I’ve been thinking about re-finding myself (“What? Again?” you say.)
Yes, again. There was the whole re-finding my kinky self, which is doing pretty well these days. Now i need to re-find my work self. And maybe my everything else self too. And recognize that it’s just an ongoing process. I don’t get to do it and then it’s done.
A couple of things have brought that home to me. One is this quote:
“carrying on a conversation at dinner and texting under the table…. Continuous Partial Attention involves an artificial sense of constant crisis, of living in a 24/7, always-on world. It contributes to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and unfulfilled; it compromises our ability to reflect, to make decisions, and to think creatively.”
― Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation
I used to pride myself on multi-tasking. Now I just do it mindlessly. I would like to move away from that and be better able to focus. Because this is also true:
“The simple act of being completely attentive and present to another person is an act of love, and it fosters unshakeable well-being. It is happiness that isn’t bound to a particular situation, happiness that can withstand change.”
~~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness
And being able to do that is an act of service. It’s one I used to practice regularly with Sir, consciously turning my attention to him when he talked to me. I’ve gotten out of that habit.
Partly, i’ve quit doing it because we both work from home. He may pass through my “office” area, taking a break from his own work, while i’m right in the middle of something. He would never interrupt a meeting, but if i’m writing or reading something, he often starts a conversation. I may or may not stop what i’m doing to fully pay attention to what he’s saying. Often, it barely slows me down – i can type, nod, and say mmmmhmmm quite easily.
In the same way, if Sir and i are talking, and i get a text message or email, i may open it and answer while still carrying on the conversation with him. Which is going to be a fairly half-assed conversation at that point.
So one goal is to do that less. To do it less with Sir, and less with my daughter and grandkids too.
The other goal is to plan a few days personal retreat. I found a retreat center within 30 minutes of us that has an affordable cottage I could rent. It’s near the river and has trails to walk and even a prayer labyrinth. Years ago, I used to go away by myself every year for a few days, somewhere similar with nice scenery and simple living quarters. I haven’t done that since I met Sir. So that’s on my agenda for the not-too-distant-future.
I want to use the time to retreat into myself, but also to plan my work for the next 6 months to a year. I want to do a visual representation of what I want – and maybe I can do that before the retreat, and then use the retreat time to build on it. I want to eat simple food and take long walks by myself, down the paths to the river and mindfully through the prayer labyrinth.
Slowly, i am building the life i want.