Finding a Path to Mindfulness
The toddler is sleeping over at grandma's house; the baby is asleep in his crib upstairs and the forecast calls for six to twelve inches of snow.
I'll probably end up working from home or taking the morning off. God knows my brain could use a break. By lunchtime I was so frazzled from rushing from one task to the next that I couldn't think straight. I found an empty conference room, queued up a guided meditation on my phone and lay down on the floor to listen.
Normally I try to squeeze in five minutes of meditation at my computer between tasks, or fifteen minutes of mindful breathing during the commute home. When I do, though, I can never bring myself to fully focus. I assumed I was just terrible at meditation in general, horribly out of practice, perhaps too far gone to ever arrive someplace peaceful. But laying down in the conference room, it dawned on me that maybe I just hadn't gotten the setting right. At my desk, my computer blinks and beeps with email notifications, phones ring, and coworkers stop in to say hello. In the car, obviously, I'm focused on driving. But alone on the floor, mindfulness took on new dimension. It felt lovely, restorative and necessary.
As part of my work on the memoir, I've been reading my old journals. I don't know what possesses me to write the things I do. I fill ten pages in a row with regrets over my poor eating habits but fail to mention that I bought a house. Maybe I assumed that the event was so large and notable that it wasn't worthy of documentation. Now, though, I find myself wondering what I'd been thinking, that first day we moved the furniture in, that first night my boyfriend (now husband) and I slept in the bedroom of our new home. And I wonder what details I'll wish I'd captured when I reread these words, ten or twenty years from now. Or if I'll bother to reread them at all. Maybe I'll be so busy writing new books, essays and articles that I won't have any time to reflect on past work. I could do far worse.