Is Time Real?
I often find myself stalked by time....having way more things to do than time to do them in. This is a recurring pattern in my life, and although I have done a ton of work around it, I continue to find this pattern staring me right in the face.
As I sit on my back porch this morning, with the rain hammering on the tin roof, pushing the world away and allowing me to be present with my thoughts, I have reflected on this pattern and how I continue to struggle with it. I’m one of those people who keeps saying things like, “I can’t believe summer is almost over” or “where did the time go?” As I ride my horses around beautiful Canaan Valley in the early spring, I can’t wait for the flowers to pop up and begin to share their beauty with me. I especially love milkweed, and the amazing scent that comes from the delicate ball of flowers that hangs from each plant. I wait and wait for that scent to hit me, knowing that I can ride through it and just breathe it in. However, as soon as I begin to have this amazing experience, I also begin to think about how the delicate flowers will soon dry up and drop off; how I will have to wait a whole year for that wonderful aroma; how the leaves of this beautiful plant will turn yellow and then brown, joining other leaves on a fall ground. This sense of dread definitely lessons my experience with the the plant that I love.
I’m also one of the people who coaches others to be mindful and present in their lives. So, why can’t I do this for myself? That is the question that often comes up for me, and it can also lead me to a place of bitterness and resentment instead of gratitude for the incredible life that I live. I think this knowledge and experience is helpful to me as I am teaching other people to be present in their lives, but it is something I continue to struggle with on a personal level. I think this happens for a couple of reasons. First, I no longer have a love of winter. I do enjoy living in a place where we can experience all four seasons - sometimes in one day! - but I wish winter would only last a month or two, when in reality, it can last four or five months. As a child, I loved winter - playing in the snow, zipping down a mountain on an inner tube in the glow of a spotlight at 10:00 PM, having snow days be gifts out of nowhere, enjoying the beauty of a winter blue sky against pristine white snow, watching the ice on the trees glisten like diamonds in the morning sun. While all of these things still make me incredibly happy, they don’t help me to overcome the dread of being cold every day, of caring for a farm full of animals in below zero temps with brutal winds whipping, of shoveling paths and living my life in four wheel drive. The knowledge that winter will come makes it more difficult for me to truly be present in the beauty of summer and fall, even though they are my favorite seasons.
It takes effort to keep myself in the moment.....and then the busyness of my life takes over. Too many things to do in too little time....that is the struggle. This summer, I have found myself bending and morphing my life and my schedule to meet the needs of others until I have become exhausted and overwhelmed. This feeling of being overwhelmed often leads to bitterness and regret for what could have been, and as I have found myself spiraling into these feelings the past couple of days, I have decided to make some different choices with my life and my time. Since I have struggled with this pattern for most of my life, I am also very aware that if I make better choices, I will magically have time for everything in my life. While I know that I have spent weeks lamenting the fact that I have too much to do and not enough time, I also know that I did not engage in self-care, but rather watched time slip through my fingers. Self care is incredibly important and I will coach another person to honor her body, mind, and spirit....while completely neglecting my own! So, I am choosing self care. I am choosing gratitude for the incredible opportunities that presented themselves the past three months and the amazing people I have met along the way. I am choosing to spend the remaining days of summer and the many days of fall being more involved in my life rather than lamenting how little time I have. I am choosing to see the beauty in the orange, red, and yellow that is beginning to peak through the many shades of green in the forest that surrounds me. I am choosing to take time for me.... to reflect, write, paint, fish, hike, love and be loved, create, breathe.....BE.
The rain has gone from a deafening roar on the tin roof, to a beautiful pinging of drops as it slows. My world feels freshly cleansed and opportunity abounds. Please enjoy the rest of your day as I take time for some yoga to be more in my body, connected to my breath, living Mindfully Aware.