This morning I did not yoga. The pup and I did a quickish jaunt about the block after I washed the dishes, set them to dry and tossed a pork loin into the crock pot. In the middle of all of it I spilled something, lost something (how in this tiny apartment?) and reached out to a few folks while the coffee brewed. In that moment when gravity took the spill to splatter, I realized something was missing.
No surge of anxiety. Fear. Shame.
All I felt was, “Hmmm. That coffee needs to brew strong today.”
To you, experiencing anxiety, fear and shame when something spills in the kitchen may seem excessive. It is. But it is also learned. Today’s mess moment revealed something kind I have been experiencing in this isolating with the giant dog: I am in less of a rush. No need to hurry about things at home. I have time.
I don’t feel that way so much about work, but I understand the remarkable privilege of having work to do in this time. Of isolation. And uncertainty.
I’m sitting here on my porch facing the smoke-hazy rising sun and soaking in the hint that all of our rushing leads to what? More rushing? Bigger bonuses? More applause? And then what?
More stress, maybe? Less time to live the one life we’ve been given, perhaps?
I don’t chill out in front of the telly. Netflix and chill is more meme to me than experience. I’ve done it and for me, it really is best done in good company.
Usually, I love to read, meet with friends, get outside alone or in a merry scrum, wander book shops, drink the coffee, do the yoga and connect with people in public places … while touching my face it seems.
I’ve always believed that this makes me pretty chill (I can hear you laughing.)
What I am realizing, is that I have always been in a hurry. Even when dorking around on the Scrabble app on my phone. There is a sense of fight or flight in me that I have believed was part of me. But this isolation makes me think it is not.
It is part of the armor I’ve worn to be safe and unseen. And not that one morning or one season of slowing down will tell a better tale for the rest of my life, but I am paying attention. What else do I have to do?
No distractions outside of my own speedy Gonzales thoughts and tenderized heart.
Just time, work stuff and more time. And the pup.
Last night, I forced myself to ignore how many steps I had walked in an effort to enjoy the time out-of-doors on a remote-ish trail. It didn’t make the walking any easier or more fun, but it is good training for being present where I am rather than present in some expectation of purposed outcome. There is a downside to always seeking purpose.
What’s the over-moseying thought in this? Unless we are health care workers or front line people working to save lives, support our families or stay alive ourselves, most of us are faced with more discretionary time than we’ve had in a while.
There is wisdom – that I have yet to fully embrace – in dialing down our velocity and expectations of what we need to do and be at this time and see what bubbles up. What dreams revisit us? Skiing, hiking and holding hands for me. Where do our thoughts go? What does our heart leap or lurch over?
Perhaps this reflection is available because my kids have launched and we are not homeschooling. Perhaps this is a serendipitous time of enforced stillness after a long haul of hard work. Perhaps it is a gift.
Anyhoo, I believe it is a Wonderful World where many terrible and beautiful things coexist. I want to be changed. I hope we are changed for the better (cue the Wicked soundtrack).
I hope you and your good heart have what you need.
It is lonely. It was lonely before.
We have an opportunity to cultivate something sweeter for our lives and the people we love and those we tolerate … including the people in the mirror.