Thursday, August 14, 2008

A walk in the park...

Today I experienced complete and total relaxation. I was utterly at peace with myself. In fact, I’m still blissed out. I might even drool a little on my keyboard in my present state of tranquility.

Though, getting here was a bit of a slog.
Before the bliss, there was the piss. I was in a shit mood. Tired from getting up early for my new temp job and from all the stress over the last few months. I was walking to the park with the Zachinator and chatting on my cell phone with my sister, Joey, who was reading to me from Eckhart Tolle's “A New Earth”. I was lamenting to her about how exhausted I was. How everything I desire seems to exist so very far away from me. Even the playground seemed like an eternity ahead. I desperately needed to be cradled; I needed to be taken care of; I was tired, weary, beat…

She listened, then continued to read about what Tolle calls the primary focus. The primary focus is simply focusing on whatever is happening in the moment you are in. That’s it.

That’s irritating.

Naturally, being the stubborn git that I am, I belabored my point and argued against accepting my present moment because I was too damn tired to do so and also, I didn’t really care for what was happening in this moment. To which my sister replied that I was only tired because I was focusing on being tired, thus creating more fatigue. Then it went on like this for a while: She told me to focus on what I want; I told her I was too deep into thinking about what I don’t want to focus on what I do want. (Insert circus music here.)

The whole time, I was pushing Zachary in the stroller on an exceptionally beautiful day but was so deeply attached to what I felt was missing in my life (aka – the experience of being and feeling taken care of) that I could barely push the buggy. The bug that was pushing me was somewhere up my ass and frankly, it was getting to be a real drag. My sister continued to read and I found myself getting annoyed, which always happens when she is right about such things, especially when I know she is right about such things, and usually because I am holding on so tightly to whatever shit thought I am having - almost as if I'm trying to prove some kind of point: "I'm right! Life sucks. Can't you see?!!"
Finally, as our conversation ended (and knowing me so well), she said: “Enie, you just need to let go.”

And then, I found myself at the park. Toddler Town, as it is called. I also found before me, a choice: I could continue to bitch and moan about how tired I was and about how I really wanted someone to take care of me or I could roll up my pant legs and go swimming in the wading pool with my little boy who was absolutely gleeful at the sight of the water before him. I chose to take a dip and I began to feel the layers of fatigue melting away. At my sister’s urging, I had stopped the negative stream of whining in my head and replaced it with a better mantra: “I am taken care of”. I said it over and over again. And after a minute, as I frolicked in the water with my son, I began to believe it.

What followed was an afternoon of bliss. I got to play in the sunshine with my baby. I shouted “One, two three JUMP!” and held Zach's hands as he leaped into the pool from the short ledge above. The sploosh of his tiny feet slicing the water was punctuated with his deliriously happy shriek and this made me giggle. The grin on his face would have melted the heart of anyone in sight.

Afterwards, we found a shady spot for our blanket underneath a lazy tree. He stood belly to belly with me as I sat in front of him, his little arms wrapped around my neck. He wore only his diaper to keep cool in the heat and his soft breath fell on my cheek as he checked out all the other kids at the park. I lingered over the smell of his hair, all blond and curly and totally disheveled with bits of kamut puffs sprinkled through its sun-kissed strands. And my mind was nowhere but where it was – right there in the moment. Its primary focus was simply the enjoyment of a day at the park.

(I hate it when my sister’s right… And I friggon love it too. What can I say? I’m a Gemini.)

As it turns out, I was taken care of after all - by my son, who has yet to reach his first birthday, but has somehow managed to bring incredible presence and innocent wisdom to my life, regardless of his brief time with us thus far.

After a lovely play date with some freshly-made friends on the next blanket over, we packed up our gear and headed for home. The walk back from Toddler Town was a slow and lovely one. I even stopped at one point and took my slumbering baby out of his stroller and held him in my arms the rest of the way. He fell asleep on my shoulder and we sauntered merrily along, mellow and thoroughly content.

Life may not always feel like a walk in the park but it’s amazing how quickly it can change for the better when I set my mind to it.

That’s all from the blissed-out files.

(Insert drool on chin here…)

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