Mind Gnawing

You’ve heard of mind-numbing. How about mind gnawing?

Recently our son and his family relocated to a place just around the corner from us. Yay! We’re excited because it’ll make visiting with our granddaughter extremely convenient once she arrives in September.

Len and I got to help them with their move out/in process. If you’ve ever moved before, you know that event requires simultaneous spinning of several platters:

  • Change of address at the post office? Check!
  • Key duplication? Check!
  • New driver’s license to reflect new address? Check!
  • Update address with employers? Check!
  • Ad infinitum

Even though I’d written tasks down, a move still leaves things gnawing at the edges of one’s mind. My brain felt like the beaver-gnawed tree in the photo below! I kept thinking we’d forgotten something…

Well, I’ll be dammed (pun intended), there’s beaver activity along the Boise River!

One night I sat up bolt upright in bed and told Len, “Bicycles! I never saw the kids bicycles during the move! I think we forgot about them.”

Sure enough, their bicycles were still in the rack at their old location.

What’s gnawing at the edge of your mind?

© lauriebuchanan.com

68 thoughts on “Mind Gnawing

  1. They are lucky to have a mom so organized as you. I’m sure you will be happy to have them nearby. Good thing you remembered the bikes! I once left a painting hanging on a wall at a previous house. Fortunately, the new owners called to let me know and I was able to retrieve it!

    • You were lucky there, Darlene. When we moved from Bournemouth to Bognor Regis (about an hour away) and packed the fish tank, we left our tropical fish in a bag with water. It was only when we unpacked at our new house that we realised we had left the fish behind. We went back the same day only to find that the new owner had tipped the fish down the sink! Imagine my horror! I couldn’t believe anyone could be so mean. 😢

  2. I hope the move has gone as smoothly and trouble-free as possible for all concerned. Every time we move from place to place and have to pack everything in our motorhone, we have a number of checks we need to do. My biggest sin is to forget to lock either the fridge or the cutlery draw and they inevitable bang open while we are on the road, making us jump on our seats! 😈

    • The one I dreaded, but never did, though I have seen others do it, is to leave the van plugged in to the power, and drive away – destroying the power box, and dragging the power lead behind the van.

      Saw a campervan going down the highway last week with the power lead bouncing along behind.

      • Yes, we’ve seen that too. The last one was in La Coruña, NW Spain. They pulled away and hit our van with their cable still attached to box. Luckily, it didn’t cause any damage to box or our van, but the cable snapped. 😣

  3. I just moved back to Spain and I’m still trying to sort things out. I couldn’t take everything with me so there were interesting choices to be made.

  4. Gnawing is such an interesting word, Laurie, and so descriptive. I’ve always thought of that process that leads us to bolt upright remembering something we needed to do as “taking inventory.” Either way, it’s great that our brains continue working even when we think we’re giving them a rest.

  5. I am a definite list maker. Over the years, I’ve kept a master list (where I add new tasks until assigned to a specific time period), monthly, weekly lists and daily priorities. And, of course, those project lists (memoir writing: weekly/daily chapter/word lists; then next phase, and on). For the last 2 years I’ve tried a new “calendar/planner.” It provides for monthly, weekly, and daily lists but master list areas are missing leading to the need for additional notebooks. Ugh!! 2019 will bring a new planner! Despite all that effort, once in awhile I suffer the embarrassment of a missed “something.” Then, the opportunity to practice kindness to self opens.

    With the complexity of our times, lists can be life savers (or move supporters). They also contribute to fewer sleepless nights.

      • I too prefer the paper based calendar / planner / w. journal opps. So far, I’m looking at Best Self Co.; Thought Space Journals; Ink & Volt Planner … and open to other recommendations!

  6. We moved on August 3 and I feel like my brain has been gnawed to death. The next day after our move, the buyer of our house called to say we left my husband’s medication in the cupboard, of all things. Once we moved in we realized the walls needed to be painted and carpet replaced so will be living out of boxes a little longer. I just want a quiet corner where I can write.
    Happy to hear your family will be near by.

