Sunday, March 29, 2015

Walking Meditation

Weeks ago, my friends Aimee and Janette and I began a 10K training plan and never got around to registering for a 10K race. To be honest, officially registering for a race was never part of the plan. We just needed a training schedule to follow and pals to keep us accountable. So far it's been working, and next Saturday is our unofficial 10K through the park. We are happy and excited, and you'll certainly hear all about it next weekend.

Throughout this training plan, Sunday has been bonus day. We're supposed to do 25-40 minutes of what's called active rest. Suitable activities are walking, biking, cross training, hiking, etc. Normally I hike or walk, but I didn't feel like driving anywhere for a hike this morning. So I laced up my shoes and simply headed out the door with the plan to use this time to try to focus my mind on absolutely nothing.

Life has gotten busier lately. For a few months--those months when I was 5S-ing my house last year--time seemed to slow down, but now that I'm working I feel like I am always busy. My mind is constantly thinking of what I need to do in the future or what happened in the past. I'm rarely right where I need to be. That's here, in this present moment. With the help of Trich Nhat Hanh, I'm attempting to slowly work meditation into my daily life without having to sit still for twenty minutes in peace and quiet. So I've been doing it for the two minutes my electric toothbrush brushes my teeth, while I wash my face before I go to sleep, and in the morning as I lie in bed for a few minutes before throwing off the covers and starting my day.

This morning I thought I'd give walking mediation a try. At first glance, it seems simple enough. You walk and breathe. When your mind starts to wander, you briefly acknowledge the thought as nothing but "thinking" and go back to focusing on your breath. It was easy--for the first breath. I soon realized it was going to take a lot of concentration to focus on nothing but my breath and moving legs (and also not get hit by a car). I'd take a breath and a few steps and then repeat the process until I found I was telling myself I should make granola bars today. I acknowledged that idea, said "thinking," and went back to only walking and breathing. Then I remembered Elizabeth needed a black skirt for tomorrow's orchestra concert. As I was planning a trip to Target, I realized I was thinking and went back to my breath and legs. This kind of thing went on for twenty-two minutes. Finally, I stopped walking and took a few deep breaths and tried walking meditation again for another twenty minutes.

I'm telling you, this is hard work for a brain. Mine likes to think and plan and analyze, and it's difficult to train it to stop doing that for even just a little while. A few years ago, I was all about multitasking. I could multitask like a champ! But all that got me was burned out and tired, so now I'm looking for peace. I understand that mental breaks are worthwhile, so I'm going to work on calming my mind any chance I get.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Not Mother of the Year

I let my own kid down today. I wasn't there for him when he needed me, and he let me know with a heartbreaking cry. It led to a lot of reassurimg cuddles and many tears from both of us, but the good news is that I'm teachable and I won't allow it to happen again.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Best Line of the Day

I spent the day in first grade today. Though the little ones often have some good one-liners, the funniest thing I heard was at the end of my lunch break.

First, I should mention that the trophy our school received from the Mayor's Ostrich Festival 5K Run (the trophy awarded to the school that had the most running club participants in the fun run) is now sitting in our school's office. It's quite the conversation piece, wouldn't you agree?

So as I was filling up my water cup in the office, I overheard a befuddled second-grader passing through exclaim, "Why is this chicken in this shoe?"

Maybe you had to be there, but that continued to crack me up all afternoon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mundane Meal Making

I just made our family's lunches for tomorrow. It's not a fun chore, but I believe it's worth it. It takes awhile because I don't use any prepackaged stuff, so tonight I decided to time myself.

It took eighteen minutes.

I was surprised because I'm efficient in the kitchen. I have a system and the process is smooth, but I don't think it can be completed more quickly. Though I think we all know now I'm gonna try.

I know. Life is so exciting sometimes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Awwww Man!

Why doesn't anything cool like this ever happen to me when I embarrass myself by crying?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back to Work

Today was the last day of spring break. I feel like it lasted two and a half months, not two and a half weeks. Sure the kids fought too much, but we also had a lot of visitors, went to many cool places, and I even got to go on vacation. How could that be only seventeen days?

We'll be almost back to our routine tomorrow. Brian's parents are still in town for a few days, but they'll spend some days with Grandma while the kids and I are at school. Bob heads home Thursday, and Sue is staying through Easter.

We've had a fun time with both sets of grandparents, and I guess it's time to stop lazing around and get back to work. The good news is that everyone at school will be refreshed and in good moods. The bad news is that never lasts, but it's an interesting social experiment to note how long it takes before the honeymoon is over. I'll be in touch.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ain't No Use in Complainin'

...because I got what I wanted. That doesn't mean I was happy about the process. However, I have no suggestions to improve the process so I suppose I should just shut up about it.

But you know I can't! So it's time to vent.

Tickets for the Bryan Adams concert went on sale yesterday at 10 am MST. That sounds pretty cut and dry, but the night before we had a grand discussion about what that time truly meant. Arizona is in the Mountain time zone, yet we never change our clocks so we are currently on Pacific time. So...does 10 am MST mean 10 am local time or does it mean 9 am (what the time would be in, say, Colorado which is most definitely in Mountain time). Holy moly. That is an important detail! I decided I wasn't willing to chance anything so I planned to leave my workout friends early and be home by 9 am to sit at my computer. But just before I left Starbucks at 8:30, I checked the website and the countdown to the ticket sale was at 1:30:00. So it was 10 am local time. Thanks for always being a pain in the butt, Arizona.

So I got to spend an extra hour with my friends before I promptly sat down at my computer a few minutes before 10 am. I went to the site. I logged in. I was ready. The clock flipped to 10:00 and I hit refresh.

And there was an error message. "We are experiencing delays." 

I hit refresh again.

"We are experiencing delays."

I started to sweat but continued to hit refresh until something, anything else appeared on my screen. Finally, something else appeared.

I was offered two tickets. They were not the seats I wanted. I was willing to pay $85 to sit as close as I could, and that's why I chose the "best available" option even though I knew exactly which section I wanted, and it wasn't Section 204. Only every ticket better than the ones offered to me were in someone else's cart. Will they buy them or release them? They have five minutes. I have five minutes. Actually, we have about fifteen minutes because every time you move on in the checkout process you gain another five minutes. Though I didn't realize all of this at the time. I was in panic mode and worried that I might not get any tickets if I didn't act fast. So I bought them.

And I was disappointed, frustrated, and angry. I wanted better seats. I was upset that people who might not even know who Bryan Adams is had better seats than I did. Then when my purchase was complete and a "Resell My Tickets" button immediately came up, all I could see was red.

Life's not fair. I know that. So I walked away and told myself that I should just be happy I get to go to the concert. I also saved some money. Celebrate!

I shook it off and let it go for awhile, but I have a bit of an obsessive personality, so I went back to my computer. That time, because some people must have released their tickets, better seats were available. I searched a few more times and bought two more tickets. I paid what I had expected to pay and got seats closer to the stage. Sara smiles.

Now what do I do with the other tickets? Anyone? Anyone?