Thursday, November 19, 2009

the busy

Another busy week. It's funny how "busy" is both a cross to bear and a badge of honor. We are busy women, therefore we have a right to be here. I am busy, hear me roar! I am so busy, busy busy busy. I am needed by all these projects, therefore I am needed, therefore I am worthy.

I'm not suggesting that we're making all this busy-ness up. I know that especially for those with kids, it's how life is and you just swim with the current and struggle to keep up with it all. I know for those of us without kids, it can still get pretty damn busy. Some of us are students, thrashing around with our theses, trying to pin them to the ground. Some of us have jobs that keep us challenged and running from one project to the next. Some of us, on top of our jobs or maybe until the next job comes, have other projects taking up our time.

I was sick last week. I got a cold - and I nipped it in its bud. I kept it at a low level by lying low, resting and drinking herb teas. Now I'm back to work. My throat is still tender and I still cough at the itch every few minutes. Part of the reason why I went back to work was that I was needed - but part of the reason was that I needed it. I didn't like being at home, half-able to do stuff and half not. My house is beautiful and my bed and couch are comfy - but - I like who I am when I'm dressed in "office casual" and at the library, doing one of my two jobs.

Waves come onto the shore in cycles. I learned this last summer when I visited friends who live literally right on the beach, their house a scanty twenty feet from the Atlantic Ocean. You have to know waves to surf them, and you have to know waves to be safe from them when the ocean is stormy. Apparently waves come in sets of six or so. Six little ones. Then six bigger ones. Then six little ones. Then six even bigger ones. And back and forth, going to really big and then back to really little. So if you see five little waves and you think, "Oh, this is safe, I can stand really close to these waves," be careful because the next set is apt to be a big one.

The reason for this rambling about waves is I've been thinking about lessons. How we learn lessons. We tend to think that we learn the same damn lessons over and over and over. But maybe each little lesson that we learn - each time - is just a wave in a bigger cycle. A little wave making up a bigger set, a longer pattern.

When I was sick last week, I learned (yet again) about slowing down. I learned, yet again, that you CAN slow down. That when you do stop something, when you do say "No, I can't work today," and stay home, the world keeps spinning on its axis. The sun still moves through the sky. People elsewhere still go about their own daily lives. Lots of nonsense and some good stuff still gets published on the Internet (whether you're there to read it or not). You breathe. In and out. You keep breathing. You rest.

Going back into it, into my schedule, into my "life" (as though my scheduled events are all that keep me together, are all that make ME), I'm trying to remember to breathe and take it all with a relaxed attitude. Yes, I could take the crammed book deposit box with all the books to be discharged as a stressful thing, along with the people who come in and need my attention, et cetera. Or, I could do the book discharging in as relaxed a way as possible, remembering to breathe, remembering to sit up straight, remembering to take a second here and there and zone out entirely. Because if I can't do the perfectly normal tasks of my job and my life in a relaxed way? I don't want to be doing them.

I learned, yet again, that it's not worth it to me to live in a rushed way. But what I realized a second after that is what's harder to put into practice. That: it is up to ME to then slow things down. To take those seconds to stare off into space, and not punish myself for it. To literally put brakes on myself - and apply them. Meaning - when I'm rushing from one thing to the next, I have to notice it, then pull at myself as you would at a wayward horse or a runaway car - put the brakes on. Slow it down.

Why run when you can walk?

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