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X-Amount of Time

Posted May 17 2013 4:50pm

I couldn’t follow the dharma teacher’s guided meditation this morning to save my life. My monkey mind swung from thought to thought, and my body busted loose from every position I put it in, even though I was in the comfiest place in the world: my bed.

I sat up and took out my iPod ear plugs and said, “What? What the hell do you want?”

The answer I got was, “Live now, not later.”

Don’t ask me where that came from because I don’t have a clue. I often wonder if it’s not my past lives coming through (all of whom had obvious issues with patience) saying, “Come on already! Figure it out and let’s move on! Chop chop!” But I guess that wouldn’t really be embracing patience now, would it?

Anyway, I sat with that question and answer for a moment. Then I reached in the nightstand for a pad of paper and wrote this: “When my knee is fixed, when I lose 10 pounds, when this depression leaves me, when I’m done with school…THEN life will be the way I want it.”

Ha! Like some magic fairy is going to come along and make my life great – without any  exertion on my part – once x-amount of time has passed?! Fat. Chance.

X-amount of time will pass: One. Second. At. A. Time. And in those seconds, I am.

I. Am.

So instead of a formal guided meditation this morning, which clearly wasn't happening, I broke it down into my own meditation. 

I am:

1. A person who needs a knee replacement.

Sooooo….What can I do in the x-amount of time between now and surgery? “Duh…” say my impatient past lives. “You can still have goals!”

I can’t ride my bike and I can’t work out on the elliptical – two things I love to do – but that boo-hooing has put at least two pounds on each of my thighs, I swear. I CAN walk, for cryin’ out loud. Pretty well most of the time, despite the limp. And I can lift weights. And I can strengthen my core. So I set goals: To walk the entire length of my beloved 20-mile bike path twice before replacement, a few miles at a time. And every other week, my BFF Shari will join me, like she did today. So will Al. 

Today, Shari, Al and I walked my favorite part of the bike path and I saw some old friends and their babies: 

I’ll also pick up the weights again at home, and I’ll hit the gym and talk to a personal trainer. I might even join a yoga class, like I’ve said I’d do for how long now?

2. A person who wants to lose 10 pounds.

Sooooo….What can I do in the x-amount of time between now and when my shorts feel a little loose? PAY ATTENTION to everything I put in my mouth. It worked before, it will work again.

3. A person who is clinically depressed.

Sooooo….What can I do in the x-amount of time between now and the time I’m feeling less depressed? I’ve already started doing something about that (pat on my back).

“I met her in a Kuhn’s grocery store parking lot…” Sounds like a great beginning to a cheesy romance novel, but that would be how I met my AIM blogging friend, Debby . Google maps sent her 20 miles away from where we were supposed to meet, and when she called and said she had no idea where she was (which is totally understandable since Debby lives in California and has never been to Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh motto is, “If yinz don’t know where you are, go home.”), I went in search of her.

“Stay put, I’ll find you,” I said, and typed in her coordinates into my Garmin. (When I was a kid, I wanted to be Uhura).

We were supposed to meet – of course – at a groovy healthy breakfast place, but that was light years away from the grocery store, so we went to my favorite Mexican place, Mad Mex, where we ate pepita hummus, chips and salsa, and chopped salads. 
 
Often, the Internet feels ethereal, so meeting Debby grounded me. I needed to be reminded that real people read my blog, real people write blogs, and real people interact with real people, just not always in person. Having said that, the Internet has a silent surrealness about it, at least it does for me, and I’ve been needing some real-life connectedness.

Last week, I met another online friend, who works at Clarion University, just a few blocks from where I used to live, and yet, we never got our s*it together to meet when I lived there. Melissa has lost over 100 pounds and, like so many of us, struggles with the “Can I/How do I/Do I want to lose more?” question, along with “Who am I now?” 
We got along juuuuust fine *grin*

I also went to a Pirates game with my friend Rachelle.
The Bucs are doing great right now, but even when they’re bad, I can’t be sad at a Pirates game, thanks to Michael McHenry and Andrew McCutchen. …sigh… 
 

4. A person who is still in school

Sooooo….What can I do in the x-amount of time between now and certification?

Study. Finish my final projects. Pass my exam. There’s no room for wishy-washy, feel-good sentiment here. I need to kick myself in the ass and do it.

I. Am.

You. Are.

We all have x-amount of time between now and….when? I will do my best to fill that space with compassion. Fill that space with love. Fill that space with curiosity and questions. I just know I can’t fill that space with the future. It doesn’t exist.

“Live now, not later.” Life is the way I make it. Now.
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