In your second act? 40? 50? or even 60?
When you’re distracted, maybe quiet, you may notice a big, ole pile of random thoughts drifting through your mind. You’ll be sitting out back, enjoying the sun, and suddenly something you saw on the side of the road six years ago while you were on a road trip will flit through your brain. What triggered that? Why is it even in your head? It feels so…random.
Where does that come from?
Does it matter?
After 40, you’ve got a fat stack of thoughts that have been building for years. They get tucked away in your subconscious and seem to sprinkle out like salt out of a salt shaker at times.
So, there you are, in the second half of life, your adult children have flown the nest, and you’re suddenly gob smacked because some random moment during your son’s 3rd grade field trip has made its way front and center and makes no sense.
Maybe it was a picture you saw at a museum. Why is it even showing up now? You almost want to tilt your head to the side and shake out those loose thoughts, like they’d spill out of your ear and free up room in your head!
Sometimes your second act random thoughts are deeper. Maybe you’re tangling with new philosophical thoughts lately, and really examining the meaning of life.
A simple question to ask yourself is…
Could there be a reason this thought has come forward, gently trying to get your attention?
Whispers after 40
Is there a random thought that keeps appearing? Maybe it’s time to notice it. The more you push it away, the more it may rebound and come back. Pay attention to those recurring thoughts and see if they mean something to you. These aren’t like the random moment thoughts you have, but rather, they capture you. They get you thinking. Maybe you’ve been distracted and ignoring something you need to pay attention to. What could it mean?
Thoughts bring about feelings. What do you feel when this thought comes to you?
I’m one of those people who is always saying, it must be a sign, and my husband laughs about it. Maybe things are signs, maybe not, but that’s just part of my character and what I do sometimes. I think, maybe it’s a sign because it reminded me of something that I needed to think about that. But the problem is that sometimes we assign too much value to that…
I’m responsible for that as much as anybody else, and there’s times also where I can just let something slip out of my brain and realize it’s just a weird thought. Maybe I saw something that triggered it, or something of that nature. I’m not unrealistic about those thoughts, just sometimes I pay more attention to something.
But when random thoughts come and you notice a pattern, should you pay attention?
Sometimes it’s like your intuition is speaking to you. I’ve had both woo-woo moments, along with logic-based ones. I have moments where I’m sentimental and spiritual based, and I think it ties into something that I deem is important.
For example, when I see a blue jay it makes me think of my dad. He passed over 20 years ago, and he was a big bird lover. It’s funny, because everybody in my family whenever we see a blue jay or a cardinal, you know we’re like, oh, Daddy’s saying hi or something like that…
And yet we don’t do that if we see a crow. It’s become selective. We don’t do that if we see a seagull. So, we obviously created a pattern from a memory we had and associate it to one idea over another. Why is a crow not a sign in my brain?
So why do we assign values to something, but not others?
Obviously, the bird made me think my dad, and maybe it was a bird that he liked. He was big with bird feeders, so it made me think of him since we used to get a lot of blue jays and cardinals in our backyard.
Think about the different ways that we tie our emotions into our thoughts. We may put a value on a thought, like it’s good or bad, but we create our own set of values around them.
Maybe you have a preconceived judgment about something…
Thoughts are like leaves on a tree. They can fall off and blow away. New leaves come back and grow. Grow new thoughts if you feel trapped in ideas you’re not happy with.