After the Short Night

I was so tired that I couldn’t sleep. Has that ever happened to you?

I read my Chaim Potok book, Davita’s Harp, then watched a Hallmark movie about a man who marries his brother’s widow in the Jewish tradition. I can’t help it – I like sappy, feel-good movies, even if they aren’t stellar examples of cinematography.

Then I lay in the dark and stared at the ceiling, at the pillow, at the brown light that seeped beneath the bamboo shades. Then I flipped the TV back on to watch Friends reruns until 1. Around 2, I finally slept.

I knew I’d open my eyes before 7. Truth be told, if I had risen early like I usually do, I like to think I would have gotten out of bed and gone to Kundalini yoga class at 6:30 a.m. But I didn’t. I haven’t done yoga in a week. It’s like I’m moving through clouds.

One thing I’ve made sure to do every day is meditate in the morning. I haven’t gotten back to my afternoon meditation, but at least something is happening, something calming, something to raise my vibration, to eradicate the bad and the past and the rumination.

Yesterday and the day before, I focused on work. In fact, I attended classes to earn my APR, accredited in public relations, status from PRSA. Planning, studying, looking toward the future is a great exercise in escaping the moment.

But when I’ve been at the hospital, among family and beside my grandmother, it’s like the outside world has stopped. There is no place I’d rather be. And I don’t think or wonder or ruminate or check my phone or check the clock – I am just there. Everything else is suspended in time.

A friend remarked earlier in the week how strange it is to have life moving full-throttle alongside the very slow movement of time for someone in a hospital bed. It is simultaneous and surreal.

At certain times in life, nothing else matters except right now. That should be always – a goal we shoot for and eventually live in. The right now is the only. It’s the only thing that exists, really. The past is gone, the future has yet to be born.

In the moment is the place we will be most successful. Do the work in front of you, and the money will come. Worry about tomorrow’s work, and you’ll find a problem.

At the time of birth, at the time of death, in the middle of the night when a child has a nightmare, when someone is sick with the flu, at a holiday when the mandate is to focus on how one can improve, all of these moments are singular and we have no trouble being in them exclusive of the outside world.

Why, then, do we have such a hard time focusing and staying rooted in the moment at other times? Why do we hurtle along at warp-speed most days of the week?

Every time a child gets sick and I have to stay home from work or cancel meetings or delay deadlines, I marvel at the fact that everything that I thought had to happen exactly then could actually be perfectly fine a day or a week or an hour later.

Isn’t that wonder? Sorta makes me want to refocus my entire life.

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