Sometimes I need to shut my brain off. One way I can do that is by writing. But writing can also act as a stimulant, making my thoughts go round even faster.

People tell me meditation will shut my brain off. I meditated seriously for years, until I realized that I really disliked meditating, and that it made me detached and mean. I’m one of those people who gets “meditation-related adverse effects.”

Nope, prayer doesn’t work either. I want fewer words going around in my head, not more of them.

Walking is a sure-fire way for me to quiet my brain. Talking with my spouse will do it. Singing. Doing chores (sometimes).

But right now, I’m going to read a murder mystery. It’s too late to go for a walk or sing, my spouse is in Wisconsin, I’m sick of doing chores. A murder mystery, that’s just the ticket. It will engage my brain just enough, but it won’t require much concentration.

You do your spiritual practices, I’ll do mine. Erle Stanley Gardner, here I come.