At the beginning of each week, I consider the tasks that would be most important for me to fulfill: shall I paint, shall I write, shall I work on my inventory, shall I clean, shall I just sit here? One or two things always stand out as a high priority to accomplish.
The weather has kept things interesting lately. So, I make my decisions about where to focus, I take care of anything pressing…ready to dive in…and I forgot the kids have off for President’s Day! No problem. We go see a movie…and get ready for Tuesday. Gaining momentum, I finished a beautiful pair of earrings…and the kids are sent home early from school. Wednesday…2-hour delay…OK, just laugh so you don’t cry…school is cancelled. Kids are home, no problem. Feed them, help them with their school work, get them to bed. I stay up late to get ready to jump in the next day. A 50-degree warm up causes melting and ice…2-hour delay. No problem, I’ll still have the afternoon to do my work. The two-week average of school days: 2.5.
OK, now I am meditating and focused, I know what I need to do. Monday, I take care of loose ends so that Tuesday I am totally free to commit to my artwork. Monday evening…uh-oh…my son’s cough sounds a bit worse, where’s the thermometer? 100.5…and climbing. OK, no problem…I stay up until 3:00 am and it feels glorious to have a little time to dive deeply into something I am working on. I didn’t want to go to bed at all…I felt so free. 6:00 am rolls around, My son still has a fever…he needs to stay home. He is wondering why I am not spending more time with him today…though I’m nearly hysterical because of the lack of sleep and feeling like an animal in a month-long deprivation study.
This is when I really started to see the humor in it all. Albert Einstein is said to have exclaimed: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. Am I insane...or am I just forgetting to find freedom in the moment?
Perhaps what seems important on paper (the dreaded “to do” list) adds little or no value to improving our sense of satisfaction in life. What’s the point if we can’t find freedom, happiness, and joy in our day? How much life did I miss worrying about all the things I wasn’t able to accomplish? I missed time being present and connected with my husband and family. I missed the peace and surrender I could have felt in the flow of life. I missed the creative sparks that fly in an unexpected moment. I forgot to consider and be grateful for all the things I have accomplished: a beautiful family, a fulfilling career, connections with some dear friends, and touching more than a few lives on this journey.
These lessons come repeatedly to teach us “to do” things differently. I realized through these weeks that I never really learned how to take care of myself and another person at the same time…it has always been one or the other. This is an error. We are not meant to squeeze ourselves into the spare minutes of the day (or wee hours of the night). Freedom is the cornerstone of a loving relationship…with ourselves and with others, and it is nestled into every moment.
Hot cocoa, anyone?