During my recent bout of writing to deadline, there were times when I’d sit down and say, “Write,” and I would! It was amazing. Other times my brain would start bouncing off the walls and refusing to settle on any topic.

As you have probably guessed from my blog, I’m not one for meditating. My squirrel brain is constantly jumping around, and it bucks at the thought of being put into a silent cage.

Squirrel in Cage

I’ve found when this happens, it’s best just to let it off the leash so it can run itself out. I do put rules on it (being me), and it can’t go back and touch on a thread that it has already gone to. If it does, then it is obviously tired and needs to go home.

Come to think of it, it’s not only during meditation attempts that my brain refuses to be harnessed. One year I went to the High Holy Day Services at Chabad, an Orthodox Jewish group. As I briefly mentioned in describing my first synagogue visit, men and women sit separately. At this service there was a screen separating the worshipers of different genders. The screen was there to decrease distraction.

Oriental Room Screen


The screen’s purpose was ironic because all I could think of during the entire service is that that would be the perfect screen for my apartment! I’d been looking for one, and that was exactly what I wanted. Then my mind switched to how soon after the service could I ask the rabbi’s wife where they’d found it without it sounding like I’d been thinking about that instead of the service. Oh no! The rabbi’s wife! I was sitting next to her! Had she noticed that I was spending an exorbitant amount of time staring over there? Was she thinking I was trying to see the men on the other side through the small cracks?!?!?

I succeeded in forcing my gaze forward, although that didn’t turn my focus back to the service. That screen kept calling to me the entire time I sat there. Ultimately I chickened out and didn’t ask the rabbi’s wife about it. I was too embarrassed!

When was the last time you let your brain off the leash? or When was the last time you were distracted by a really common item?

8 thoughts on “Squirrel”

  1. My brain is often off the leash. It’s why I rarely get anything done around here, and why I am unfit for regular employment.

    What I want to know is, did you get the screen? Or at least find out where the one in the synagogue came from?


    1. I can normally harness my brain when I’m at work, but outside, it’s off to the races.

      I did get the screen! About a month after I saw the one at the synagogue, one just like it was in the window of my local furniture store. I bought it that day.


  2. Tammy, you always make me laugh. When is the last time I let my brain off its leash? I think only you would ask that! And I love it. My brain is off the leash more often than I should probably admit. And wondering where the screen was purchased while in a religious service? Excellent. You never know what will inspire you, right? And that, my friend, is why we go to church.


    1. I’m glad you find my ramblings amusing. I know I crack myself up … a lot!

      I think the whole screen incident wouldn’t have felt as embarrassing to me had I not had the place of honor next to the rabbi’s wife. I could tell she was definitely trying to recruit me into the congregation. How could she not notice my head turned to the side for half the service?!?!?!?!!?


  3. Ha, Tammy, I came to the comments to ask the same question. I am so glad you got the screen. Is it as perfect as you had hoped? Love your squirrel brain. Only truly interesting people have thoughts that do not travel in a straight line.


    1. The screen not only looked the way I wanted it to, it also went so well with the rest of the decor that I forgot that it was a functional piece. It stood by itself in the corner looking pretty, and then I remembered it was supposed to cover the exercise equipment when I wasn’t using it. Overall a major success!


  4. That’s funny. You’re distracted by a screen that’s designed to make you less distracted. Isn’t that ironic?

    Anyway, I’m with you about writing. Those days when I don’t think I can do it, I just sit down and tell myself to write. Amazingly, many times I actually get going and do some good writing. I don’t know if that’s because my brain is similar to yours. I guess I have a squirrel brain too. My mind jumps around a lot and I go from topic to topic in a weird progression. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out why my brain is on a particular subject since the path from where I started is not self-evident. But I guess it works to my advantage sometimes. I do get some good ideas by jumping around like that.


    1. There are so many of us squirrel brained people!

      Some times the path it takes is more interesting than anything else it comes up with. The relationships that my brain forms between two seemingly random items puts me in awe some times.

      You seem to force your brain to settle down and write linearly for your blog – a trait that I admire since it isn’t something I do. It feels too much like work for me!


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