I managed to wind myself into an irritated and negative headspace last night. The day was long, I accomplished far less than I’d intended, I was feeling unreasonably cranky about the “Self Care” session we’d spent 2.5 hours sitting through as I felt it was mainly a vehicle for the clinical psychologist in question to enjoy the sound of her own voice – a pretty amusing and informative voice to begin with, but it began to drag as we climbed close to the 2 hours-of-sitting mark. It didn’t help that she’d effectively promised we’d be getting out a half-hour early, and when that didn’t happen, I felt resentful. I think I was also expecting more practical examples of care rather than “commit to having more energy this year”. I mean, sure! But where will it come from? How will I do that? How do you stop the sucking swamp of the teaching profession from over-taking everything else in your life.
Then that 2.5 draining hours, during which I wasn’t attacking the list of things I need to get done by, well, today, meant I was exhausted yet facing into a few more hours of work at home – despite the fact that the whole session was meant to emphasis self-care, I found that its very length meant it had the opposite effect.
So now I’ve vented and assigned blame in the appropriate location, right?
It’s about me, and what I decide to take from things and how I decide to be in the world really. The session was fine, the session was what these things always are – and there are things to glean from it, even if I’m feeling a bit like “I already know this”. Even if the thing I’m learning is “Wow! Judgey much? How about check your own lacks before digging around for them in someone else’s work.”
I’m not quite there yet though. I guess I’m somewhere in between the two states. Well, no matter how I should feel, I can objectively say that choosing to see the benefits and the good side of things that I go through will make me feel better than living in the shadow of negativity. So, y’know, choose life and all of that.
I did re-swim in the waters of Einstein’s supposed phrase about “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. I would like to claim that I’m committed to improvement but every week I say “This week I’ll meditate more.” “I’m getting ready to bring that into my life” “I’m warming up”, etc. And then I just don’t do it, and another week and another and another passes by and I haven’t followed through on my intention to make mindfulness practice more of a priority in my life.
Because I haven’t really intended to.
And things won’t change without it. No, seriously, I honestly believe that. I can only get so far without investing in more awareness.
I can give myself credit for being that bit more present in my daily life, for taking the opportunity to “check-in” with myself for brief moments. But all that’s giving me is a glimpse, it still allows me to slip away from anything challenging without really gaining true insight or awareness.
Coz I’m comfortable here. I don’t dare disturb the universe. I have a picture in mind that – given some time this week – I’m definitely going to sketch out. Because it’s important. It’s just not urgent.
I was reminded of the Eisenhower Matrix again yesterday. When I first read about it a couple of years back, it really resonated, but now I’m starting to think it’s even more important than I had even thought. My friend gave me a different – I think “more accurate” word for “important” when we were discussing it yesterday, but it’s slid out of my mind this morning. I want to get it back, because “important” is actually a bit misleading. Like, there are loads of things in the world that are important, and even though I’d agree they’re important – like people dying or starving, or climate change, or political policies on affirmative action – they’re not important to me.
Okay – that sounds way more selfish than I even mean. They’re a little bit important to me, but what I mean to say is that if I were to – without external prompts – imagine myself at the end of my life and making a list of the important things I had accomplished or ways I’d made a difference, they would likely not be on it, or they’d be towards the end. In fact, the things on my list would likely be “not important in the grand scheme of things”. In the larger picture, the flourishing my specific offspring is not important. But it’s close to maximal importance to me.
So, I think maybe I should make that list, and that would really help me when considering how I prioritise my time. Right now it’s pretty urgent and important that I get myself out of the house for work.