Meditation- It’s Just Not My Thing Either

I’d like to start by saying that I believe you all when you tell me that mediation is a worthy pursuit and something I should not reject out of hand. Similar to yoga, which is also just not my thing, I believe you, I’m just not interested enough in the idea to put forth the amount of work that would be required to truly meditate. But I have been convinced enough in its merits that I have been listening to guided meditation once a day.

You see, since my concussion, I have required at least one nap a day. Some afternoons I still crash onto a flat surface and pass out because my brain is too tired to do anything else. But, thankfully, more and more often I lay down and think of all the things I should get up and go do. Which is great because it means I’m not totally wiped out. However not sleeping still leaves me a headache-y, emotionally raging mess for the rest of the day – nobody around here wants me to skip a nap. At the same time numerous people (I swear you don’t need too as well, I got the message) have told me about the benefits of meditation and because I’ve changed many aspects of my life style to become much healthier (so many veggies, almost no caffeine or alcohol, so much more sleep…) in effort to help heal this broken brain of mine, I thought that perhaps I would try it.

I was already quite certain that listening to something to fall asleep would help quiet my head enough to sleep because I’ve been falling asleep to Anne of Green Gables and the like for months. Now I’m to the point where I’ve just about run out of everything my favorite LibraVox reader has available (Its Karen Savage, she will spoil you for all other readers, you are welcome). So it seemed like it was time to try it. No problem. I would just change what I listened to for my afternoon nap.

As it turns out I was right. I don’t like meditating.

Unsurprisingly, for my husband anyway, I get super argumentative when I don’t like something. And yes, I am happy to argue with a recorded voice.

Voice: “…the full moon is shining down on you and there are thousands of stars in the sky…”

Me: “You can’t see thousands of stars when the moon is full. It’s too bright.”

Voice: ” It’s raining and everyone is happy and sleeping in the rain, …. the chickens are happy and sleeping…”

Me: ” Have you never met a chicken? Chickens hate rain!”

Voice: “There isn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun beats down on your head as you let your worries go.”

Me: ” I’m too hot.”

However, despite all my arguing with the serene voices, they have always distracted me enough to allow me to take my needed nap, often complete with dreams…

Actual nap time dream:

I’m standing at the end of a huge tunnel with a group of people – obviously some sort of resistance fighters from the way they are dressed. A soft voice echos down the tunnel, “let go of your stress… relax… take another deep breath and let it all go…”

“Don’t listen! They are trying to lull you into complacency!” screams the resistance fighter next to me. “Get ready! This is when they come for us!”

Meditation… It’s just not my thing either.

Officially Done

Many notable things happened today ranging from new poultry arrivals to capoeira demos but they all pale in comparison to this little piece of floor.

If I may direct your attention back in time approximately six years and six months ago you will find a blog post titled Please Hold. In that post you will read amongst other things that we were living in “cardboard box hell” after moving to our new house.

A number of those boxes landed in the corner by the bookshelf and spent the last 6 years alternating between functioning as a perch for cats and the most inconvenient end table ever to throw a book/hat/flashlight/blanket on as you went by. The problem being that not only did this always annoy the cats but it ensured that it would take twice as long as normal to find the object. This is because a stack of cardboard boxes that should really be unpacked actually becomes invisible after a certain amount of time. So that once an item is set on top of it, it also disappears and your only hope is to rely on a grumpy cat to alert you to the item’s presence.

But no more! Thanks to the Herculean efforts of John (it’s super hard to move invisible objects) they have been unpacked and put appropriately away.

That’s right. It’s official. We are all moved in!

Reading Concerns

Clara has always struggled with reading.

She dropped behind her classmates early on. It wasn’t surprising given her complete and total lack of interest in the entire “learn to read” plan . Given a list of words to practice such as “the”, “two” and “go” she would respond to flashcards of the same with answers like, “turtle”, “grapes” and “birthday cake”. And with that less than auspicious start, she was off on the road to reading.

Over the years she has, of course, greatly improved but in a house full of readers, she is a listener. Happy to listen to audio books for hours and beg for chapter after chapter of whatever our current nightly read is.

This has been troubling as a mother (not to mention as a reader and an author) but Clara has always been disinclined to acquiesce to anyone’s plan just because someone thinks she should. When I worry, I remember how much she likes books and stories and figure that eventually Clara will decide that reading is important to her but it’s not going to happen until she darn well feels like it.

