Blink Blink Blink

By: Peggy Willms

(5 mins)

Ever heard this sound, blink, blink, blink? Close your eyes. Where have you heard it? Okay, here is the answer. It is the sound of your vehicle signal makes when you are going to turn right or left.

Below is a blog I wrote 22 years ago. I found it this week while packing. The Universe must want me to relive the discovery from the year 2000.

It was the 5 o’clock rush hour. Traffic was zigzagging down Patterson Road about 10 m.p.h. above the speed limit. If I got caught, I would have said, “Mr. Cruz, I have to keep up with traffic or get mauled.” His motorcycle was always behind the same bush with his ray gun pointing out, so I kept my eye out for him.

Hecticity. I had created a new buzzword that described me perfectly. HECTICITY! After you say it a few times, it’s kind of cool. Life was a high level of crazy – even for me. Hecticity was around me and within me. A typical morning …

Wake to the aroma of brewing coffee at 5:45 a.m. sharp (everything is sharp), groggily dilute my rise-n-shine beverage with Coffee Mate French Vanilla – none of the sugar-free crap. Gulp my first few hits, and head out to the hot tub. At 37 degrees, the crispness stabs my body. Internally, I chant, “Hurry, get in, sit, and relax.” Yeah, right. I try, but I end up processing things that need to be accomplished during the day. Ding. Had 20 minutes already passed?

Trot into the house (trotting is more ladylike than dashing) for a quick change of clothes. It is now time for a run. It is the only time I can squeeze in a workout, allowing me more time to process the day’s events. It is complicated. Settling the brain down, for me, is complicated.

Out into the brisk air, walk, run, walk. Though I train clients differently, I am not much of a warm-up or a cool-down gal. I am more of a get-right-to-the-point kind of girl.

Run faster. If the knee is having a good day, I can shave a few minutes and get into the shower more quickly. Fast, everything is fast. Good job, Peggy. I must tell myself that regardless of the task. Being an underachiever haunts me, and I would likely chalk up the last half hour as a waste of time.

I usually beat my 14-year-old into the shower as he is a snail in the morning. I got second this morning. “Leave the water running. I am next!”

I race in to kiss my little man’s face. They are seven years apart. This one has his own set of rules, so waking him up is always an unpredictable event. Phew. Today, he is raring to go – great mood.

The little one wants waffles. The older kiddo wants cut-up strawberries. Really?! I comply as I have no time to argue he needs more. I race to the shower. At least I don’t have to wait for it to warm up. That would be a waste of time.

Lather. Rinse. No time for the “repeat as necessary” shampoo directions. Slam off the faucet, slap the towel around the wet spots, and the buzz buzz buzzing continues. Iron a dress. Throw on the make-up, and rake the mop-like Dee Snyder, Twisted Sister hair, my natural disaster. Make three lunches, gather homework, and sign the field trip release. Drop one kid at middle school and one at high school.

This morning was no different from any other except my superior, and friend, was waiting for me at my desk. Apparently, she had had enough of my hecticity. Either she was very sympathetic and wanted to rescue me, or she was sick and tired of watching me flit around. Her solution was horrific.

“I have purchased you a ticket for a weekend Qi Gong seminar. It is here in town; eight hours each day, and I am sure it will change your life.” I am not sure what possessed me, but I graciously accepted while emotionally thinking, yuck!

I try to find the rainbow even in the dark. Being still would be “painful” not to mention for most Type A, compulsive personalities, 48 hours of s-l-o-w was not appealing. Qi Gong is SLOW. Then Mom guilt started to set in. I stopped. THIS IS FOR ME.

Upon arrival, I realized I was about two decades younger than the other students. Embracing the stories, movements, and theories were interesting. The elders shared their daily routines, but none slightly resembled mine. Talking about a perfect potato from the garden seemed ludicrous, but I sincerely leaned into the concept of appreciating the “energetic flow of the world.”

It was during this storytime when I first realized I could hear them. Really “hear” them. I was always a good listener, but I “heard” them. Their emotion, the click of their teeth, their swallow, an eye blinking, or a bobby pin scraping their glasses.

During the breathing exercises, which they teach you deep breathing is never deep enough, I felt like I would pass out, explode, or drift like a hot air balloon high above the crowd. It seemed I was the only one that found a challenge in breathing. There were other challenges, such as learning to improve my posture and extending stretches beyond the field of natural stretching. After hours, I was thoroughly exhausted with three words…breathe, stand, stretch. Ugh.

At the six-hour mark (not a quick learn), I began to “hear” yet again while practicing our routines on the lawn. The outside of your head kind of noises. The noises that are not your own voice barking at you, but the voices of nature. It was beyond the birds. Anyone can hear birds. The whistling leaves, dancing blades of grass, and the rattling of a filthy air vent on the courthouse roof filled my ears. Some of my classmates’ breathing peaked while others valleyed. Mrs. Carrington snorted, and I chuckled. Gentle idles, and roars of cars interrupted my thoughts.

Perhaps you hear these sounds every single day of your life. For me, they were different. They held energy. They lacked hecticity. A place I lived just a few hours earlier. A place that now seemed so far away. The land of activity where being busy makes it impossible to hear, see and feel. Hecticity is the land of “just existing” even though you are buzzing around.

It was during our lawn exercise that the Master figured me out. “Peggy, you are a buzzer.” And after his explanation, I agreed. I was the Queen B of Buzzing. He gave me an assignment. “On your way home tonight, turn off the music in your car and listen to the sounds, really, really listen. Be prepared to share with me tomorrow what you learned.”

My Queen of Buzzing mind shouted. “Yahoo, an assignment.” But I shut her down. Be present, I thought.

Headed home, I had about 10 minutes to myself. I embraced my space in the Universe. Ten incredible, extraordinary minutes. WOW minutes. No music minutes. I tootled along at the speed limit, looked at trees and foliage, and continually reminded myself I was not feeling sluggish and wasting time; I was relaxing and grateful for the day. And it was at this moment that I found the cadence. The repetitive blink, blink, blink. Not a noise – an external heartbeat.

A few tears dripped down my cheeks. I wasn’t fascinated with the ticking object, my blinker, but from the awe of my Master’s wisdom. I giggled as I swayed to the beat I had first heard when I learned to drive my mother’s Subaru when I was eleven. He wanted me to breathe and release my senses. Wait until I tell him I rediscovered the blinker.

When I got home and shared my experience with my sons, I was shocked they didn’t commit me to the psych ward. I told them we now had a new blink, blink, blink rule. No music in the car. We will look and listen to each other and feel the energy of our surroundings. Each trip will teach us a cadence bringing us back to our breath.

Twenty-two years after I shared this experience with my sons, I will call them and recommit. It is time for me to hear the blink, blink, blink of life again.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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