Warning! This post will not be full of pics of beautiful places or contain tales of hiking or travel. It will just contain some thoughts I’ve been having today and that I wanted to share here. I hope it resonates with some of you.
Last night we had a powerful storm. So, did much of the Midwest and South. I was nervous about it beginning the night before and worried about being able to keep me and the fur babies safe. And about our home staying safe. Weather is experienced differently when you live in a home on wheels. It can be much more present than in a sticks and bricks house. I obsessively watched the weather all day, anticipating whether or not I would have to load the four kitties into their carriers and cart them over to my friends’ house. By myself. The weight of the worry was heavy. I still somehow managed to do some prep for my classes and write an article for a writing job I am just now beginning. And eventually, the weather app alleviated my worries by taking the threat of severe weather out of the forecast for here. Phew! We could stay put in our cozy little home under a tree that would not have the potential to be blown over and on top of said home by straight-line winds or a tornado or damaged by large hail.
I breathed easy, thinking, why was I worried? It got me nowhere! I know this. Worry does absolutely nothing to help you. It solves nothing. It changes nothing. Our biology gives us fear, in a healthy don’t let that lion eat you situation. That’s survival. Our brains have co-opted our biology to give us fear and worry over situations that are not life and death. Granted, if a tornado is indeed heading straight for my home, I’m sure going to hope my biological mechanisms are in full functioning order. But worrying and fearing the possibility? It did nothing to change any outcomes for me.
And then, out of nowhere, the warnings went off. Severe thunderstorm warning with winds of 70 mph, large hail, and the potential for tornadoes. The clouds in the sky tipped their loads of water onto this place just as the warning was going off. Biology kicked in. I quickly rounded up four protesting kitties and placed them in carriers. The rain took a pause, but I was running them over to the house two at a time across a darkened yard lighted on occasion by the lightening moving in. I made a third trip out to grab my computer (because if something happened to the rig, I could not risk losing everything on this computer!), got into the house and spare bedroom, and the rain, the wind, the thunder, and the lightning unleashed their fury. I kept going to the window to check that the tree over the rig and the nearby pole remained steadfast and upright. They did. We waited for the storm to rumble its way east, and then made our way back home.
It was a late night last night. I’m usually in bed by 8:30, lights off by 9:30. It was past 11 when I shut off my light. Sleep was also interrupted. But by the time I woke up, it was daylight outside, rather than the still darkness of early morning that I usually wake up to. And it was perfect. The skies were cloudless, and the sun was shining bright. The air had that crisp clear quality that follows the cleansing of the rain. A glorious morning!
I usually meditate for 30 minutes in the morning. Or, at least I’ve been getting better at it. And I do the same in the evening before bed. Rather than meditating this morning, I discovered that I had to run to the pet store. Getting litter was imperative. Pine dust was being dispersed throughout the rig and I didn’t want to spend my day feeling the need to constantly sweep that up every time a cat went in the box (because, if I don’t, I’m picking it up on my feet and dragging onto the futon or chair or bed) when I wanted to be working on my book. So, I left for the store.
On the drive, I had a thought, as I was feeling bad about not meditating and not getting right to my writing. The thought was this: this is what you are supposed to be doing just now. Now is always the perfect time for whatever it is you are doing, so be present for it. Enjoy it. Live it. Just, now. And so I did. I enjoyed the drive to Petco. I noticed the new shopping carts they had and was thrilled with pushing a cart through the store that did not shake and wobble and clank and grind on protesting wheels. I took pleasure at hearing a couple discuss whether they should just go ahead and get both of the guinea pigs they were looking at because they couldn’t decide on one.
When I got home. I still didn’t write. I took care of some things around home, and then I took a nap.
It was 4:00 before I started writing. Here. For this post. Not my book. But I don’t feel like I wasted my day. Far from it. I lived it. Or, I let myself live. Each “just now” is always going to be the right time for whatever you are doing if you are present for it, even if it is napping or running errands or talking to your children. I think that if you are truly present to the now, you cannot help but be positive. So much of our negativity comes from the fears our brain creates. Those fears are almost never rooted in the now. The precise moment we are living. This isn’t to take away from the physical pains and illnesses and trauma that people really do experience. But in our day-to-day lives, being present to what we are doing just now gives us, I believe, a deeper connection to our lives. To life in general. An appreciation of the gifts we are given each day we open our eyes to begin anew this journey we are on. Living in the now opens us up to living free. Just, now.