There are days when Tiger needs a bone to chew on. Maybe he’s stressed because of some change in his environment. Maybe he needs to bleed excess energy because the weather hasn’t been conducive to walks or runs. Or, maybe he’s just bored and looking for something to do.
Regardless, he’ll get this certain look in his eye. There’s an intensity to it. A drive. A need. It’s like he’s saying, “Give me the chewy and no one gets hurt. If you chose not to supply the bone…”
We’re really no different than Tiger.
We all require bones to chew on. Not real ones (I hope), but cerebral ones. Something that we can use to focus our mental energies upon. A passion or a problem that needs to be chewed on and whittled down. Something to turn to when we’re stressed or have excess energy to bleed or simply bored.
It’s best to have a whole box of bones available in case some run out or don’t taste right in the moment.
Because the thing about mental bones, is that if you don’t choose one, one may be chosen for you. And it may not be the one you want.
I have never felt this so acutely than I did in the months after my ex left. Before that point, gardening had been one of my favorite bones. It was relaxing and the mental selection and placement of plants could focus and calm my mind. But that bone was taken away when I had to leave my house and my garden. And because I didn’t have another at the ready, that passion was replaced with my ex and the details of the divorce.
I would worry away the details, chew on the possibilities and fixate on the loss.
It kept me focused and bled the excess energy, but it was not the bone I needed.
My first new bone after the divorce came as a bit of a surprise. I signed up for Match.com as a way to practice dating before commencing my planned move to Seattle. It turns out that online dating works pretty well for something to focus on. I went on countless dates and engaged in many more electronic flirtations. It wasn’t sustainable or healthy for the long run, but it allowed me to bury the bone of the divorce.
My next bone was more deliberate and wholesome. I started writing. This not only gave my mind a positive area on which to focus, it also served as a healing process of its own. As my life began to expand and settle once again, I continued to gather bones: blogging, racing and recently, gardening again.
How is your supply of cerebral chewies? Do you have a supply of positive ones or you gnawing on one that is harmful to your health? If you need one, ask Tiger. Maybe he’ll share:)