You know what? That was kind of freeing the other day to just write a random, minimally edited post. I think I’ll do it again. This one might be even shorter.
This morning it was freezing cold, and I had forgotten that the buses would be running on a reduced schedule due to the holiday, so I ended up taking a Lyft to work (goodbye, $11) and so accidentally got there extra early, at 7:25, leaving me with over half an hour before I needed to clock in. I was feeling anxious, as I often do these days when I’m headed to work: anxious that I won’t emotionally be able to make it through the day, anxious that I’ll get fired, anxious that I’ll make a poor judgment call with potentially serious ramifications. I’m not able to gauge how likely any of these possibilities actually are, but they always feel very, very real between 7:00 and 8:00 am.
I thought about clocking in early and trying to get some work done, but I didn’t. Instead, I sat down in an armchair in the break room, still wearing my long black puffy coat and my pink scarf. And I decided to meditate. For five minutes.
I am one of those people who talks a lot about how meditation is such a great and helpful thing to do, and reads books about meditation, and tells people about how I have a goal to meditate X times per week or month or year…and then never…really…………does it.
But this morning, in an armchair and a puffy coat, with my purse and tote bag on my lap, I actually did it. I plugged my earbuds into my phone and opened the (free version of the) Calm app for some nature-y background sounds and a timer, and as I breathed in and out I repeated a mantra in my head that I read once in a book by Thich Nhat Hanh: Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
I got to the end of the five minutes. I didn’t feel like getting up out of the chair or taking off my coat. So I started the timer over and did five more minutes. And I know that the point of meditation isn’t to “feel better”, but afterwards I felt better.
I hadn’t realized that it was supposed to snow today, but it did, lightly, all morning and into the afternoon. It didn’t get any warmer. I didn’t get fired. I missed the bus and took another Lyft home. I’m planning to go back. Probably. At least for tomorrow.