Two nights ago I gave her yet another pile of books that I thought she might be interested in and now I have a new worry.

Will the girl ever get enough sleep again?

Clara has gone to bed hours past bedtime since she picked up Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. Of course as a life long “just one more chapter before bed, oops it’s 2am” sort of girl I’m not about to throw stones. But as her mother I am a bit concerned. Not only is she not sleeping but what book do I give her next?

Book suggestions welcome!

Scary

Have you ever done a thing that scared you but you did it anyway and, even though it went well, immediately afterwards it was still so terrifying to think about that you couldn’t even talk about without sweating and almost bursting into tears?

I did a thing last weekend and I’m still not sure I want to talk about it.

It was fun (on the way up).

It was terrifying (on the way down).

I did it lots of times.

I liked the challenge.

I hated the way back down.

I tried really hard not to think about the scary part while I was doing it.

And if I continue not to think about it maybe I’ll do it again someday.

 

Thanks to Uncle Jim for another great weekend adventure and for taking pictures too!

 

Teenager

Last week Ivy sat at the dinner table with an attitude of, shall we say… discontent. John ever the problem solver asked, “Ivy, what brings you joy? What do you like?”

Ivy replied…

(Now mind you, Ivy has recently discover that she can read my blog. This is a new fact of life that I have seriously mixed feelings about but I can assure you, knowing that my lovely eldest daughter will read this sooner rather than later, I speak the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.)

… “eating…. And sleeping.”

John and I burst into laughter at this totally stereotypical teenage reply, which was of course totally unwarranted because she was only twelve at the time.

But today she is thirteen.

We now have a teenager in our midst. She likes eating, sleeping and even, when to pressed to answer by the laughter of her parents, reading and drawing.

She’s pretty alright, we think we’ll keep her.

Happy Birthday Ivy!

 

 

Zen I Am Not

The world is full of people and articles and memes and cute rugs and inspirational posters and sassy bumper stickers that all tell us that we should live in the moment. They proclaim that we should focus on what we are doing and not dwell on the past or dream of the future so that we can enjoy the present fully. I’m here to be argumentative and contradictory and say that’s an absolute horseshit way to live your life.9c0dcd10f1c79da228208860590c6c75

I feel that I have some authority to say that because, despite my best efforts not to follow this advice, my concussion and resulting long recovery has forced me to “live in the moment.” All. The. Time.  Sadly this is not because I’m cherishing the fact that I am still alive or that I’m savoring every moment of my children’s bickering because one day they will be grown and the house will be quiet and I will miss them. No, instead it’s that for many months it has been extremely hard for me to think of anything beyond what I am doing.

Being forced to live in the moment is hard.

If you live fully in the moment you must set time aside to think about the future. As in, stop and think what will be for dinner and how it’s going to be made because you are not capable of thinking of what is for dinner while you change the laundry.  There are many moments that I have been happy to be fully present for. Laundry, however, should be for multi-tasking, wool gathering, dreaming, scheming and planning dinner.  In fact as opposed to living in the present, I want to be more like Anne of Green Gables who dived into beautiful moments with her whole heart and dreamed away all the mundane ones.

“I don’t like picking fowls.” She told Marilla, “but isn’t it fortunate we don’t have to put our souls into what our hands may be doing? I’ve been picking chickens with my hands but in my imagination I’ve been roaming the Milky Way.”

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I continue to recover but as I do I still find multi-tasking extraordinarily challenging.  And yes, many would say that’s a good thing. But please people, I am a mother, I run best on a steady diet of caffeine and multitasking. Now I have minimal amounts of both and I’m making do, but this is not how the world was meant to be. Above and beyond the daily challenges this “living in the moment” brings, I find it terribly hard to write.

B.C. (before cow) an idea would float by while I was walking the dogs. I would let it roll in the back of my mind while I fed the chickens. The idea might percolate back to the surface while making lunch and start arranging itself into paragraphs while I drove to pick up the kids. By the time I found myself in front of the computer, sentences, already lined up in my head from a day of dreaming and multitasking, would flow from my finger tips.

No longer.

I’m living in the moment and that’s a horseshit place to be when you are a dreamer at heart.

Luckily my dreams have been swimming tantalizingly close these days. Stories form in my head only to skitter away when the kids ask a question. Blog posts try to write themselves in the half awake moments of the night. Snippets of phrases pass through and fade away. Trying to catch the idea is like finding a dragon in the clouds only to watch it change and blow away. But I can see the dragon again and that’s a very good sign.