  7. Right now my wall calendar is gnawing at then edge of my mind. Went to look at it today and it wasn’t hanging in its place in the kitchen. We’ve been doing some major cleaning and rearranging around here. Hopefully it will turn up when I finally get to the bottom of the big pile of stuff on my work table. 🙂 If it somehow found it’s way into one of the bags of trash I carried out of here I’m in trouble.

  8. Laurie, this will make you laugh, two times in church our pastor has brought up anxiety, and I’ve almost had to immediately leave both times because…just hearing about anxiety makes me anxious. This distresses me and also makes me laugh. When I am anxious or something is gnawing at my mind I feel in my soul that I am failing, but I know in my head that I am only showing signs of my humanity. What a constant battle it is. It is funny in a way…and in a way not. Today it is near lunch and I have not done even a fraction of what I had hoped to accomplish. I’m afraid that is what is gnawing at me the most…not enough time in the days. Good thing I have started with the most important things first.

    • TimelessLady — That is, indeed, the good news. You priortized your list and started with the most important things first. Now you can breathe easier and know that the remaining stuff is secondary 🙂

  9. What seems to gnaw at me most often are things that are not imminent and really don’t need to be dwelled on just yet. Sometimes my brain seems to let me know that it’s in control, not me, so it dredges things up, usually in the wee hours, and nudges me to fret about them. Sigh.

  10. How very timely, we moved–for the first time in over 30 years–11 years ago today, Aug. 7, 2007. We had built a new house and were so excited, but it was an extremely long, hot day (why move in August in Virginia?? You’d think we’d learned that lesson all the years we moved our children into dorms and apartments during their college years in Virginia). It was a Saturday, and the following Monday, we went back to our old house to pick up a few straggler items. We stood in our empty house–the children and friends who had helped us move no longer making things joyful–and bawled like the babies we once brought home from the hospital to that very house. Interestingly, that former home is for sale again and it’s been fun looking at how the young couple and their children made our former house into another much-loved home for a busy family. If you’re like to take a peek at that one, here it is: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2078-Gravels-Rd-Rockingham-VA-22802/108065896_zpid/

    • Melodie — I just went out to Zillow and took a look. How COOL is that?! I can well imagine you sobbed your eyes out when you left.

      Four years ago when we moved from Illinois to Idaho we cried too. We’d lived in our home for 23 years and it housed a lot of wonderful memories. The good news is, we creaated, and continue to create, lots and lots of great memories where we live in Idaho, too 🙂

      • I’m going to hitch a ride on these comments, Melodie and Laurie. Two years ago on August 9 we moved from our long-time home of 37 years. Because we were moving closer to our kids and to a one-story home more manageable for our later years, I felt nostalgic about leaving the old house behind but not sobbing-my-eyes-out sad.

  11. What has been mind-gnawing for me is my memoir title. For months I tossed and turned many words combos in my mind, but none fit. I may have a Bingo now, but I’m sitting with it until I’m 105 % certain.

    And, no, I’m not telling! 😀

  12. I made the move from ID to NC and back. The first time, it was all paid for by Microsoft and I didn’t have to lift a finger when packing. For unpacking, they did all of the big items and then I was left to do the rest on my own. Then hubby (aka Dirtbag) has to be gone for the first three weeks for training, so I was all on my own in Charlotte. Fast forward two years. We didn’t have to live in Charlotte anymore, so we came back to Idaho on our own dime. We went with Allied, but they subcontract out to other movers. Long story short… it took three weeks for our stuff to arrive in Nampa. I now know why people put tracking devices in a box to see if the truck is actually on the move. The company gave us a few stories, and in the end they refunded almost half of the fees. But still. It was super fun, fun, fun to live in my own house out of a suitcase for three weeks 😦 That gnawed at my mind indeed.

    • Jeri — Oh my gosh, I never knew that people put tracking devices in a moving box to see if the truck is actually on the move. BRILLIANT!

      Further, your move(s) sound rather unpleasant. But they got you back here and I’m glad for that! 🙂

  13. My husband and I moved about every ten years after he became a pastor. It definitely takes organization. One time, we had to leave behind an antique cabbage slicer, the mover had absolutely no more room. They tied the picnic table to the doors.

