It didn’t start out that way but by the time I was finished, the trail of people stepping out with me resembled a clown car parade.
As the hot water ran deliciously down my back, I luxuriated in the quiet, the peace.
And then it began.
First, a couple of new colleagues appeared. They wanted to berate me for not having made enough progress toward my deadline tomorrow. For writing a far too lengthy intro to a soon-to-be-published piece. For not being as smart as them. Gosh, they were loud. And nagging. Lots of nagging. I moved over a bit and tried to ignore them.
Then, my neighbor appeared. She wanted to discuss some school issues her son was having, hoping I could shed some light as the mother of older boys. She was lovely but the guilt she induced at my lack of early AM attention span was surprising.
I rubbed the shampoo in and hoped the three of them would take care of introductions and talk amongst themselves, leaving me in peace. No such luck.
Then my parents showed up—which made things really weird. They wanted to point out that I was working too much and not getting proper sleep. And then they disagreed on which was the bigger issue, so the back-and-forth got really loud.
As I fled the shower, leaving this cacophonous quintet to their lathering, I heaved a sigh of relief. Calm. Let’s get back to my morning mantra—something about listening only to my own still inner voice.
I could not hear half of what my son told me over breakfast because my work colleagues had followed me downstairs and were harping about the data in my piece. My editor had joined them, asking why I had not begun the business feature due early next month. Multiple sources, plenty to chew on—didn’t I want more time to dig in on this one? Chop chop.
On the way to school, I barely heard the conversation of the three boys in the backseat. My doctor had plopped herself next to me to ask why my mammogram order was now several months old and unused. Did I not know the statistics for women in my age group? And why was I not doing that monthly self-exam, despite having two friends touched by abnormalities or cancer in the past year?
By the time I exited the car to begin my work day in earnest, I was exhausted from all of the chatter.
And right there, silly friends, is the problem. The chatter. The monkey mind. The one I observe, supposedly with compassion, when I meditate.
Tomorrow it ends. I get my time to plug into the universe. To observe the crazy chatter in my mind and then focus elsewhere. To shower solo.
You with me? And yes, I mean figuratively, not literally. My shower is only so large.
Give yourself some quiet time today, people. It’s a life saver.