It's Monday midday, and I'm sitting in a coffee shop near my office. I'm in that interim between work and home, so often only experienced in the car, those short twenty minutes sometimes the only time I have to myself each day.
My good enough project has been lagging a bit. Or maybe it has simply plateaued. Or maybe I can't remember what it is I'm really after. Organization? Spirituality? More sleep?
The project wasn't just about organizing stuff, which I've done plenty of, and which has indeed made me feel better, but it was about finding a certain peace, a balance to my days. It was about finding the time and inspiration to apply myself more genuinely to all the aspects of my life.
And truthfully, I have made progress. I've decluttered a lot of stuff, meaning I've taken care of half-finished projects and things I've needed to cross of my to-do list for a long time. I've also managed to get to one yoga class every week. Granted, I used to go to 3 a week when I lived in Los Angeles, but one a week is pretty good for a mom, I think.
I've taken at least one bath a week, which has provided space for meaningful contemplation and helped create a sense of peace, no matter how fleeting. I've also tried to be more present in my daily interactions, and to reconnect with more of my friends. I've even got an out-of-town girls weekend scheduled for January with three of my best friends from high school.
Greg and I seriously benefited from our three days without Veronica last month. It was something I didn't want to do, but comitted to anyway for the sake of my marriage. And it was a great experience. And even if those three days remain in a little bubble, and even if we have gone right back to being parents again, it was still worth it, just to be reminded of who we can be, and where we originate from.
So here I am, checking all these good things off, but still not feeling very satisfied. There is something bigger I'm after, and I'm not quite sure what it is or how to find it.
Greg's friend Will is coming to dinner tonight. Over the last couple of years he's undergone an intense spiritual transformation. He's hardly the same guy I met three years ago and he exudes such peace these days that you can almost feel it rubbing off on you when you're around him. I never tire of hearing about his adventures — ashrams in India, nudist retreats in Oregon, road trips across the country…
But I'm always left a little envious too.
I would very much like to be doing all of those same things. I would love to travel for months on end, to spend whole weekends meditating, to help build a yoga center in India. I can't even tell you how much I would like to be doing those things.
I've chosen another life for myself though. And all of the above activities and quests are not ones suited to motherhood. I'm sure that years down the road I'll find myself in a place in which I have the time and the resources to nourish myself in those ways, but that seems like a long way off.
I guess my quest then is to figure out how to create and sustain a journey of personal exploration during this very ——-
——– um, in the middle of typing that last sentence a guy next to me at the coffee shop got up from his table and said, "I've never seen someone work in such a state of peace."
"What? Ha. I don't feel that way," I said.
"Well, you just EXUDE peace," he repeated smiling.
Maybe I'm on the right track after all?