I spent the weekend in pursuit of real downtime, and somewhat ironically putting effort into relaxing. It was somewhat successful, but perhaps not so much as I really needed. I’ll keep working on that. Life is not a competition, and no prize at the end of whatever ‘rat race’ this may be is likely to be worth missing out on the things I truly love while I chased something that didn’t matter so much to me personally. 🙂

I had quite a bit of solo time yesterday, and spent it wisely on moments, rather than on thoughts. Thoughts can quickly fuck me up completely… you, too? I can count on a moment to be what it is, to feel what I feel, to enjoy – or not – that experience. It is.  Thoughts are less reliable in that respect; they lack substance, and have only what reality I choose to give them. It’s the choosing that’s tricky… at 2:30 am, half-sleeping, half-waking, a troubling thought can quickly take on life, importance, significance, magnitude, trending, relevance…and somehow become quite real… or… seemingly so. That some stray thought dredged from troubled dreams seems real at 2:30 am – or more precisely, at 3:02 am, after it has stewed in my consciousness for some period of time, doesn’t change something that is quite true; it’s still only a thought, without form or substance. It exists only in my mind, as images, words, or emotions.

In the wee hours...

In the wee hours…

This morning I woke, around 2:30 am. I know it was earlier than 2:43 am – when I finally looked at the clock – because I was awake for some minutes before making the effort to check the time. I don’t know what woke me. I know that I still felt sleepy, and wanted to slip gently back into the world of dreams. At 3:02 am, I sat up, frustrated with the direction my thoughts were taking, and considering getting up rather than passively enduring an attack on my well-being by my own brain, in the wee hours. I sat up, and my ‘sense of space’ still seemed consistent with sleep and sleeping and being horizontal. I tried again to sleep. I tossed and turned, finding wonderful comfortable positions that seemed sure to be fit for sleeping… only to restlessly re-situate myself again and again. Finally, I got up, went through a relaxing yoga sequence that highlighted how stiff I actually felt, even as that stiffness eased a bit. I checked the clock, resigned to the dawn. 4:54 am.

Some thoughts stuck with me from the restless night. They have some value for later consideration, and I make notes, and then move on; the time for that is not now.

There was a time when I had very little, and the dominant struggles day-to-day were practical logistical struggles, the financial and qualify of life challenges that accompany poverty. I often blamed my unhappiness on those circumstances. I thought surely, if I had more I would be happier…or more easily find my way to that place. I definitely have sufficient proof now to understand that this is not ‘true’; happiness and financial means may sometimes correlate, but money is not a cause of happiness. Neither is a big house in a safe suburb. Nor is a degree from a respected university. Feelings are not material goods, they are not things, there is no ‘market value’ which one can pay to obtain the happiness they seek…unless that happiness is quite specifically and clearly the purchased thing, itself… which is probably rarer than true love. Emotions operate in their own reality, and most definitely outside the national economy. In the wee hours, I contemplated how little of my resources I really invest in the ‘economy’ of my emotions…there is more to understand.

That wasn’t what kept me awake, though… what kept me awake was a nebulous fragile connection to a completely different thought that wanted to jump into the mix on the same grammatical structure (thanks, Brain)… I kept coming back to that stray thought, as irrelevant as it was; however many words I use… I can’t ‘purchase’ the understanding of what I am trying to say. Language as currency has limitations. Sometimes, silence has more to offer to communicate well… to ‘be heard’, there has to be some listening. There is an exchange. I don’t know that this has real value, or whether there is an underlying truth to consider. I do know it kept me quite awake, until I finally rose to greet the day, feeling somewhat irked by my wakefulness, and disappointed that my thoughts didn’t really take me anywhere new. There’s probably a lesson there.

Today is a good day to take care of me, and to treat others well. Today is a good day to be mindful that thoughts are not moments, and being in the moment is not about thinking. Today is a good day to be present in every interaction, without scripting, and without expectations. Today is a good day to be open to success, and willing to learn from failure. Today is a good day to recognize change.