There was a sort of generation gap in the room. Many people thought to bring books (I’ll admit I was a little jealous), a few ladies even had knitting to work on. Then there were the 35 and unders who were all on electronic devices, myself included. I’m a little awkward in those situations anyway, so any excuse to avoid eye contact is welcome, although after a while I got a little tired of staring down. So I did the unimaginable. I looked up. I couldn’t help but notice some interesting things about my fellow citizens. The room was completely silent. Every once in a while there was a whispered question or “excuse me” as someone got out of their seat to go to the bathroom. There was the occasional whir of the coffee machine, though that may have sounded louder since I was sitting right next to it.
Day 5: Take time to look up at the world around you. Soak it in, observe, draw conclusions, commit some things to memory, let other details stir your imagination, just look around, you don’t need to be entertained every minute of the day. This is one of those lessons I “know” and am often quoting to my husband when he’s chronically our adventures with his camera. But there’s something very special about just sitting down and doing it. I try hard not to be overly connected with my phone. I almost never take it to lunch and am usually the one person at the table not staring at something. But to sit in a room full of strangers, with no one to talk to, no screen to watch and nothing new to learn gave me a wonderful opportunity to play in my own mind.
Life has its ups and downs. We’ve all lived it, a few days where nothing can go wrong, then a week of “blah.” Maybe there were a few months of horrible then a scattered sprinkling of hopeful possibilities. Of course the moments that we deem worthy of sharing of the good ones, the great ones for those of us that don’t share as often. I may choose not to share online every time I have a bill to pay and I’m not sure where the money will come from or every time I have a low-grade fever. The big lows we may share, being in the hospital, a car accident, etc. But does that make them more worthy in our life?
A full life is not made of Facebookable moments, but rather of life in all its glory. We need those highlights, those marking moments to keep on our horizon to keep us from getting sea sick during life’s normal ups and downs. Maybe you’ve had less of those “amazing” moments, that doesn’t mean you lived any less. Soak in those ridiculously simple moments, bask in the glory of your trip to the grocery store or feel as bored as the moment demands.
What makes you feel alive? I’ve come to realize that life, much like love, is a choice and not merely an emotion. Oh yes, there is emotion involved. But you love because you choose to love. And likewise we keep living even when sometime the emotion of “feeling alive” isn’t present. Sometimes living is an act of faith, faith that things will get better, that the flat moments will somehow lead to new highs, that the low moments will once again be followed by the slow climb up.
Sometimes our only hope is to hold on tight to the life we have, stay in the car and hope that’s enough.
I just had one of those “writer’s worst nightmare” moments. I always act as if they will never happen to me, and yet they do (quite often as a matter of fact).
I wrote out a brilliant blog post, brilliant I say. Humorous yet deep, well worded yet conversational, just brilliant. And what do I do? Yes, you guessed it, pressed close instead of save. There’s something about the comfort and ease of using a computer that encourages me to press the close button with far too great of a frequency. It must be that certain clicks comes so automatically.
After this tragic mis-click I thought to myself, “I know what I wrote, I’m sure I can just do it again.” Three lines into it I realize that was just wishful thinking. Yes, the thoughts come from the same brain, but this time they don’t fit together as well as they did before. Isn’t that just the way it goes?
I’m sure there’s a solution, and it’s likely not “blog about how I don’t have interesting to say any more,” though it doesn’t hurt to try. But I think my most helpful course of action will just be to go to bed, dream of my brilliant blog post and hopefully wake up in time to write it down.
Has any of this ever happened to you?
Here at work, our department is full of tea drinkers. It seems as if the pot is always boiling or at very least, always hot. Our “chocolate drawer” is actually filled with tea bags. July and August were perhaps our highest months of tea consumption, despite the heat. Even our office plants drink (cooled down, left over) tea; they grow like weeds now. In short, we are a tea office.
I must say there is something so fabulous about a cup of tea. The hot water melts away stress built up slowly throughout the day. The soft flavor awakens sensitivity to the hints of subtle beauty in the world. The warmth of the cup soaks into your hands reigniting the consciousness of the connection between the mind, heart and body. And a conversation on the other side of a hot cup of tea resinates longer in your ears, reaching further into the depths of your soul. Nothing quite compares to the morning’s first cup of tea.
I once had a grief counselor talk to me about the value of “sitting down to have a cup of tea with your grief.” The basic concept is to become friends with your grief, face it straight on, experience it and understand it instead of avoiding it. Once this daily or weekly meeting is over, stand up and live the rest of your day away from your grief. I can think of no better setting to address such a difficult reality on a regular basis, with a hot cup of tea soothing the one wound which takes the longest to scar.
I am sure you have heard the theory of people being like tea. It is when we are put in hot water (difficult circumstances) that our true flavor (character) can bloom and be fully appreciated. Or maybe that is not a common thought, and I just created a brilliant new metaphor. Someday I will revisit that thought.
Excuse me, I have to get back to work; it’s tea time.