It’s Monday. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I’m sitting in my bed in my PJs after taking a two-hour afternoon nap. I am refreshed.
This might not seem like a big deal to some of you but for me, this time and space is divine.
You see, I’ve been doing something I typically don’t do: running nonstop, without thinking.
December 7th-9th, I went on a scheduled girls trip with high-school friends.
December 15th, I hosted an all women’s brunch at my home.
December 21st-23rd, I met my paternal, biological sister for the first time.
December 24th, I took our four-year-old goddaughter to breakfast and the movies.
December 29th, I attended a party with a former friend that went left.
January 4th, I spoke at our institution’s general meeting.
January 7th, the semester began and I started a professional relationship with an elementary school.
January 9th, I flew to Chicago to pay respects at my namesake’s funeral, the person I’d written previously about.
January 10th, I visited my maternal, biological sister, who I’d not seen in at least ten years.
January 11th, I met my biological father (and his wife, and her daughter, and my youngest sister) for the first time.
January 14th, my youngest daughter revealed something personal that sent me into a tailspin of Mommy guilt.
January 18th-19th, my friends’ six-year-old son spent the night with us.
I’m tired. Emotionally.
If you follow me on any social media platform, it may look as if this is the norm for me. In some ways the activity is. However, it is not normal for me to engage in back-to-back emotional events, sans reflection. I usually have time to sit and think about the people with whom I’ve engaged and interpret what that says about them, about us, about relationships, and about society at-large.
Eventually, I will write about one or all of these events. But for right now, I’m sitting in time and space without expectations from myself or anyone else. Consequently, I’ve reached a point of understanding.
I understand how easy it is to simply roll on to the next experience or situation and to not think about who you were in the last moment. I recognize how an occupied life sets the stage for missed opportunities of growth. How can you grow (emotionally, spiritually) if you don’t stop to reflect on specific circumstances, especially those that are tied to your heart?
What I’ve also realized is that I’ve created a life that has built-in time and space. In my daily life, I neither move too fast, nor too slow, so that I can meditate, exercise, rinse and repeat. What I haven’t done very well is set aside time and space during moments of unexpected life events, like funerals and biological family meetings.
But from this moment forward, I will. I’ll remind myself to step outside if I’m feeling swirly in the belly; this is my body’s signal to me that I need to sit down somewhere. I’ll remind myself to find solitude in the midst of a crowd. I’ll remind myself that pranayama breathing is just as useful off the mat as it is on.
I’ll remind myself that creating time and space is important for my well being. And, most importantly, no one can offer me the time and space I need, but me.