Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Crashes and Burns on My Doorstep

Mind Less Monday

How to Mind Less
When My Mind Is Full
A Case Against Being Mindful

I don’t want to be mindful all the time, or even most of the time. It’s a worthy endeavor, but my mind is full most days. If I give careful, that is, mindful, attention to everything, I foresee serious overload, resulting in my brain experiencing the infamous Microsoft Blue Screen or the Mac spinning rainbow of doom.
To avoid such an experience, and contrary to all things Zen, I decided a few months ago to have Mind Less Mondays.

Mind less. “It’s a regular Monday,” is a saying I recall from someone I once knew—meaning that Monday isn’t the best of days. Every moment of busy-ness and activity from the weekend seems to be crashing and burning on my doorstep, on my counters, and on my table. I’m minding it all—more—instead of less as I am pulled in too many directions to count. Remnants of the dog’s stomach illness, although given a thorough scrubbing by hand, still stain my office carpet. Dirt and muddy footprints remain where my huge dieffenbachia toppled to the floor late yesterday afternoon. Repotting, scrubbing, and carpet cleaning top my daily list as soon as my workday ends. Dishes, clutter, and laundry beckon as a result of having a house full of people this weekend. My gas tank arrow points toward empty after driving 300+ miles yesterday. Deadlines loom. Mindfulness and minding less are far from the horizon of my psyche. I’m also tired and grumpy.

I’m minding so much more today that I must search for ways to mind less. I’ll take them one by one.

Busy-ness from the weekend means that I was not alone. I was connected to my family and extended family during the weekend. That busy-ness meant shared meals and conversations. That busy-ness meant baby holding and snuggling as uncles and aunties and this nana spent time with Emma, who at 7½ months, is the youngest member of the tribe. (It's easy to mind less that she threw up on my white linen pants.) That busy-ness meant activity, noise, hugs, and contact with those closest to me. For the benefits I received, I’ll take the clutter, dishes, and laundry.

It’s tough to mind less that the dog ate a pound of coconut oil and got sick—twice—on my office carpet. He’s now well, without a trip to the vet and any expense, so I’ll view that as a plus. I also have a carpet-cleaning machine, which makes it easier to get that extra job done.
Repotting means that later today, I can put my hands in the dirt, one of my favorite pastimes. I’d procrastinated far too long on providing the overgrown dieffenbachia a larger pot with fresh dirt. It’s a dirty life; I know that. I have the opportunity to do some cleaning.

I drove all those miles yesterday with a heavy heart. A celebration of life was held in Lake Worth for my long-time friend Myrle, who lost her struggle with cancer earlier this month. Somber thoughts and feelings tugged at me earlier in the day, but those waned as I saw the many family and friends who gathered to remember the woman they loved. I felt connected to people with whom I’d lost touch for far too long.
It’s hard to mind less that someone you love has died, so I’m working on that and will be for quite some time. I, like many others, must look for and find some peace in the knowledge that her battle with illness is over and find some acceptance to take the place of the heaviness and emptiness in my heart. I’m not quite ready for minding less this aspect of my Monday (or my life), but that’s part of loving and being loved. My gas tank will be filled, and my heart will be filled as I focus more on celebration and love than on loss.
Deadlines are a part of my career as an editor. Today, rather than fret as I check the calendar and note what still must be done, I’ll instead be grateful that I have those deadlines to meet.
Gratitude is the key to minding less—and being mindful. I’ll say thank you more often today, for family, pets, babies, friends, work, and soap.

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