Why is it we celebrate the ten's place, the decades, the 20's, the 30's, the 40's, etc., as remarkable? The eras of our lives squished between twenty and thirty, forty and fifty. A ten year span. Our 20th birthday. Turning 30. Hitting 40. Over the Hill at 50. Passing 60. Reaching 70.
What about all the minutes of each hour, hours before lunch, life after noon, dinner with friends, the sunset, the twilight, the pulling back of sheets and fluffing up the pillows. The kiss on the cheek, the book on the nightstand, the car lights in the driveway, the darkened room filled with tossing and turning to settle to sleep.
These minutes, hours, days and weeks sandwiched between the bookends of 20 and 30, 30 and 40, 40 and 50...matter.
This is living. A living daily planner. The pages of your life. They deserve your attention. Don't leapfrog over them on your way to someplace else.
Consideration. Your days deserve consideration. May I suggest a recap of today's news. In the quiet of the mind, resting on a pillow, tucked into bed, take a moment to review your day. A cool drink of water from the glass beside your bed.
What you ate for breakfast. The soap in your eyes in the shower. The pants, the sweater, the shoes you chose. The time on the microwave as you closed the door on your way out. The bike, the bus, the car ride down the dirt road, the gravel, the highway. The traffic. The people you passed along the way. The music on the radio. A day you sang along or a day of deadlines straight ahead.
The smell of the coffee in your cup. Did you sit and savor or grab it on the run? The first class or meeting or customer or face that you greeted with a smile or a grimace. Are your hands swinging at your sides, or clenched tight into fists buried in your pockets? The growl of your stomach mid-morning. The crick in your neck or the ache in your back. Shifting in your seat or shuffling your feet, rolling up your sleeves, tugging at the hem of your dress. Glad to be exactly where you are or wishing you could be anywhere else?
Your sack lunch or drive thru take out or skipping lunch entirely. Your phone messages, your sent mail, your In Box and Outgoing. A sense of accomplishment crossing out an item at the top of your list or adding one more at the bottom. The satisfaction of a job well done or frustration that nothing ever gets done.
There is a mindfulness practice for this. I tried it.
As you walk through the day, consciously describe out loud, exactly what you are doing. As in, I am sitting on a stool in the kitchen peeling a navel orange into eight sections, picking off the pulp and throwing it away. I am biting into the fruit and the juice is running down my chin. I rub my cheek with the back of my hand.
About two seconds after I wiped the juice off my face, and rinsed my sticky hands in the kitchen sink, I rather crabbily stated out loud that...
AT THIS RATE I WILL NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE!!!!
So I tried one more time at mind-full-ness.
I did an exercise to build memory cells in the brain. To exercise the brain cells that remain, and to possibly engage the old creaky cells into greater flexibility. Mental aerobics. Cerebrum sit-ups. For this exercise, you must name everything you see as you walk through your day. For example, table, chair, lamp, painting, garbage can, dish and plate and spoon.
Let's just say that the dish ran away with the spoon...while I struggled with a serious case of brain freeze. Try it. All those everyday items lack labels when you must say them in rapid fire succession in an instant. You know that lovely little rotating rainbow pinwheel that spins on your computer screen?
That was me. Spinning out if control. Not only mindful but full of mind.
So mindful of the couch and the light switch that I walked into the...the...oh yes...the wall.
As I age, I can recall the tiniest details of my past, but the present occasionally escapes me. And as I age, I am more miserly with my time, and i DO like to rest with it.
I was sincere, back there at the beginning. There is comfort, in taking the time, at the end of the day, in a quieted mind, to recall where I go, who I meet, what I do and don't, what I am sorry for and that for which I am blessed.
I am blessed to empty my mind, at the end of another day, and to fill up my heart with that simple gift of...
Just one more.
The dish is right there next to the spoon in the drawer...
by the..by the...
...or you can just keep your utensils nailed down in a safe place...
...and leave your mind free to wander...