Earlier this morning, I was on the treadmill, listening to a song by Alabama. Aside from jogging (OK…walking briskly), I kept glancing down at my watch. Although I know that exercise is important…after all, it’s on my to-do list today…with each step I worried that I wouldn’t have time to accomplish all that I needed to. Now check out the lyrics of the song I was listening to.
I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.
Ironic, huh? Great lyrics, but this song never meant anything to me except that it has a good beat (and is “easy to dance to” for you who are old enough to remember American Bandstand )
Now, I’m certainly not one of those “important” people who rush all day and have no time for fun. I love hanging out with friends and family. Want to have lunch? Great! Coffee? I’ll be there! And grandchildren? They trump pretty much anything. I do have my priorities straight. Family and friends first. They’re the ones that make me smile.
But I’m talking about something different. I’m talking about the ability to just be. I’m not great at that. If I’m not doing anything, I’m thinking about what I should be doing or planning what I will do next. Or worrying about what I did already. I’m a great worrier! But aside from that, I’m a list maker. I LOVE checking things off. In fact, there have been times that I’ve done something that wasn’t on my list, and I went back and put it on my list just so I could check it off! Can anyone relate? I know I’m not alone in this.
After the gym today, I came home to write, revise, and repeat in my effort to get a picture book manuscript exactly where I want it. I was also planning my blog post, and this isn’t it. But the strangest thing happened. This sounds hokey and a little too much like “stop and smell the roses,” but I saw a bird building a nest. I just sat and watched. Now, I’ll get to that picture book, but at that point, I didn’t think about it. I didn’t think about writing a book about that bird, I didn’t have a need to find out what type of bird it was, and I didn’t worry that I had a critique of a story about birds waiting for me. I really wasn’t thinking or worrying about anything. I just was. Now admittedly, I was watching with fascination and not sitting there doing nothing. Maybe that will come later. Maybe someday I will have the ability to meditate. I really do hope to learn. And maybe, if I’m really lucky, I will do it without putting it on my to-do list.
What about you, dear readers? Can you just breathe?