Who knows? We put so much energy and attention focused on the future: planning, striving, endless to-do’s and tasks that we lose the entire weekend. My word this year is “Linger.” And even I need a reminder. I get future-tripped up in the anticipation of an upcoming retreat, a potential job opportunity, or perfecting my dream vision that my energy gets sapped from the here and now. How can I linger over this cup of coffee when I’m all prepared for an event that might not happen at all?
There is no refund or credit on that time and energy spent and now it all comes down to the wire. Will I get it or not? And how can I prevent my energy from being wasted again in the future? Do I need a grounding mantra that will gently nudge myself before I get full-on lost in thought, planning, fuming, etc. on whatever it is?
And this happens when I get stuck on past events too. I replay and rehash them. I imagine scenarios with a different outcome and my correct and witty response. I make excuses to myself to relieve the miserableness, horror or embarrassment of it all.
Is it just me?
I paused before eating the donut. I took a breath and realized that I have a green smoothie in the fridge. Maybe I’ll enjoy the donut tomorrow. It’s rainy. It’s cold and I’m eating cold food. I was fighting off a virus on Easter and my appetite is still not back to normal. I’m grazing and not consuming my usual portion size. Today I drank my first small cup of half-calf coffee. I still want to limit my intake. I’m so tired of the energy crashes. Maybe without caffeine, I’ll have steady, normal energy again. Wouldn’t that be blissful? Like when I was a child again.
Lately I’ve been suffering tennis elbow. I decided that I’m going to be as hands-free as possible with my belongings. Constantly having my hands full can become a way of life: Carrying our burdens all the time. Carrying our obligations and “the weight of the world.” That it’s our burden alone to carry.
Well, I’m not down with that anymore. This momma is getting a cross-over purse. She’s going to limit what she carries:
I will only hold one beverage at a time or I’ll find a suitable place to carry it for me. The old me normally held a glass water bottle, had a coffee travel mug tucked in the crook of my arm with the weight of my purse handle pressing into my inner elbow. All the weight was on my right side leaving my left hand free to open the door or to navigate. My husband has called me a “bag lady” on more than one occasion. I brushed it off as an annoying comment. I didn’t realize how ridiculous I looked until I caught a glimpse of myself. It reflected how much I always seem to carry: work bags, tote bags, a child, grocery bags, laundry, food, etc.
This bout with tennis elbow has been painful. But as the astute learner, I’m listening to its message. “You do enough. You don’t have to pile anything else onto your plate. It is safe to let it go for now.”
And pausing is the best first response. That microsecond gives me a moment to reflect, to think, to not go off on to autopilot and reach for the donut.
Even though it’s a cold, gray day, I feel energized. Maybe it’s because I kicked this cold to the curb and I’m feeling like my old self again. Perhaps a lighter version of myself and I’m seeing with renewed eyes.