I had the best intentions at the beginning of the year. I scheduled half days in my calendar to write. I went for 20 minute walks every day. I downloaded the Headspace app and dedicated ten minutes each morning to meditate. I was calm. I could think. And then real life interfered.
My husband received a call early one morning that his dad had unexpectedly died. I flew to Vancouver for a job interview. We took our family dog Sam into the vet to get him euthanized. My husband was named executor in his dad’s will. I got the job in Vancouver. Aaron was booked for surgery. We are caught up in a strange tornado of grief and excitement and terror and anticipation.
Fast forward: we got our house ready to list. It is listed. I keep it in show home condition and we vacate the house for showings every evening. We started saying good-bye. I am wrapping up work projects and scheduling overdue dentist appointments. We are researching schools in Vancouver. We are praying that the rental gods shine down on us and we can find somewhere to live.
My leisurely world had suddenly turned upside down. I started lurching from one activity to another. I lost my ability to think. I had no time to reflect. Any ideas I had for writing evaporated. There are way too many tasks to tick off. I don’t like it one bit. My focus has shifted to doing, not being.
I hate the busy thing. It is a trap, but now I recognize that situationally, life can suck you into the busy vortex. (Of note: some of this busy I brought on myself. And some of it is good busy too). I often talk about reflective practice in my presentations to health professionals. The only thing I’ve learned over these past three weeks is that you absolutely can’t be creative, reflect, or relax when you are over-scheduled. There is nothing you can do but swim like mad, and then fall into bed every night and start a new day afresh. My epiphany is that’s the reality for many professionals that work with our kids.
This morning I had a speaking engagement at the university. I left a bit early and parked far away so I could hike across the campus and get an a little walk in before my talk. This afternoon I had 15 minutes to myself. I turned on my little mediation app and listened to a ten minute session. I was distracted and fidgety. But at least I did it.
I’ll be back. I now feel more empathy for those stuck in the busy life, and I’m going to do my best to claw my way back out. Andy, my mediation guy, has informed me that there is always blue sky beyond the storm clouds. I’ll find my slow life again, but the next time I’ll see it, it will be many weeks from now, in Vancouver, the land of mountains, ocean and infinite beauty.