Life can throw a lot at ya. Take these past few months. We've had everything from losing a great-grandparent to jury duty, from sick kids to power outages. There has been good stuff, too, like parties and beautiful bean harvests, but all of it has made life pretty crazy. We're still standing, but we're a little wobbly.
We haven't lost our house to a wildfire like the beautiful Napa Valley, and we haven't been without electricity for a month like the entire island of Puerto Rico. Putting things into perspective is important. But that doesn't take away the fact that we're tired, we're grumpy, and we're a little emotionally over-spent.
This weekend is wood harvesting time so that we can build up our firewood for future years. Next week my husband leaves town and I have a big Board meeting.
Chaos is the new normal.
But that doesn't have to mean that we get swept away by the chaos and give up our sanity or our well-being. Sensing how I feel at the present, and imagining what I am going to need in order to handle what the future throws at me is part of what it means to lead a mindful life, and I'm working on cultivating that skill.
So today, instead of letting the "busy" take over, I'm interrupting it.
Today, I'm sitting on the couch with a roaring wood stove in an incredibly quiet house. I got the kids to school, my husband is on his way back from Boston, and I'm reminding myself that my job is an 80% commitment (by contract) and I'm holding myself to the few hours I need to put in today to meet that responsibility.
"Excuse me," I'm saying to the "busy", "but you have been dominating
the conversation for a little too long. I'd like to get a word in."
My kids and my husband need that too, so when they get home we'll have a family movie night, like we try to do every Friday, to just sit together and let the week wind down. I'll have a simple dinner ready when they get here, because I have time to make that happen, and maybe I'll even make them a little sweet treat for dessert, because baking makes me feel good.
As kids, we're taught that interrupting is rude; as adults, we're taught that being "busy" is a badge of honor. But I think we should defy those two standards freely when it comes to our emotional health and the chaos of life.
Light the wood stove. Go for a run. Meditate. Do nothing.
Interrupt the "busy" and reclaim your life.
What is your favorite strategy?