Rudder Down

Laury Browning
3 min readJan 31, 2021

Stuff I’m Thinking About

Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash

Mornings set the tone for the day, no doubt about it.

We are either consciously giving ourselves a push in the right direction, or we’re allowing ourselves to be pulled by the tide, getting sucked passively wherever the current takes us. No telling where we’ll end up. I have a fledgling routine to set intentions for the day, and even though I’ve been practicing components of it most of my life, 2020 has pulled me off track so many times that I’ve kind of lost the coordinates directing me to where I want to go. A dingy, caught in the current with no rudder.

These days, I’ll get my first cup of coffee (yes, there will be more), and cruise my phone while I drink it…then prayer and meditation. Often, unfortunately, I still manage to boomerang right back into mental stressing, massaging all of the potential possibilities for concern. I could teach a master class on worrying.

With that kind of stuff going on in your head, best to create a diversion.

My diversions of choice?

Putzing around the house doing mild cleaning; eating food I’m not hungry for, especially unhelpful sugary snacks; mostly, looking at my phone getting distracted by sound bites on Twitter or Instagram, or choosing an ocean of possibilities available on the TV through streaming.

I’m afraid to chart my day and see where my time goes. I have also been afraid that I can’t break the pattern. I’m streaming and viewing more than I’m living. That sounds dramatic. And it’s true.

I could blame it on the pandemic, but that’s an oversimplification; still, the pandemic has given me passive permission to fall full bore into this posture of, “whatever,” but I’ve been here before. It’s almost as if how I spend my time doesn’t matter. What to do?

First, as they say, admit there’s a problem.

Then, ask for help, and dream a little. What kind of life do I wish I could have?

I believe I can design a path, beginning with practicing regular awareness check-ins to assess how much time I’ve spent scrolling or staring. I can notice what gets in…

Laury Browning

A teacher/writer, the youngest daughter of Pat and Shirley Boone. Perspective: a member of a family with a public persona, and a sort-of preacher’s kid