Kneel down and weed the bindis, baby

Use your hands to get out of your head.

Sometimes, the only way to dilute all the monkey chatter is to do something hands-on and finicky that needs all of your attention.

For the readers outside of Australia, let me explain. Bindis (also called bindi-eyes) are small weeds that grow in circular clumps often near clover. They’re a summertime menace. When they’re young or there’s been a lot of rain, they’re soft and harmless. But as the weather gets hotter and dries out, they get thorny. Whole swathes of gorgeous grass are off-limits to bare feet because of them. Even thick-skinned soles will feel a bindi prick.

Spraying them partially works but the only way to truly deal with them is get down on your knees and pull them out, each little clump at a time across an entire lawn or verge. Your painstaking process will pay dividends across the whole summer and give you the satisfaction of a personal win but it also offers something in the moment – a chance to get out of your head and concentrate on something else completely.

Fine finger work and attention to detail have saved me from the unmooring of heartache, the dogged cycle of rumination and the waiting, waiting, waiting that comes with writing. You can’t do nothing but you feel unable to do any kind of significant something.

Perfect, you can kneel down and weed the bindis then, or make dolmades, clean a window, fold origami, sand back an old stool. There are plenty of small tasks that never get a look-in during normal life. They’re perfect for distraction and pride offering the satisfaction of something completed or created and the reprieve of getting out of your head for a while.

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