Log Rolling for Life

The sport of log rolling is a perfect analogy for my life. I try to stay on top as long as I can, but I inevitably fall into the water. My only solace is that I’ve gotten better at getting back up over the years. And sometimes the water is nice, so I stay down a while and enjoy that moment.

“…great adventures await you if you give yourself a little time to string moments of awareness together, breath by breath, moment to moment.” From Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

As you probably remember, this past November and December got away from me. I ended up in the water and I wasn’t happy about it. I thrashed and screamed, instead of finding my way back on top. My struggling didn’t fix anything, it made it harder to find my footing again. And it made the lives of the people around me more stressful.

At the end of the year, I realized what had happened (somewhat) and decided to take January at home, doing nothing, to recuperate. February started to pick up, and then as March began to get planned out on the calendar, I started feeling that panic. I was losing my balance.

Yesterday was when I started feeling it in my guts. I did start to cry a little, but I didn’t lose my temper, and I didn’t call everything off. I did take a few deep breaths and let some thoughts go, and I finished the day. But in the evening, as I started to fall asleep, I started thinking…and then couldn’t sleep.

Today, the log is still floating and the only way to stay on top of it is to keep my feet moving and stay balanced. Focus is the key and I’m working on that.

I’m going to enjoy another busy day and not think about tomorrow, or the rest of the week, or the plans for the following week. Not right now. Each time I start to feel that panic, the “I’m not going to get to rest, I can’t get it all done” feeling that tightens my chest and races my heart, I’m going to take a breath. Just like when I meditate, I’ll stop a moment and feel my breath move in, fill my chest and belly, hold it a beat, and then deflate. Quietly, without drawing attention to myself. I’ll give myself one focused moment alone, and then return.

Something I realized about myself recently is that I do have a fear of missing out. Not in the sense that I see something someone else is doing and want to experience that too, but in a personal way. If I don’t respond to that text, read that book, keep the house clean, make the food from scratch, go visit that person, I feel like I’ll lose them all forever.

It’s crazy making. And it needs to stop.

People love me, even when they don’t hear from me every day. If I don’t do the laundry today, it will get done tomorrow. If I don’t finish that project this week, I’ll get to it next week.

Or not. That’s ok too. I can’t do everything I want to do. I can’t have everyone I want in my life at all times. I don’t have the resources for it: time, energy, money, etc. If I am here right now, focused on what I AM doing, I’m not wasting time and missing out.

That’s my goal today. Be here right now, enjoying what I have in my hands, not worrying about what tomorrow may bring, or what’s going on with friends and family when I’m not available.

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