Each year I joke that we’re going to add one more holiday celebration to our list. We only do Chanukah (because of my husband’s family’s traditions) and Christmas (because of mine), but it feels like we do everything. I happen to love the season, and to find all of it to be an excuse for laughter and friendship and the best part of family.
But it’s also busy.
With the gifts and the parties and the hosting. With the end-of-year wrap-up and my daughter home from school and my extended family about to descend to my house, it’s busy.
I notice it most in my meditation.
I notice my mind going over (and sometimes over) my list of to-do’s, until I realize what I’m doing and call my attention back to my breathing. I remember the bed I need to rent for my dad to sleep in and the three client issues I have to resolve before I end the day. If I’m not careful I find myself itemizing my errands and looking for things to check off as done, while I’m sitting in “quiet” meditation.
Tis the season.
Tis the season, maybe, for joy, and it’s also the season of too much to do and too much to accomplish. Too many details and too many people counting on me for too many things. Did we order the food? Do we have wrapping paper? Do we have coffee? Where will everyone sleep? Did I get back to my client? Did I write the report? My quiet mind of meditation is easily less than quiet these days, as my inner taskmaster tries to make sure I don’t drop any balls. Or at least not too many balls. (If you read my last post, you’d know that I just dropped a doozy.)
And that’s when I, again, turn to “it’s amazing.” The more I meditate, the more I realize that at least when I meditate I’m pretty much able to watch my thinking. Or at least to catch it when it wanders off. And when I’ve caught myself wandering, it’s the time to think “it’s amazing,” and return to my breath.
It’s amazing that I’m learning to watch my thoughts. It’s amazing that I’m catching myself wandering off. It’s amazing that I can return to my breath. And return to my breath. And return to my breath.
If you celebrate – whatever you celebrate – I wish you the happiest and joyful-est of seasons, as well as the ability to stay at least almost somewhat present and to remember that it’s amazing when you realize you’ve wandered off and you come back.
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