I feel like I left loose ends with that last post. So, I’m going to let a rather extended quote from Mark Buchanan give the antidote to hurried living. I tell my students to only use extended quotes when they can’t say what they want to say any better than the original author did, and that is the case here. Buchanan says we solve the hurry problem by learning to pay attention. Or more exactly, “it is the trained inability to inhabit our own existence without remainder, so that even the simplest things — the in and out of our own breathing…the way wind sculpts clouds into crocodiles and polar bears — gain the force of discovery and revelation. True attention burns away…all those attitudes that blend our days into monochrome sameness — and reveals what’s hidden beneath: the staggering surprise and infinite variety of every last little thing.”
I’ll let those words speak for themselves and make a flawed segue into my own thoughts about my own day, which sounds pretty narcissistic, but this is a blog after all 🙂 Today, I was reminded once more that one of the attitude adjustments that I need to make before I can inhabit each moment is to be willing to accept that each moment is not going to go as I planned it, or more accurately, most moments won’t go the way I planned them. If I can accept the change, I’m more likely to see the beauty in the moments.
For example, today I could have spent an unexpected day of work at home with the dog curled up on the couch beside me. Instead, I spent the bulk of my day sulking about the garage door, sitting in a chair because the dog put hair on the couch, and I didn’t want to deal with it. I guess I should backtrack to explain the garage door.
The garage door and I go way back. Two years ago, I found trashcans tipped and strewn around the garage. I thought a wild animal was going to get me until I realized that the disarray was caused by a wild spring breaking from the garage door.
Last year, the opener broke and would only pull the door 3-4 feet off the ground. Until I was beside myself with frustration, I chose instead to wrestle the door up, prop it open with a two by four, back the car out, and then chuck the two by four inside to close the door. To get back in, I would duck under the three foot opening and repeat the process.
So, last night, when I found myself attempting to pry the door open once again. I shouldn’t have been shocked; I shouldn’t have been tempted to throw the pry bar I had enlisted to help me in my futile attempts (actually, I should probably never be tempted to throw a pry bar when frustrated because that’s just asking for an injury). I should have looked around, realized that another spring was broken, and stopped my ridiculous repair attempts. (The attempts truly were getting ridiculous: added to the pry bar were three pieces of two by four and two dog leashes. It was a disintegrating situation).
The long and short of it is that I still don’t know what’s going to happen entirely. The one company never called back with a repair estimate and the other company that installed the door about one year and five days ago (which happens to be about five days past the warranty) didn’t have a manager on duty today.
What I do know is that tomorrow will be a brand new day where I can keep working on making my attitude because it hasn’t been so great today. My planned “moment” was writing a check to pay down student loans not writing a check to the garage door company. My planned “moment” was getting to work at a decent time today. The reality of the moment is that this stinks, but at least I can write a check for the repair (unless the warranty is still in force somehow). The reality of the moment is that I have a job and had stuff to do from home today and that this problem happened now before I had to miss a class due to the whole fiasco.
In other words, in the grand scheme of things, this whole issue is small stuff. I’m sure there will be beauty in the moments of tomorrow, especially if I get my attitude to agree with my logic…