d love it served up on a platter.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. shunpwrites says:

    I love these soliloquies of yours, as I often find myself nodding in agreement. I too wander in search of God grace, being in awe of what I stumble upon is nothing short of humbling.

    1. candidkay says:

      Ah, yes. I often wish I had the direct path instead of resorting to wandering:). I’m sure we’re not alone in that.

      1. shunpwrites says:

        I think you’re right…

  2. RuthsArc says:

    I think we all struggle with this. A walk, being out in nature, or listening to favourite music all work for me.

    1. candidkay says:

      Nature really helps me also! And music is a life saver, I agree.

  3. Yup. I hear you. And once again, I honour you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you:). Truly.

  4. I still run. Its the only tried and true way to clear my head and work through a problem. Even my husband knows it. He will look at me sometimes and say. “Honey, go for a run….please”

    1. candidkay says:

      Wise man when you think about the alternative things he could say :-). I understand what running releases perfectly.

  5. srbottch says:

    I don’t think there is a ‘secret sauce’, at least for many of us. Even as I age, like you, I ask myself, ‘when will everything be one settled so I can just relax for one full day and let my world take a time out’. My two are grown and on their own but I still worry ‘for’ them. I read the headlines and any come. Lose go an answer as to why so much evil. I escape to a special place when I write my simple essays. But even that brings anxiety when I can’t even come up with a damn theme for a new one. In the end, the associations I make on WordPress and Instagram bring me a great deal of satisfaction. Maybe my wife will make the ‘secret sauce’ tomorrow. Pleasant dreams…

    1. candidkay says:

      If your wife makes the secret sauce, FedEx me some, won’t you?:)

  6. I hear you. Tuning out the mind, and consciously staying present, is almost impossible for me, but I have to keep trying because I know it is the key to fulfillment.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s helpful to know there are a lot of us out here trying, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and the words of encouragement.

  7. Tela says:

    This sounds like my life! Wonderful post! 😀

  8. I so appreciate the honesty in your piece – admitting that you haven’t yet found the wisdom within you to answer the question: what will bring you lasting peace. It is within you though, I think we can only find true peace from within our deepest self because everything external is always changing and simply can’t fulfill us just because we want it to. Good luck.

    1. candidkay says:

      Very true words. In today’s world, it is sometimes hard to get still and deep. But I’m trying:).

  9. heyjude6119 says:

    I know there are times when I can’t sit still long enough to read. Sometimes when my thoughts are racing and I need to get outside of my head for a while, I play computer games. For awhile I get lost in mindlessly matching mahjong tiles, or candy pieces, Bejeweled Blitz is a great one to get lost in. It doesn’t allow you to think of anything else. 🙂

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