MORNING MEDITATION: Quick, only ten minutes. But that was an important ten minutes as it is the beginning of starting again. I haven’t meditated in a long, long time, and my mind is both desperately in need and all over the place.
TDC: I’m not an expert at this. I’m just someone looking for tools close at hand to help me feel better, live better, perhaps see more clearly, understand myself…coax myself gently into being a gentler person. I use Headspace, when I use an app, but otherwise, I go it alone. This morning was a Headspace morning, and the meditation ended with the suggestion of actively remembering the last time I felt relaxed and stress-free. My mind reeled. I can’t remember, I thought. And, honestly, I couldn’t. My mind lurched so far back in time in search of a stress free moment; it was almost laughable. Let’s see. I think I was stress-free about 11 years ago, lying on a hammock on Pawley’s Island in late June. The girls were small… Or no, maybe it was four years ago that summer in France, walking in the fields, picking Queen Anne’s lace…yes… Except it’s not laughable at all. Stress-free—eleven years ago? Four years ago? This is a recipe for disaster.
And then I remember the beautiful tea I had with a friend last week. And the moments strolling — albeit rather briskly — with my daughter last night, running last minute errands through the lovely darkening streets of Milan. And I remember watching my dog run and sniff over the frozen wasteland of our neighborhood park yesterday morning, his breath puffing into the crystalline air like clouds of vape. Happy doggy.
It’s been hard the past few years. That’s why I haven’t been here. Always something to worry about, fix. Giant upheavals in work and relationships. Hormones! Ha! Employment, lack there of, too much employment. And most recently—and also most profoundly—my mother dying in December, setting off tidal waves which continue to crash and which I’m not entirely at peace with. I’ve spent a lot of time reacting to the unforeseen, accepting new challenges, saying “yes” with less caution. I’m 56 now; I’m not ready to settle or give up or stop learning, and I can see that if I don’t take work opportunities as they come, they will dry up, and I’m not ready for that, couldn’t afford that. And yet, the price of all this is having much less control, less calm, less me-time. And often, sadly, less sanity. Are any of you experiencing this?
I had hoped to be wise by now. But I’m a long way off from wisdom.
I need to reconnect to the connective tissue…those moments with friends, those precious times with my children, the quiet times with my husband listening to music. I need to protect them and nurture them and plug into them. I need to let my mind settle in these quiet, wordless spaces. A bit more. A lot more. So hopefully, the next time I am trying to remember when, it will be easy to say, “Yes, I remember—”