Friday, March 16, 2007

Doing And Being

I had to go home yesterday on my lunch hour. It is always a dangerous thing to return home in the middle of the work day. The neighborhood was silent. Parents were working and children were at school. My own home was dark and absent of its occupants. When I entered, my couch tempted me with its siren song, beckoning me to take a nap. I so wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon home alone. I resisted the urge and only stayed home long enough to grab Chloe's car seat and eat a bowl of cereal. Soon enough I was back at work and into my tasks. The temporary respite in the silence and solitude of my home fueled me for the rest of the afternoon. I spent most of the afternoon quietly at my desk listening to classical music and working. I like Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, and the Beatles. All music is good and one of life's great joys.

When I started typing these thoughts I thought today was Thursday. The realization that it is already Friday was shocking and joyful. This week has flown by. Life seems to go by so fast. It's a challenge to slow it down. I can't usually control the demands on me at work but I have some control over the demands made on me outside of the workplace. In the last couple of years I have stopped doing some things and have begun saying no more often. I resist the urge to even do good things. One could spend every available hour of their lives volunteering for something. Volunteer work is a good thing but there is a time for doing and a time for being. I am trying to simplify my life as well as slow it down. Both are difficult. I thought when my children were grown that my parental obligations would significantly decrease. I'm not sure they have plus now I have added the grandparent obligations. I don't really mind but my middle years seem just as busy as my early years. Still, I am grateful for the ability to recognize and seize the quiet moments such as the short time I had at home yesterday. If we open our eyes we will see these moments in our life. If we practice mindfulness and being present to the moment, the movement from moment to moment will not seem so blurry and jarring. If you want to slow down life, get lost in its moments.

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