Patience. If you were to look at the top 100 words that could be used to describe me that word would not be one of them … at least not historically.
For many years everything in my life seemed dialed to a clock. My career path began in an industry entirely dictated by time — a 24-hour, all news radio station. Every second was counted. Being on time was crucial.
A life of schedules, appointments, meetings, production — all of it dictated and directed by the almighty clock.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
At some point in the last couple of years this grind finally got to me. I knew I needed a change, but when one has lived their life a certain way for a long time, making a change is … well, yeah. You get where I’m going with that.
I guess acknowledging that the change needed to happen is in and of itself a great first step. Then comes the sticky wicket — changing behavior. What I came to realize is that much of the rush-rush-rush mentality came in earlier years from a sense of being on borrowed time. Having spent considerable time ill as a child and well into my early adult years, on some level I just didn’t think I was going to be around too long.
Turns out that wasn’t the case.
Over the last six months in particular I’ve been focusing my energy on not focusing, if that makes sense. Rather than being overly concerned with the end game, I’m trying to pay attention more to the immediate tasks at hand, stay in the moment.
That’s what I was doing. That should not, however, be confused with making progress. In fact, to be candid, I was doing a rather shit job of the whole patience thing. Turns out it took spending a week in a Zen Center utterly disconnected from my usual life to recalibrate and set a more clear path forward. Since returning I’ve been doing my best to hang on to the utterly delightful sense of groundedness and peace. It’s been working a bit, partly because since my return I’ve yet to fully leap back into my life. I’ve been at work and getting things done and such, but wasn’t really quite here. Nor was I there (meaning Santa Fe) obviously.
This netherworld sort of existence? Yeah, not so good.
So I did what I know works for me when I need to get grounded. I literally, get into the ground … or at least dig around in it.
Yesterday I talked about the serenity and calm that comes from being connected in a literal sense to the earth. I continued that work today, this time tackling mostly rather a monumental weeding exercise in my backyard. (Though I spent a bit of time out front planting a new sage plant to keep the bank rose bush company.) I dug up roots and tendrils of weeds, cleared out some dirt, put in fresh dirt, laid some cedar chips in one corner of the yard … and I planted seeds.
There is no greater test of patience than completing a task and having to wait on something utterly out of my control for the next thing. In this case, the germination of seeds, which may or may not take. Only time, however, will tell. And so the old me would have watched … and watched … and watched.
The new me will pay attention, and then turn my focus to other tasks that need doing.
I’ll keep you all posted.
Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:
- Digging in the dirt
- My new gardening hat
- Working for hours on a project and seeing the results of my work
- Freshly poached salmon
- Arugula salad
- Irreverent conversations
- Several dear friends being in Las Vegas this week so I get to see them
- My Vegas Golden Knights clinching their 2nd round playoffs and heading to the Western Conference finals!
- That I seem to now need only one cup of coffee in the morning
- Dreams from which I awaken with a smile on my face
- Spending time with my pal Cory