My very first post was basically about slowing down and appreciating your life because you never know when it will end. It’s much easier to say that than to do it, especially when you are a busy working parent with a commute.
My days are crazy. I honestly don’t know how I function. Here is a typical day:
6 am – Wake up, grooming, eating, lunch making.
7:00 – Leave.
8:00 – Arrive at work. Run around like a chicken with my head cut off photocopying, cutting, pasting, writing, reading, emailing, researching, conferring with colleagues, etc.
9:00 – Students arrive. Teach, counsel, teach, counsel, mediate, teach.
10:35 – 20 minute break – work through it, eat mindlessly.
10:55 – Outside duty – supervise & mediate.
11:15 – See 9 am
12:55 pm – 40 minute break – work through it, eat mindlessly while workng
1:35 – See 9 am.
3:15 – Students leave, see 8 am.
4:15 – Leave.
5:15 – Arrive home, comfort tired, cranky kids, try to prepare dinner with husband, tidy up a bit, eat dinner, bathe children, read stories, sing lullaby, lie with them until they sleep
8:00 – Kids asleep, bake muffins (they won’t eat much so must do it), prepare lunches, do some laundry, tidy up a bit, try to get a little work done, maybe write a blog post, try to check personal email.
10:00 – Fall into bed totally exhausted. Read for awhile then lie there fretting about all the work that hasn’t been finished.
11:00 – 12:00 – Fall asleep (hopefully).
3:00 – First child comes into bed.
5:00 – Second child come into bed.
6:00 – Start all over again.
So when do I get to be mindful? I’ve been really wanting to start meditating but I’m having trouble finding the time. I can’t fathom getting up at 5:30 to do it, I’m already running on empty. Why is life so crazy? I don’t want it to be but it is. I really want to slow down and smell the flowers. I wish that my two hours with the girls were not a mad rush of supper and tidying.
Research clearly shows that meditation and mindfulness can be important tools for mental health (probably physical too). We know that:
- Generally we operate on autopilot, unaware of moment to moment experience
- We are capable of developing sustained attention
- Development of ability is gradual, progressive and requires practice
- Awareness makes life richer and more vivid and replaces unconscious reactiveness
- Gives rise to veridicality (reality) of perception
- Awareness enhances perception, effective action and control
(reference: Grossman P et al, Psychosomatic Research 2004:57:35-43)
I’m very interested in Buddhism and I’d like to learn more and make mindful meditation part of my day. I listen to CDs on my commute by Adyashanti and other teachers. But, I need to practice meditating and that is my problem, when?
How do you manage your busy day? Do you find time to reflect and be mindful?