Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Little Respite

Feb. 3

A thick blanket of fresh white snow, a fat mug of steamy Earl Grey, a stack of exams, nondescript tunes, and, in lieu of red, a purple pen. Surrounded by windows and retro d├ęcor, I am sitting in the newest coffee shop in my little town. Is it possible for grading to be meditative? As with my yoga, this time spent surrounded by the smell of espresso and decaf is a respite in a cluttered world. I find myself returning to my breath.

I have recently taken on the challenge of journaling on the positive that happens in my day. In addition, on Pinterest, I pin to my Gratitude board three things that happened during that span for which I am thankful. At first, I felt much like my students during a final exam. “I know the answer is here somewhere, but Christ sakes, what the hell is it?” I would search my brain for some monumental event. Lacking one, I would postpone my journaling and pinning in the hopes that some miracle would befall me and make me look good. I have made my goal public. I have an audience to please.

Well. A miracle did befall me, but it was not nearly what I would expect. I have found myself searching for the positive before it has chance to occur, looking for the extraordinary in the mundane. I have challenged myself to never journal or pin on the same thing twice. Do you know how difficult this is for a girl who orders the same items off the menu every time she dines? It has become a beautiful treat to see something as ordinary as a bowl of rice and tofu as a gift. The fact that I can eat that rice with chopsticks becomes a talent for which I give multiple thanks. And that I consume this take out in my warm home with my dogs at my feet? How could I possibly want anything more in my life?

Mindfulness. That's what it is. Mindfulness and gratitude. A respite in a cluttered life.

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