I could use a tutorial on the art of sitting still. I’m no good at it.
The last few weeks have reminded me that the person I am feels more comfortable when moving. I’ve come to realize that I sit quietly, without moving, only when I’m reading or watching a movie.
Unless the book hypnotizes me in the way of Pride and Prejudice and Where the Crawdads Sing, I reach my reading threshold at around 30-40-minutes. After that, I take a break to move and shake.
I’m a movie fan, true, but I can’t sit and watch films back-to-back-to-back. Movies on television are a bigger challenge. Commercials stretch two-hour movies to three-hour fiascos.
You are thinking, “Wait. You have to sit to eat. You have to be still to sleep.”
I appreciate your thoughts, but “No and no.”
When I eat, I move forks and spoons from my plate to my mouth—a little too often. And I’m not quiet. When my mouth is clear of food, I talk—a lot. Ask my husband. Gary is silent when he eats because he can’t manage to get a word between my diatribes.
Poor guy. When he promised to love, honor, and cherish, he did not realize he also pledged to live with my sleep noises.
I know I make sounds when I snooze because Gary’s elbow nudges tell me I do. He says I don’t snore, but that my lips purse together, and I “pa, pa, pa” puff as though I’m working to keep a feather floating in the air above me.
My husband doesn’t have to tell me that I don’t lay still when I sleep. I never wake in the position I start. My arms and legs beg me to shift if I remain in one spot too long. And my pillow is dented and smashed each morning as though it suffered a fierce battle.
When I’m forced to sit when dining out or attending celebrations that include dinner, I find a piece of paper, any size works. Paper napkins or the little square that enfolds cutlery or a gum wrapper will do. Though the latter has to come from a tablemate. I gave up chewing gum years ago.
I’ve always been proud of my multitasking skills. I am attentive and listen to those around me. At the same time, I fold the napkin or paper square or gum wrapper into triangular or rectangular shapes, sometimes constructing miniature paper accordions. Later, I find shapes and accordions in the bottom of a purse or in the corner of a jacket pocket.
More often than not, though, when at a quiet table, I use those bits of paper for what I’m really good at making: paper airplanes. I make airplanes out of cocktail napkins, wedding programs, torn envelopes, and church programs (not good, I know).
It’s kind of like Green Eggs and Ham:
I make paper airplanes. I do.
I can make them in a pew. I can make them at a table.
Just hand me a napkin or a canned food label.
I know. I should leave clever rhyme schemes to Dr. Seuss. But when I have to sit quietly, paper airplanes are my thing. They are my thing because I am no good at sitting still.
Note that I am very careful after I turn paper into an airplane when I am seated at public places or events. When the folds of a plane crease in all the right spots, I picture it soaring through the air. I have to resist the temptation to let it fly.
Ok. I have launched a paper airplane or two or five in places where I should not have. But not from a pew. Cross my heart.
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