I am the queen of industry.
I cannot be still either in body or in mind.
Impelled to move, I organize crayons or wipe the silverware drawer. I dash off to fold clothes or arrange socks in their drawers. I draw, doodle or paint. I scan, alter, upload or download.
It is not so much that I’m compulsive (I can be). My brain smolders with worry. Physical or mental inactivity allows the worries burst into a conflagration.
Today’s fixation is our missing kitty, but I could agonize over anything. Family health issues, driving during the lunch rush, what to cook for dinner, they all seem to take up the same anxious space in my brain.
Poor Kitty, absent for two hours. I visualize kitty’s horrible fate with disconcerting clarity. Cold and shivering, she curls up in an inauspicious place. We find her mummified body in the spring, wretchedly close to rescue. My body clenches with future emotion.
I push worry out of my mind by choosing a tube of acrylic paint and some newspaper.
Twenty minutes later Kitty shows up, bored of her foray into the woods.
I know my imaginings are unrealistic, even in the moment. Nevertheless, I am still swept away. I drown. As long as I clutch a task, I stay afloat. Maniacal thrashing takes over when I let go of that branch. My unoccupied mind needs focus or it fills with ornate details of horrible doom or failure.
Is this autism? A consequence of a high IQ? Mild OCD? Probably some of each.
The ultimate result is an abundance of industry. Wonderful industry. Floating paint across paper is delicious compared to visualizing kitty doom scenarios.