The Pace of Processing

I have this large bag above the washing machine where I store the coins rescued from pockets and removed from overflowing wallets. Every year, the bag reaches its bursting point, the hard imprints of the coinage threatening to rip apart the delicate walls.

The money is essentially worthless in this form. Pounds of pennies required in order to exchange for something of value. So every year, I haul the bag to the grocery store, where I feed the coins through a machine that turns my useless currency into crisp, worthwhile bills (minus a service fee, of course).

Every year, I fail to remember the plodding pace of the machine and I inevitably overload it with too great a volume. But the machine will not be hurried; it processes trash into treasure at its own pace. It reads each piece of input, sorting it into an appropriate pile after making note of its value. Some items it deems unable to be classified, and it spits them out for further review.

The machine works best when the coins are fed into it at a steady trickle. When the entire bag is upended, the sheer mass of the coins slows down the feed into the chute, the pathways gummed up and the limits overloaded. Regardless, the process always feels protracted to me, always taking longer than I assume it should. I grow frustrated at the delay between placing the coins on the shelf and the total being updated on the screen, which continues to change long after the last coin has disappeared into its maw.

We are not unlike that unhurried coin machine when it comes to processing our pasts and our pains.

We do best when information is fed to us in a steady stream. It gives time to fully break apart each new tidbit before facing the next.

When too much is piled on, it overwhelms the process and yet each element is attended to in its own time.

There is no rushing the exercise. It simply takes time to sort through the detritus, spitting out the garbage and finding the value in the rest.

There is often a lag between the input and the conclusion. It doesn’t mean progress isn’t happening.

It means it has its own timeline.

Be patient.

Thank you for sharing!

7 thoughts on “The Pace of Processing

  1. Cory Pasqualetto – I'm in my 40's I've had two marriages and have worked various jobs in my lifetime from supermarkets to restaurants to Information Tech. This started out as a continuation of my divorce story but since my last romantic partner passed away suddenly without any warning it has now become more of a place to write out my thoughts and feelings. I have made most of my teenage dreams and fantasies come true and now I need to figure out what else to do.
    Cory Pasqualetto says:

    Very interesting way of putting it,,,unfortunately my biggest shortfall is not processing too fast but over analyzing and creating scenarios in my mind that are way off the mark

  2. Jennifer – Albuquerque, New Mexico – First off, I am not very funny. Secondly, I am a full-blown geek; I like chess (it is my favorite game), I enjoyed writing research papers in college, I enjoyed statistics and any other kind of math. But, in my old age (47), I have learned to own my geekdom, it is uniquely mine. Third, I have manic-depressive illness which can make life a bit rocky sometimes, like when the medications are not strong enough to treat the illness, then it bites me in the ass…..hard. Most of the time, though, I ride the sine wave that are normal moods. It is an interesting disease to have though. You do a lot of self reflecting and exploration which can be rough, but you can see where you have made mistakes and you can take action to prevent that behavior in the future. Fourth, I have learned how not to settle for anything; bad medical care, toxic and angry people, bad food, bad relationships. I just will not settle anymore. I have already been there and done that. Fifth, I have learned over the years it is not cool to puke through your nose because you drank too much at a party or a bar. Sixth, I love to read everything from fiction to non-fiction to school textbooks. I do not remember learning to read. My mom says when I was about 3 or 4 years old, I picked up National Geographic and began to read it. Who knew? Seventh, and possibly last, I love music of all types except Rap. My favorite music to relax to is classical preferably of the Baroque period like Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven. I love going to the movies by myself. If you go on a Monday afternoon matinée, there is usually no one there so it is like having your own private theater. I am also a Nichiren Buddhist by way of spiritual belief. I am basically just a normal person who happens to be not funny :) .
    songtothesirens says:

    Healing will always take its time. In my experience, at least, one will start to heal when the time has become right ~ no sooner and no later. It will take the time it needs. Like your coin machine does.

    I really respect the way you have turned a negative experience into a positive lesson learned.

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