I can't believe it's November. I can't believe how aware I am of how grateful I am for time. As much as I can admit to myself that I am not where I thought I would be, not doing what I had hoped or thought I would be doing in my life...I am okay. Relaxed even. Peaceful, maybe?
Last night I left my parents house and took the 40 minute drive back to our current home thinking how much I loved the winding back roads. I drove in silence with the dogs quietly breathing in the seats behind me. I didn't put the music on. I just drove and enjoyed the moonlight as my guiding light and thought of how much I don't miss the traffic and noise of the roads I used to commute on everyday. Sure, there were a dozen cars or so of incoming traffic that interrupted my moonlit drive but otherwise there was the quietness of the back road as my car drifted left to right, winding and looping in between the trees and beside the river to get home. I didn't feel rushed. I wasn't worried or anxious. I was just grateful, aware and present. Gosh that felt nice.
I tend to live in this above space above where my mind is constantly thinking about time, how I spend it, checking invisible boxes off an invisible list, wondering what I "should" be doing, and if that is "enough." I worry, overthink, project, and get stuck in analysis paralysis often. Although I am not as unkind to myself as I used to be, I still catch myself all the time being unkind and try to let the thoughts go like a balloon into the wind.
These past few months of not working and now working but only part time has disrupted the normal of what time felt like everyday.
Normal time feels drastically different. At first the slow pace made me feel panicked. I was annoyed with people who shared sage advice about enjoying the time and sharing the wisdom of soaking it in. I wanted to scream at them, "But I am not getting enough done!"
But the past few weeks have felt different. There is this relaxing feeling and realization about my present life conditions. The looming changes remind me this open time is special. Those people are right, I wont get it back. It's mine and it's okay.
I am healing from time sickness.
Today's centering thought from my meditation series was, "I restore inner balance when I live in the now." How wonderful is that? Deepak and Oprah's meditations are so great because they help me reflect in such a different way than I am prone to do alone.
Get this: The message of the day is about "time sickness". It goes on to say, "The psychological and physical pressures that we place on ourselves in trying to meet the artificial demands of a modern time schedule has been called "time sickness." We feel there is never enough time in one day to do everything we need to do. Then we feel guilty, frustrated, and anxious for not accomplishing what we hoped to do, taking us further off track. ...To heal this time dysfunction we need to change our experience of time."
Just what I needed to hear and sit in.
So I am going to stay humble in my time today. I am not going to worry about when my other job will start, how I am going to get out of debt, where I will live a year from now. I am not going to judge myself harshly about this pretend image of myself that I created and how I am not living up to her potential. I am not going to worry about things that I don't have, or a status I am not living up to.
I will, however, be thankful for the time to go on a walk with the dogs. I will relish taking my time not being rushed when I take a hot shower and do my "get ready for the day" routine. Because of this schedule, it actually allowed me to make a veterinary appointment for Violet this afternoon so I can care for her and still get to work on time. I will stay in the joy of going to work, even though it is only for a few hours, because I am serving other people that need help- and a few hours are better than no hours. I will get home with enough time in the day to still see my family before they go to sleep. I will give love and receive love. Because there is always enough time for those things when we are present for them.
Brittany Courchesne is an early childhood educator, teacher mentor to teachers in training, public speaker, and blogger.