Monday, March 12, 2018

Spectacular Spectacular!

Or My Monkey Mind and Moulin Rouge!...

Growing up, I was an incredibly hyperactive child. I have very vivid memories of the myriad of ways my mother attempted to quell my constant movement and motor mouth. The quiet game, in case you're unfamiliar, was a competition to see who could go the longest without making a peep (my big sister always won). I remember being tasked with trying to go from one commercial break of the Cosby Show to another while sitting in the same position, and failing miserably (I liked to sit like Mork from Ork, on my head). I was always in motion, and never shut up...while my big sister always appeared to be contemplating the universe and reading.

I don't know whether my hyperactive body slowed down because I packed on the pounds, or whether I packed on the pounds because my hyperactive body slowed down...but for one reason or another, between childhood and now, my body in constant motion has stopped. For those who know me in real life, you know my ability to talk your ear off didn't...but I've lost the inability to sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time. While I'm trying to remind my body that deep down it loves to move, that isn't the subject of this blog post. 

The part of this hyperactive person that never slowed down, just like my mouth, is my monkey mind.

For those unfamiliar with it, monkey mind is a Buddhist term meaning a restless, indecisive, uncontrollable, inconstant and confused mind. And mine is bouncing around from one thing to another at lightning speed constantly. It is one of the reasons I have so much trouble sleeping. The confused part I would never fess up to, but my brain is always going a mile a minute, and filled with a stream of chaotic tap-dancing. I spent ages trying to find a way to describe what it felt like to have a truly hyper crazy brain until I re-watched Moulin Rouge about a year ago. 

If you've never watched the movie Moulin Rouge, you're missing quite the experience. The 2001 film by Baz Luhrmann was a huge hit. I fell in love with it on my first viewing...purchased the DVD, both music CDs, and listened to the movie's version of Lady Marmalade WAY more than I'd like to admit. 

The film is vivid and chaotic, with crazy musical numbers and beautiful costume design. I watched it last night with my daughter and her two best-friends who are visiting from out of town for Spring Break, since neither had seen it before, and one remarked that she felt she was being assaulted by it instead of viewing it! It's a little out there...

But when I watched it a year ago with my son, while my husband was deployed, I told my beloved oldest child that one of the musical numbers was a perfect expression of what was going on in my brain at all times. The background noise of music lyrics and random ideas that is can-canning around while I'm trying to sleep...cook...write this blog post...concentrate on anything, really. 

I would try to set the scene for y'all...but as an illustration, it probably works better without any background. The musical number is called Spectacular, Spectacular...

I used to say that I had a song and dance man tapping around with jazz hands in my head, but I think this illustrates it a bit better. My brain is always on overdrive. I constantly have a song playing in there...usually something old and obscure, although I did go on a walk with my husband recently with the song Dance Off by Macklemore floating around on repeat. I have ideas of a million projects bubbling up. Old memories of the good and bad variety playing on a movie screen in the background. And then we have the worrier and critic sitting front and center, analyzing everything I do or say...everything I DON'T do or say...everything it thinks I SHOULD do or say, etc. That's the worst. 

I honestly think that part of the reason why I am constantly looking at my phone is the boredom that comes from having a pretty hyper brain. My phone habits go something like this: hop over to Instagram and peruse, then pop over to my Bible app and read a passage, then check my bank balance, then check the weather, then hop over to Twitter to angrily see what people are complaining about today, then pop over to Pinterest to look at house inspiration and recipes, then back over to Instagram, then oooh maybe I have an email, then let's see what's going on over at Facebook, then back over to Instagram, then a selfie to my girls on Snapchat, etc. It's a means of distracting the monkey mind. 

Right now my inner worrier and critic spends most of it's time fretting over my lack of a job, and over the blog you are currently reading. Well, that and my body...and my face. LOL But mostly where I'm going with the blog and my future. I'm pretty sure I put too much pressure on myself internally, and I overanalyze until it ends up paralyzing me to movement. It's a thing. 

But monkey mind is really and truly a huge part of my life. And mine looks a lot like the Moulin Rouge. Most of the time I don't mind it a whole lot. I'm pretty good at coming up with ideas for things. It came in handy when coming up with creative projects at my last job. But it isn't great when it comes to following through with those ideas necessarily, although that wasn't an issue in a professional context. When I'm the only person relying on that follow through though, I'm not as great at it. 

I'm sure I'd benefit from yoga and meditation, especially when that inner critic gets to be a little too overbearing. I've done meditation in the past, and do it sporadically at present...mainly when I'm suffering from an epic dance number interrupting my chance at even a modicum of sleep. Oh, and I also pray when it all gets to be a little too much.

But then a part of me thinks that I have the brain of a creative genius. I may not be using it to it's full capacity, but surely people like Mozart and...I don't know...J.K. Rowling, have mad monkey mind. That just like me they have/had technicolor brains filled with a veritable symphony of chaotic images and thoughts. The difference is that they were better at harnessing that restless, constantly shifting stream of inspiring can-cannery, and turn it into liquid gold. I, on the other hand, have cried myself to sleep one night because of a monkey mind meltdown that went something like this: when looking at my face after washing it before bed I started ruminating too much over my old acne scars, which led to thoughts of how I didn't take good care of myself for too many years, which led to a total meltdown about what I'm doing with my life and whether staying at home with my kids was a worthy use of 18 years of MY life and whether they felt that they got any benefit from it (yes, I texted and asked both of them mid meltdown), and how it sucks that I don't have the degrees to pursue a job I'm intelligent enough for, and what on earth do I want to do with my life anyway, and why does my number of followers on Instagram go up and down the same amount EVERY DAMN DAY to where it ends up being pretty much the same thing, and why don't they all like me, I mean seriously, what is it about a photo of a book that could make them unfollow me after following me to begin with, and is it possible to make money off a blog because Lord knows I spend a shit load of time doing blog related stuff, and my LORD my husband would love to retire eventually and me having a job would help, and why don't I have any friends in Virginia, and why after spending too many hours perusing the internet do I find myself wanting a Louis Vuitton purse when I hate purses with logos on them, and what do I even WANT in life, and aren't you supposed to have goals, I really need some goals, and I need to get some more of those hormone patches because I am truly turning into an old crone and I know that I have a lot of hair but it's still coming out in bunches in the shower and I'm SO sick of getting ZITS!?!?!

All to the tune of Night Fever by the Bee Gees and Somebody's Baby by Jackson Browne, which are two of my default can can songs. They are like screensaver songs for me. OH, and while that meltdown is happening and songs are playing, I'm also compiling my grocery list and seeing Instagram flat lays in my head. Flat lays in pretty hues of the blush pink, mint green and robin's egg blue variety. And hot damn it's almost Easter, so you can add some flowers and birds chirping to that picture too.

So, Spectacular Spectacular. Watch that YouTube clip and get a glimpse of what my brain feels like. And know that it's possible to look pretty chilled out and sit on the couch too much, and yet still have major hyperactive monkey mind going on underneath the hood.

Hopefully I haven't scared you off...and you'll feel for your ADHD having kid or cousin/nephew, if you didn't already! I'd love to know if there are any other monkey mind sufferers out there. If so, please leave a comment below! OH, and let me know if you loved Moulin Rouge, or felt assaulted by it! 😜


  1. I can so relate!!!! You are an amazing woman!!!!

  2. And you are the most wonderful friend!!!