Pondering a mind full of ‘nesses’ in the New Year

“But why do I want my mind all full of — what’s it called — ness?”

“Not ‘ness,'” the guru, losing his cool, snapped at me. “I said ‘mindfulness’! One word. It means being in the moment, acknowledging all your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Calmly. CALMLY, you dimwitted idgit!”

I backed out of the spittle zone. I wasn’t ready to pack any more ness into my mind. It’s already full of thoughts, feelings and sensations involving looming and missed deadlines, bills I can’t pay, house repairs I can’t make, car problems I can’t fix, wondering where I left that library book and maybe a worry or two over a worldwide bug.

“I’d prefer mindemptiness,” I told the guru. “Or maybe I should call it mindlessness. The less ness on my mind, the less I mind.”

Steam curled from his ears, which had turned a fiery shade of crimson. “There’s no ‘ness’! That’s not what I said, you, you… ooooh!”

This is why I’ve never consulted gurus — once they get to screaming about inner calm and trying to shake peace and serenity into me, they’re difficult to understand.

But this is a new year, the time for another round of improvements. I suppose I should try. Here goes:

I, Burton W. Cole, being of unstable mind full of ness, do solemnly resolve that in 2023, I’m not going to think about anything. I’m old, tired and cranky. Mindemptiness engaged.

To begin my new trend of mindlessness, I need to empty the noggin of whatever gunk crawled into my head, ate my porridge, broke my chair and fell asleep in the bed of my brain. These are a few of those Goldilock “nesses” I need to scrub from my mind:

• Why does aging feel like visiting a garage sale? Some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t and the rest, I can’t identify.

• Why do the words “exercise” and “extra fries” sound so much alike?

• How is it that when I make plans to work out, I end up in my recliner watching a show I don’t like because the remote fell on the floor?

• When people compliment me on my multi-tasking skills, should I confess that I’m puttering around randomly until I can remember what it was that I meant to do in the first place?

• If I’m going to regret staying up all night, why not just stay in bed until noon? Problem solved. Besides, the first 16 or so hours after you get up in the morning are the most difficult.

• Is it really true that if at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your wife told you? That can’t be right, can it?

• You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands. For example, if they’re around your throat, she’s probably a bit upset.

• Fifty years ago, I thought adulting meant a full bank account, an exciting career and going out with friends every night. Now I have a junk drawer full of twist ties and rubber bands, a favorite T-shirt pocked with more holes than Swiss cheese, and I screen all calls to make sure no one invites me anyplace where I’d have to change out of said T-shirt.

• Is wanting to play the organ in a grand cathedral just a pipe dream?

• A meme I noticed — Wife: “Why do you keep pushing my buttons?” Husband: “I’m trying to find ‘mute.'”

• Another post: “My wife asked me what the female version of a man cave would be. I told her it’s called the kitchen. Now I need a place to stay for a few nights.”

A blessed New Year, from my doghouse to yours.


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