X-Amount of Time

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.

11 thoughts on “X-Amount of Time

  1. Hi Lynn, I don't comment much but I just wanted to say that your post came at just the right moment for me. For a long time now I've been stuck in a state of suspension, waiting until things get better before I start living my life (when I feel better, when I get my tummy tuck, when I finish grad school, when my heart isn't broken anymore…). I'm battling depression too, and it definitely holds me back from living my life. So, thanks for this… You've inspired me to get off my butt today and get back on my workout schedule.

  2. All of us are plagued by the monkey mind…we all struggle to live in the now and not in the imaginary future when we've accomplished all the things that we believe will make us 'happy.' You are not alone in this.

    Know this, though: so many people don't even know that they are not living in the NOW. They don't recognize their monkey mind. They've never experienced the serenity that you have, so they don't know it's out there and worth seeking. You know how you want to live and how you want to feel, and I have no doubt you will achieve it.

    I try hard to live in the now, too, to try to make each day an opportunity for joy and peace. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks always for your wonderful posts.

  3. This is such a good reminder for ALL of us. I so much loved meeting you. After we parted, I kept thinking about this and that thing that I had forgotten to ask/talk to you about. Wish we lived closer–we could limp/walk and talk our way through another 10 pounds of weight loss, couldn't we?

  4. Drina, that “state of suspension” is difficult to jump off sometimes, and it's even more difficult when depression makes us afraid to take a chance. At least that's how it plays out for me. I play things way too safe sometimes.

    Kaki, I've met a few men (and I'm sure this happens with women, too, but these two particular people stand out in my mind) who are so tightly wound, so stressed, so…angry at everyone and everything, but they stuff it in and don't think about it and I'm stunned that they don't see that they are causing their own pain! I've said something, but they think I'm nuts. Good thing I'm not married to them! LOL

    Debby, I would LOVE to walk/limp 10 pounds away with you! I did the same thing, too – thought about all the stuff we didn't talk about. We need another GTG with everyone 🙂

  5. It's feeling worthy – that you are worth living life now as you are. All that stuff happens whether we are thin enough, smart enough, young enough, ect. enough.

    It's hard to live in the moment, though.

    Glad you got to meet up with Debby! Jealous.

  6. Wow, that's pretty awesome stuff as your posts usually are and you seem to write it so effortlessly!! I'm making some goals for the “X-time” even as I write! I am a huge advocate of the joy found in meeting these bloggers we connect with in person. It adds an entirely new dimension. I am so glad you met Debby. I'm hoping to be on that meet up list of yours someday soon.

  7. I loved this post – thank you! I have a tendency to get trapped in my bad habit of the moment, longing for the time I'll be over it, like a fairy's going to come along and wave her magic wand and change it for me. When I stop to think, I realize if I want change, I have to be the one to make it happen, and it's not necessarily going to be easy, or always pleasant, but it's doable, and it's worth it to reach my goal. I think I need to be more of a conscious planner, like you, to figure out what I can do to achieve the change I want and get started!

  8. Keep up the great work Lynn! I understand the surrealness of people online. I know that some people have been reading my blog and have actually emailed me telling how much they appreciate it. It makes me grateful, but it would be a unique experience to meet them in person. I've never met anyone who I've interacted with online.

    I love that you are a baseball fan. Baseball games are fun : D.

    Keep up the amazing work. I believe in you.


  9. Lynn I just love your posts. I am seriously bad at looking forward and not watching where I plant my feet now. Then when I stumble, like gaining a pound, it's almost devastating. I'm so focused on reaching my goal weight that I'm not appreciating every single pound and inch that's coming off my body. I seriously need to take a step back and live for the now. Thanks for the words of wisdom!


  10. What a great reminder to “live in the now”. I for one know I struggle with this and would much rather pretend I will be happy after a whole list of things happen as I would expect. With such a view, time passes quickly. Time when the most could have been made of life is all but wasted.

  11. Thank you for such a wonderful post. I can't remember how many times I have said “things will be better once “X” is done” and yet does it ever really change? Just because something ends doesn't necessarily mean our lives are instantly better. We always need to work at it, and do things differently if we want different results. Carpe Diem, right? Thanks for the inspiration.

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