Thursday, 14 August 2014

Finding time (Week 2)

After finishing last week on a high, I feel I started this week on a low.

My Monday in particular was relentless. It was traffic, anxiety-to-the-max, grizzles, naughtiness, washing, headaches, too many dirty nappies, airborne toys, tears.

The biggest revelation this week is I'm in love with night time. Yes, I am a night owl through and through.

From about 7pm, a hush descends on our house that fills me with energy and peace. Our children are snuggled up in their beds, sighing deeply as they sleep, full of dreams and dinner and cuddles. I can finally clear away the books and toys that were missed by my son as he pottered around doing his evening clean-up (which usually eventuates in him finding something he was playing with earlier and simply resuming his game, making even more mess). At night time I can peel potatoes and carrots, and chop broccoli and onions, and boil water on the stove, and load the dishwasher - all chores I generally don't enjoy, but they suddenly seem to sparkle and seduce me because I can do these things now without questions or commentary or a little duo nipping at my heels threatening to pull that pot of boiling water from the stove if my back's turned.

Night time means I can sit with my husband and enjoy a hot meal from start to finish, and we can chat about the world and his work and some article from the paper that sparked my interest [when I finally got around to flicking through it at 4pm]. It's post-dinner that I also get the chance to do more meditation and write too, which is becoming a real highlight of my day.

The only catch is that I love this time to myself so much and the sudden surge of energy and productivity I get at this time of day, that I find it's often a real struggle to make myself go to bed at a reasonable hour. This is important because I don't function well if I'm really tired (does anyone?!).

One of the things that Mindfulness has taught me is perspective can change everything. Seems obvious enough, but honestly, when I was living my Monday I just couldn't seem to pull my head above the chaos to see anything beautiful in each moment. But after having 2 hours without the constant babble of little voices puncturing my thoughts, I can look back on the most stressful of days and see many, many, many gems. They were there, under the sea of commotion.

The week 2 Mindfulness meditation is amazing. Last week's was about focusing on the breath in order to focus your frantic mind. This week's is about using your breath to become aware of your body, which sounds weird to say, but having now done this "body scan" exercise I can hand-on-heart say I have been somewhat disconnected from my body. I have totally taken it for granted, like a trusty car that will just go and go and go without so much as a warning light. What I discovered during the 15 minute meditation is that the electrical buzz running through my limbs is stronger in some areas than others. Some of my joints are aching. My head hurts. My left hip feels out of place, probably because it usually has one or other of the kids propped upon it. Like I said before, I know I need sleep to function, but it seems I need much more than that because this bod is clearly in need of some maintenance.

Might be time to prioritise more sleep, less sugar and a bit of brisk pram walking. Just for this week at least.

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