The House Taylor just finished navigating a particularly difficult stretch, with there being no shortage of things to worry about. I've always been reasonably calm and persistent under fire, but the last few months have tested my limits.
As I got back to the apartment after work a few weeks ago, I tossed my pack on the floor next to the coat rack and exhaled for a moment. The respite was brief, as I immediately started thinking of what to do next. Time to start Dinner. No, wait. Laundry needs doing. Or I could read about that new shiny piece of software I heard about on HackerNews. Although, I do have some GitHub issues to slay...
Moments later, I decide to get cooking like a responsible husband. As I'm pulling a pot out of the cabinet, my mind is already flitting around thinking about the other things on the list for tonight and the rest of the week. I feel a sourness in my gut, as I mentally hand-wring over the arbitrary list. By the time Erin gets home, I'm visibly "off".
As I lay awake that night with thoughts quickly flying in one ear and out the other, I reached peak frustration: It's time to do something about this.
I've been curious about how I might incorporate meditation for some time, but always found reasons to put it off. We happened to have a copy of Full Catastrophe Living collecting dust on our shelf, purchased with the greatest of intentions. I resolved to sit down and start reading a bit on most nights.
It didn't take long to arrive at some conclusions that should have been obvious, were it not for my cluttered nogging:
- Modern life is full of distractions. San Francisco is a city that intensifies this significantly.
- As we went from land line to dumb phone to smart phone, I had grown accustomed to increasing levels of stimulation at all times.
- In the absence of stimulation, I felt stress. I wasn't content to ever just sit and "be".
- Because of all of the above, my attention span had deteriorated substantially over the last five years.
None of these are earth-shattering realizations, but my state at the time brought the problems into a clarity level that wasn't there before.
As I struggled through my first few meditation sessions, it was obvious that I've got a long way to go in getting things smoothed out up top again. But that doesn't scare me. This should be an interesting, introspective journey, and I'm excited to begin it.
I've shared what I feel is a bit of a personal glimpse into a tough time and a big challenge for me. I have no specific goals in writing this, but I'd like to share my story as I continue. Hopefully this is in some way helpful to someone!