Today feels like a day that I am chasing to catch. Even post-meditation I am 15 minutes late for a call. And I am just going to make the call, show up for the appointment, be present. It feels like with the world opening up, vaccinated friends reaching out to gather, the joy of being present and in the world safely, it feels tempting to slide back into that pre-pandemic mode. The usual, “What friends are we seeing this weekend?” It’s a dance of overbooked, constantly moving forward, hurried compulsion to attend every event, be engaged in every gathering, and not only to show up but to sacrifice quiet nights at home, restorative rest, and the peace and comfort of having nowhere else to be.
First, I want to say that it is such a gift to be included and invited out into the world. Second, I want to say I am going to respectfully and gratefully drag my feet because I don’t want to go. I want to be ready when the world arrives at my door or when I venture out into society. I want to consciously and deliberately make healthful choices for myself and my family and right now that means breathing deep and being still.
I am not in a rush to get back to, “regular life.” To be honest I prefer the solitude and reflection of time to myself. But I also get FOMO. The first time I remember this happening was in high school. A friend called me repeatedly and I avoided the calls, I remember hearing her voice on the answering machine and thinking yes, but no. I was super disappointed a few days later when I gave a listen and realized I had missed her brother’s graduation party. I’m sure the event was fun but I was not there for it. And I was disappointed to miss the party. I wanted to support my friend and her family but I needed that time for myself. As I age I realize more and more how much I myself need this time to be quiet and alone. How much work I am quietly doing in my own mind and in my own space to create, build, and design my own life – and that is time consuming.
Building a world in which I want to live takes a lot of time and I’m not talking about the larger exterior world that we all want to save or are working to make better. I’m talking about my own little unit, my own little house, my own mental wellness, solitude, get dinner on the table and the laundry folded and the emails answered world. And sometimes for me that’s enough. Sometimes it feels like too much and then I have to get even more micro. My gift to myself is patience and forgiveness. I’m going to go slow and I like it that way.
Are you plunging back into social interactions with friends and family? Are you wading in cautiously? How do you check in with yourself to make sure you’re aligned before you engage?