I went for a walk on the hiking trails near my house today with Penny, my partner’s Chiweenie. I have been stressed about jobs and housing lately, so I decided this would be a meditative walk. And it was wonderful for the most part. I stopped every so often to absorb the tall, tall trees and the sounds of the birds. And then I had this idea: I would walk to the overlook – the sitting area where you can see the entirety of the downtown skyline – and I would meditate and focus on my breathing for ten minutes. Then I knew I would feel much better.
Turns out, there were already several young people there with dogs that Penny decided she hated. So she started barking and being aggressive as she usually does (she’s a rescue we’re socializing) and I had to pull her away from the dogs – and away from my beautiful meditation plan.
That’s how it goes, huh? You make all sorts of plans for yourself and the world laughs in your face. If there’s one thing this shitty shitty economy has taught me it is that things will not go your way when you expect them to. And we have to let go of our attachments to our plans or we become bitter and dejected.
Until maybe just a few days ago, I described this “letting go” as “giving up”. I would send off my sixtieth application and think, “Well, whatever. It’s out there. I don’t even care anymore.” Thing is, I do care. But I’ve come to realize that whether I am hired for a job is largely out of my control. I cannot control who looks at my resume and whether they recognize the value in the college I attended. I cannot control the fact that there are Ph.D.’s with much more education under their belts applying to the same positions I am. I cannot control that budgets for non-profits (the sector I’ve focused most of my energy on) have been mercilessly slashed and that entry-level positions have become unpaid – *cough*slave labor*cough* – internships.
So what do we do?
We keep walking. We come home, take a shower, drink some tea, and cuddle with our Penny’s.
And we do that by letting go of the expectation that anything will ever go “right”. Instead, let’s try focusing on the incredible unpredictable that each day offers us. Welcome good into your life and breathe out the negative. Read more about anger and frustrations here.
Seriously, take a minute and read that article.
After reading it, I’ve considered getting “the boat is empty” tattooed on the inside of my wrist.
Choose a phrase like “the boat is empty” that you can repeat again and again when frustrations pop up in your day.
Take care of yourself.