  14. Well, I’m still reeling from Fatima’s tropical fish story, angry! But, I move on. (I didn’t plan that). I love to move. It’s like it stirs up energy that’s gotten stuck in the corners or something. I’ve had 15 different mailing addresses, but with one of them, I had three different apartments within that same building. I don’t plan to move again at this point, but (BUT) one never knows. One thing I do want to add to your MUST DO list — register to vote at the new location. So important. I envy you your proximity to your future granddaughter. That’s priceless.

  15. Laurie, I would have to say the wild fires have been battling for space in my over-crowded head lately. It has become second nature to check the skies for smoke early in the morning and plan your outdoor activities accordingly. Between the smoke and 110+ temperatures, I rarely go out unless absolutely necessary in the heat of the day but choose the evenings for the fresher air.

    • Sandi — When I consider where you live in southern California, I know full well that WILD FIRES are definitely on your mind. And the SMOKE from the wild fires right on it’s heels. I’m hoping you guys get a deluge of rain.

  16. Oh God don’t ! .. moving is horrendous.
    What’s gnawing at me now is four years down the line and we are still living in a half-house 🤪 we’ll get there and so will you and your lovely family .

  17. Hi Laurie,

    I hate moving.

    I hate it when anything moves.

    I organize myself by spatial relationships. When anything moves, I experience a severe emotional reaction. It is one of my autistic spectrum attributes.

    I have lots of things gnawning at my mind:

    The mischaracterisation of evolution as being about competition, rather than cooperation.

    The acceptance of the cancer of corporate capitalism on the body politic.

    We need a far better understanding of what we are, a new story to empower us to cooperate universally.

    Many of the things that once served us so well, are now becoming great dangers.
    Our powerful technologies are morally neutral.
    It is how we use them that will define us, and we need to use them for the benefit of all, not just the few.

    • Ted — “Our powerful technologies are morally neutral. It is how we use them that will define us, and we need to use them for the benefit of all, not just the few.”

      yes, Yes, YES!

  18. We all have moving stories, eh? 😀 … when we moved from our little apartment to here, the removalists left our bikes leaning against the front of the building, and we had to argue with them to send someone to pick them up, if they were still there. Thankfully they were, but it took them a week to finally deliver them. We were not impressed!

  19. Oh no Laurie but at least you remembered. I go through this list every time I do a show where My paintings must travel. I always tell myself – as long as we have the right paintings, we can figure out something to resolve the rest. Still I stew as my mother would say. I have a solo show on a neighbouring island opening in September so this is what my mind is gnawing at. We go do site measurements next Wednesday so I can finalize the selection of paintings.

  20. I am gnawing at wanting to get going on all the wedding things that are on my list; I am in a 2 week limbo with all the stuff completed until travel, rehearsal and actual event. It is very hot here and like Sandi we are full of smoke in our lives. Fortunately the Neo-Nazi lost the primary yesterday!!! The midterm elections are kind of gnawing too because there are so many hardcore stinkers on the ballot this year –
    We moved after 25 years in our stunning off the grid house, nearly downtown, with a spectacular view. The high point was getting rid of so many things as we came to a single story mess of a house at about 1/2 the size. It was hard on my partner but we truly let go and we were able to help him let go of possessions and things – it has freed up his painting. If we ever have a grandee we have talked about moving again to be close and helpful. Maybe we will be too old to be helpful?
    When President Kennedy was shot Father was up for the Secretary of Education position and then that of course, did not happen. My parents moved 22 times from when I was 16 to 27. My mum moved several more times, including back to Canada after my father died. Then to a retirement village, then to assisted living and then to our house.
    The folks who moved out of this house did not forward their new address – we still get about 150 pieces of mail for them a year in the three years since we moved here. Also bill collectors and Mom’s disability check….hard to hide!

  21. At this time, what continually gnaws at me is the divisiveness and the lack of understanding, appreciation, and care for others in our communities, country, and around the world. 😦

  22. Well, this week a financial matter is gnawing at me. Though I continue to resist retirement (I just turned 64 and have both the years and age to do it) I am trying to figure out if I should begin taking social security benefits now at 86.5 of 100% or wait until I am 66 to collect 100% of said benefits. There are pros and cons to each decision. Decisions, decisions…..

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