Tuesday, October 03, 2006

being present

I wake up and stretch, my body tight from lying in bed for hours, barely moving. I smile remembering where I am. For more than six months now I have been living in a new place, in a new relationship, yet it still catches me by surprise every now and then. But much of my life has become familiar again. Little patterns have emerged where there were none, and I realize that this is the cycle that we constantly repeat. And though we humans like to set ourselves above the rest of the creatures that share the earth, we are much like them, preferring the familiar to the strange or unusual. Unconsciously, no matter how much we try to keep things exciting, they slip into regular patterns. Like breathing, creating these routines is something we cannot not do.

And I am present this morning, noticing my patterns of life, and thinking about what I might change - not just to keep life exciting, but to make the most of my time and energy.

Not much of a morning person, despite the fact that I still get up with the sun, I find that the early hours are spent wandering about my life and accomplishing nothing. I can hardly get moving without coffee, and even then, my heart doesn't really start to beat until a few aimless hours have passed. I make mental lists of things to do, but can't do these things until later. I make myself get to work, then take a break at noon to get something to eat. Around 2 I feel energized, ready to accomplish something. This is my most productive time, though I'm not sure if it's guilt that motivates me, or whether this is what my body and mind choose.

And these patterns annoy me. Sometimes on a whim, I change things up a bit. This can be disastrous - for I rely on patterns to make sure everything gets done, and done properly. On days when I don't follow the routine, the coffee maker doesn't switch on when it should, the clothes don't make it into the dryer, the cats don't get fed, or the bed doesn't get made. Since I am present this morning, I ask myself...what if things don't get done? Is it a disaster? In most cases, the answer is no. Life continues, I breathe, and through the chaos, new ideas emerge, creative thoughts are born, and little things surprise me. And the big things...they take care of themselves somehow. The bills do get paid, the lights work, the animals play.

In the meantime, we live, we notice the beauty of the earth - a new rose on the rose bush, cardinals in the grass picking up seed, the way the sun comes through the window and rests on the tabletop. And this is a productive use of time and a source of joy - the reason we live.

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