Celebrate Doing Less and Connecting More

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Sunday, May 21st was World Meditation Day. I had planned to attend Michael O’Brien’s live class on his Pause Breathe Reflect app. I was looking forward to the meditation. There is something magical about meditating live with others and Michael has created an incredible space and community. The collective energy is indescribable. It is fuel for my soul. I was lazily enjoying a calm Sunday with Emily, the pups, and Todd, when I looked down at my watch. It was 10:08 am. Damn it! I missed the meditation. (I know. This is FANTASTIC self-talk before a meditation. Insert sigh.)

As I grab my phone to log into the application, I am still cursing myself in my head. This is ridiculous! I know, but yet my brain is very judgey at times. I log in and choose not to be on camera since we are all still in our pajamas. Just as the screen pops up, Michael welcomes me by name, and I realize I am not late. The app was experiencing technical difficulties, and I was right on time. God had my back. Everything is in His perfect timing, right? It was an incredible 20 minutes of meditation, silence, and conversation that I got to experience with my family.

I was calm and collected after the meditation–for about 5 minutes. Then my thought bubbles started coming at me in rapid succession. Why are you still in your pajamas? You have so much that you need to do. You haven’t even thought about writing your weekly blog. What is wrong with you? You are behind. You need to quit wasting time. You have to switch the laundry, and Emily’s medications aren’t ready for the week. What about a dentist appointment for her? You still haven’t found someone and got a date for that? What can I do about that on a Sunday anyway? Are you posting anything on your socials today? You should be posting more. You have been very disengaged online lately.

You get the picture. I was judging every action or inaction. While everything I was thinking was true, what else was true? Those thoughts only shared part of the story. We often only focus on what we haven’t accomplished or haven’t done and not on what we are doing.

The rest of the picture was that life has been challenging the last few weeks. We have had visits to the emergency room, family emergencies, illness, plumbing issues, work issues, and insurance issues. I have been in full putting-out-fire mode for weeks. Todd and I have not connected much in the past month, and I felt distant from him. He has fully recovered from strep throat, and spending a Sunday in my pajamas, resting, and connecting with my family is productive! It is all that was important. The meditation was a bonus. If I had missed it, then it wasn’t meant to be. 

We get caught up in thinking we must always be doing, even when we know our bodies require downtime. Relaxation and refueling are critical, and connecting with those closest to me will always be a good use of my time. My weekend was fantastic. I got to spend quality time with Todd. We spent time laughing and watching dumb shows. We made plans for later in the month. We discussed plans for our home and our yard. The must-be-done list happened, and the rest did not. 

I find myself comparing my productivity to others. I want to accomplish more than the boundaries of my life will allow. I keep comparing myself to what my friends and family accomplish each day. This isn’t a competition, and this does not serve me well.

I downplay how much I accomplish daily. I discount the value of caring for Emily. Isn’t providing her impeccable care the most important job I have? I work hard every day! When I get the opportunity to stay in my pajamas, drink coffee, and enjoy doing nothing with my family, I want to honor and celebrate the heck out of that. When I am gone, I want to be remembered as someone who brought joy and love to others. I cared for my friends and family. I gave them memories they hold onto after I am gone. Maybe one of those memories will be sitting in our pajamas, drinking coffee, and meditating together. Not a bad memory to have in the banks.

Published by bshort1968

I am a self-described caregiver. I love to help and care for others. I have learned the value of caring for myself as well. Now I want to live my life helping others learn to care for others and take care of themselves as well.

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