Talking to Myself

Slice of Life Writing Challenge – March 20, 2021

Driving the hour and a half to my mom’s to bring her to her vaccination appointment my mind felt like a blender set on high speed. I was a container of mixed emotions.

I started the drive listening to a podcast interview with Ethan Kross, author of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, and became distracted by the inner speech happening within. It resembled a ping pong match with thoughts bouncing back and forth. I decided to break it down to the basic T-chart like I would’ve done in my classroom listing the positives and the negatives hoping I’d find some relief if I could organize my thoughts.

How are you feeling today?


  • Frustrated – Why is it so challenging to find an available appointment for myself? How could my mom ever have done this on her own when it requires diligence and technology skills. It felt like a part time job. What about all the other elderly people out there?
  • Fearful – I’ll be the last one vaccinated in my family, delaying the opportunity to be together. Or, worse, contracting COVID after spending an entire year playing it safe, following all the CDC recommendations.
  • Overwhelmed – I will see many things to do around Mom’s house. She will most likely have her own list of tasks to complete. I always look for signs of her aging with cautious concern.
  • Worried – It feels like I’m in a constant state of worry and have been for the past year.
  • Guilty – My vaccinated husband wants to start subbing again, but won’t until I’m vaccinated.
  • Angry – I’m stuck on this thread of negativity. It’s the first day of spring! Snap out of it!


  • Excited- My mom will be fully vaccinated which means we are closer to being able to gather as a family again.
  • Grateful – I will be spending three days with my mom just in case she has a reaction. I get to cook for her, fill her freezer with meals, and just hang out.
  • Hopeful – The sun is shining on this awesome first day of spring.
  • Helpful – I can wash windows and do some spring cleaning.
  • Comforted – I saw an eagle perched high in a tree and knew it was a sign from my dad.
  • Thankful – I am retired and am able to do this today, silently wondering how on earth I would’ve managed teaching under the current conditions. I applaud EVERY teacher out there.

It’s a tie. 6-6

Positives for the win! Aside from the celebration of Mom being fully vaccinated, the unexpected surprise arrived when there were extra doses available and one was offered to me while Mom and I sat for the required 15 minutes. I’m positively excited I received my first dose today. Double win! I get to come back in 28 days to see my mom again. I think I’ll wait to wash windows til then and just enjoy the time with my mom.

Published by Patty Nault

Retired elementary teacher with a passion for reading, writing, and living a life full of curiosity. "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." -E.B. White

6 thoughts on “Talking to Myself

  1. You have so much to consider. Incorporating your thoughts into a t-chart makes this Slice an intriguing read. One can read all of the negatives, then the positives, or one of each back and forth. I like this structure and it fits the back and forth rhythm of thoughts facing off against one another.

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