Monday, December 19, 2005
'Twas PC's last post before Christmas...
The semester is over; my grading is done. My shopping is finished; presents are piled under the tree where AC inspects them twice a day. I need to make a batch of cookies so we’ll have something to leave for Santa, but all in all, I can sit back with my chai latte and relax.
But relaxing is impossible for me. I don’t sit still well. I’m a fidgeter, a multi-tasker with a To Do list a mile long. There’s always something I could be doing, should be doing. My mind doesn’t turn off—there’s a book to be plotted, a recital piece that needs to be choreographed, and darn it, I forgot to get cheese while I was at the store. I’ll just make something else for AC’s school Christmas party—her friends won’t realize the difference. Friends. Did I write thank you notes to all the Play Friends for my fabu Christmas presents? Which reminds me, the postal rates go up on Jan 6, so I need to buy some 2 cent stamps. I’ll add that to my To Do list for tomorrow. Oh, crap, that means the SASE I included with that full won’t have enough return postage now. Hmm, we’re past the 90-day response time on that book; I wonder if I should send a follow up letter? But how do I word it without sounding whiney? Dear Editor, I sent my requested book to you… Maybe I should just get busy finishing the book I’m working on now, but I don’t know what my hero does next…
No wonder I drive my DG crazy sometimes.
So I added something else to my To Do list: Learn to meditate. Meditation is supposed to help me relax and recharge by letting that stream-of-consciousness flow by. Ideally, it will help me focus, quiet my mind, and release some stress.
So I tried it. The book I bought told me to set a timer and focus on my breathing for eight minutes—no more, no less. I think I managed to focus for two whole seconds before the “gotta do, gotta go” set back in. For eight minutes, I tried to reign in my rambunctious thoughts each time they disturbed my focus. All in all, I think I managed less than a minute, total. But it was a nice minute. A minute I wanted to do again because I liked the calm—even if I didn’t realize it at the time.
That one minute taught me one thing: Focus makes a difference. It was hard for me to focus on something I take for granted (when was the last time you focused on your breathing?), but I did, and the world didn’t fall apart in the minute I quit worrying about it. Wow.
The next couple of weeks will be crazy for most folks, but don’t forget to focus on what’s really important. The love of your family. The joy of your children. The symbols of your faith (whatever it may be). The support of your friends. The hope and good will this time of year brings out of people. The possibilities to come. Enjoy the smallest of moments, and be there—fully there—for each one.
However or whatever you celebrate, I wish you a calm, peaceful, and joy-filled holiday.