Meditation? You Mean Sitting There Like a Pretzel, Not Thinking About My To-Do List? by
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Prompted By Meditation

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Meditation. It’s all the rage these days, like kale chips and adult coloring books. Everyone’s hopping on the bandwagon, chanting “om” and levitating off the floor… or at least that’s what the Instagram influencers want you to believe. But for the rest of us, busy bees drowning in a never-ending to-do list, meditation sounds about as appealing as voluntarily getting stuck in rush hour traffic.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for inner peace and achieving or listening to Nirvana… as long as Nirvana involves a comfortable couch, a giant vat of cheesy dip, and the latest remake of Shogun. Because let’s be honest, our minds are like overstuffed gym lockers. There’s that work email you forgot to send bouncing around next to the grocery list you haven’t made, all tangled up with yesterday’s argument about how or even whether to fold the fitted sheet (fight me on this one).

Meditation is supposed to help you clear all that junk out, but let’s be real. The second you close your eyes and try to think of nothing, your brain throws a mental rave. Suddenly, you remember that embarrassing thing you did in high school, that time you accidentally called your boss “mom,” and the personal dread that you’ll never fold a fitted sheet correctly creeps in. It’s like your brain is a mischievous toddler, gleefully making sure you achieve absolutely no zen whatsoever.

Plus, sitting perfectly still for extended periods? Forget about it. My body contorts into more awkward positions than a yogurt pretzel dipped in rigor mortis. My leg falls asleep, my back aches, and all I can think about is how much I need a massage (and maybe a nap… in a vat of onion dip).

Now, some folks swear by meditation. They say it reduces stress, improves focus, and unlocks the secrets of the universe. Maybe. But for the rest of us, there are other ways to achieve a semblance of inner calm. Here are some alternatives, Kevin style:

Retail Therapy: Nothing clears the mind like a good shopping spree. Retail therapy isn’t just about buying things you don’t need (although, that pretty scarf does look divine), it’s about the act of browsing and the endorphin rush of a potential purchase. Just pace yourself and avoid the clearance rack; that’s a whole other level of stress.


Rage Cleaning: Sometimes, the most mindful activity is a good, old-fashioned cleaning rampage. Blast some angry rock n’ roll music, grab some disinfectant wipes, and channel your inner warrior on that dust bunny infestation. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after scrubbing the negativity away (and maybe finding some lost socks in the process).


Carb Loading: Let’s face it, happiness is often a giant plate of pasta. Indulging in your favorite comfort food can be a form of meditation, a celebration of the simple pleasures in life. Just remember, portion control is still a thing (or at least tell yourself that after the third helping).

Look, meditation might be the key to enlightenment for some for sure but for the rest of us, there are other perfectly valid paths to inner peace. So, ditch the uncomfortable silence and embrace your own brand of zen. After all, a little retail therapy and a giant plate of pasta never hurt anyone (except maybe your credit card balance).




Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.

Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. Right on Kevin, I’ve tried meditation many times, but too many things keep raising their hands for attention in my busy little brain!
    And yes, a bowl of pasta sounds good!

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    What a nice surprise to hear about cleaning as a therapeutic option—you go guy! Love how you always have a comedic twist on life and language. All the strategies you mention can release endorphins—as can lots of other activities—and endorphins are the happy juice of life. Balance and peace often more elusive.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    I’m with you, Kevin. I take a “yoga/mobility” class on Sundays in the summer and it ends with about 10 minutes of laying still, breathing and clearing our minds. We don’t sit up or meditate, but I find I can’t quiet my brain, and (particularly when I was writing weekly), I was always thinking about the next story, where would I find those photos, what was the right turn of phrase; OR running loads of errands, as you described.

  4. You had me at the question of whether fitted sheets can be folded! I have struggled with those all my adult life; yet in the mistaken assumption that everyone else knew how to fold them, I just try and try and try again and never breathe a word of my incometence,.
    You’ve just reduced my stress level for the rest of my life. Perhaps, judged on a very utilitarian scale, the best Retrospect article ever!

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