It’s nearly October. I haven’t done great at keeping up with a daily blogging habit, much less a daily meditation habit this month.
First month back, and I’ve survived. I’ve coped differently to how I’ve done during previous Septembers. It’s felt extremely stressful at times, but never overwhelming. I think I’m feeling good about the whole thing.
I did nothing yesterday evening. Really really nothing. I just about heated up dinner and then retreated to bed to rest and read Internet and watch some stuff and think and relax and play bejewelled on the iPad – you know, all the stuff I’ve been complaining about myself doing.
I don’t feel bad about it. I thought about it (a bit, not in depth) and I chose to do it. I mean, I guess I’d always been choosing to do it in one way or another, but this was a (very slightly) more active choice.
It feels good to own it a little bit more. Yes, even with the attendant guilt about not tidying the house, or working on the many many tasks for school – especially when G. was pushing his tired self around the place: cleaning up sitting room, laundry kids lunches. I offered to do some of those tasks – in the morning. And I would definitely have done them in the morning, but I was in a “pause” and I was choosing not to address stuff that evening.
I could make excuses, I could say that I needed that time. But how do you even measure such a fuzzy thing as “need”? I certainly wanted that time, that nothing space. But I also know that I won’t be looking back from my death-bed glad of having spent however many evenings that way.
I guess all I’m saying is that I made the choice to spend my evening in a pretty unproductive manner. I own that choice. There were other choices that I could have made, and I think that me in full control of my decision-making capabilities would definitely not make that choice every evening. And if urgent things had arisen, I would have dealt with it. I wasn’t “checked out”. I wasn’t using tv or food or alcohol to give myself an excuse to block out the world. It wasn’t a good evening; it wasn’t a “good” choice. It was an altogether neutral evening, neutral choice.
Maybe it was a bit selfish. I could have done stuff around the place that would have benefitted the family. I could have taken some of the pressure off of G. I didn’t do that and I have an awareness of that. I guess that’s why I wouldn’t have an evening like last night every evening.
The weird this is, I feel like I’ve spent many evenings in that comfortable familiar way – doing nothing productive, claiming I’m “tired” and “need to recuperate”. I think there is something to be said for recuperation. When I feel “forced” to do things – whether by others or by my own guilt, the actual outcome is usually that I do less. When I feel I’ve come to it by legitimate choice, then things tend to have more actual productive value.
But yeah, maybe I could make less selfish choices.
I didn’t think about it too hard last night. I already said that. I didn’t check in too deeply or zoom out to a big picture of my life. I didn’t read through the “loops” of what I have to do in the next while. An evening-filling task that I’d set aside post-kid-bedtime for got cancelled and to me, that meant a potentially “free” evening. I considered working. I considered housework. I mostly considered going to sleep early. In the end I did none of those things.
I’m okay with that. I spent a lot of time reading and in my own head. I meditated just before sleep. A really weird meditation actually, using an eyes-open technique that I’m unfamiliar with, but I wanted to give it a go anyway. Towards the end I kept seeing – with my eyes open these red flashes. Balls of light, or sometimes just patches of vision lit up and outlined in electric red. It was weird and it freaked me out a bit. I’m not sure I will try that meditation technique again. But I kind of want to know what was going on. Probably just being tired.
So now, introspective morning, repetitive blog, rainy day and laziness – here’s what I wanted to say: I’ve found it’s possible to think about imperfect actions and not be terminally wracked by guilt. I’m tired this morning (as ever), but also feeling a good chunk refreshed and pleased with life.
Life is falling mostly on the good side of the line these days.