Monday, January 31, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

The Monday morning started as many do. Although the beginning of the week, I find I place no more ill-will on Monday as I do any other day of the week. The day of the week, whether Monday or Friday, should not cause me to gripe any more than any other. It is still a collection of a series of hours containing stuff that needs done to be able to eventually enjoy the relaxation that an evening with the family brings. The routine is typically the same during every other day of the week, so why emphasize Monday as being more trying? If I consider how many more days until the weekend, I am no longer living in the moment, and that can be difficult any day of the week. Ok, I still struggle.

I awaken earlier than I need to. Usually around 5:45 to 6:00 AM so I get an hour to myself. I call it my “hour of power.” Catchy huh? Okay so I am not a marketing genius. I call it my “hour of power” not because I work out. If you saw me currently, my midsection looks like a candy bar left on the dashboard in hot summer sun. I gotta work on that too!

Anyway, I arise, get my coffee ready, heat up a wonderful heating bean bag thing for my back, and adjourn to my office, my “fortress of solitude.” I turn on some soothing music, and then I take about 45 minutes to meditate. Time to myself. Ahhhh!

I then have about 15 minutes left for the news, traffic, weather, or whatever before I rally the kids. I am calm, relaxed, have time for coffee before they arise. A great way to start the day! The way I have time for this is that I make it a priority. Simple enough.

The troops rallied, snuggle time, pet the dog, more coffee, life is good.

About 45 minutes go by and kids are dressed, car is started to warm up, lunches packed, dog has been out, backpacks being packed, same routine, same timing, check!

What I have found though is something odd. Forty five minutes ago, life was good, blissful, appreciative, and grateful. Now I am scurrying around making sure that things are going “according to my plan”, “my routine”. (Mind you – it is the same plan, the same family, the same routine, the same house, same dog, that I deal with every day for years – like overnight they all lost their minds or memory. Well...maybe.)

“Dad, are you driving us today?”

*Grumble* “Yes, I guess so.” (Reminder–I have already started to warm the car.)

“Honey, will you mail this for me when you drop off the kids. It needs to be mailed this morning.”

*Gripe* “Does it have to be done at 8:00 AM?”

(Two examples are enough.)

Now I have done a lot to work on my ego in the last few years. A lot...Alot! I have become very mindful of what I do, what I put in my body as well as my brain. I try to live in service of others. I work on patching my “leaks”. I mean emotionally and spiritually the proverbial “orange barrels” have been up for some time. Did I say I have done a lot of work? I did? Okay...good.

Well I still need some.

I find my ego is still lurking. Like an angry hostage tied to a chair with duct tape over its mouth, wiggling and shaking the chair to get attention, it still hasn’t given up hope for freedom. Peel the duct tape and it will spit, curse, and scream. Back goes the tape.

As I have said many times before, “it is the storms that show us where our leaks are.” These times at least keep me mindful of the importance of continual spiritual grounding, self-examination, gratitude, and awareness.

I drove the kids and noticed the other children walking in the cold exhaling small bursts of steam. I picked up two other kids in the neighborhood–proud that I could offer a warm transport for them to get their education. The happy childlike banter filled the car. The sun was bright, the energy good.

I mailed the letter for my wife. The drive short, but refreshing. I have some great CD’s in my truck. A few more “me” minutes. The drive was pleasant. I may not have done it if not asked to run the brief errand benefitting us all.

I find my ego still likes to bitch; to makes its presence known. I also find that thankfully the “conscious” me likes to play “hero” more than adversary. The rewards are much greater. Much greater!

My wife mentioned to me recently after requesting (and yes, me complaining) for me to get her some creamer for her coffee at the store one morning (and me complying), “You take such good care of me!” I try. I fail at times, but I try. I just need to try to contain the griping, the "emotional flatulence" we should gain the ability to stifle more regularly.

Nowadays I find my ego is like the neighbor dog that is contained behind a secure fence. When noticed, he will bark, and bark, and bark, trying to establish his dominance, yet with little threat but great nuisance. I just need to be mindful of keeping the gate latched!


Stefanie said...

As always, Tony, you wrote what I needed to read at this moment. I'm glad I checked in. I WISH I could get up early to have that "hour of power"...unfortunately my kids wake as soon as they hear me tip-toeing around. Argh! Hang in there--and good luck getting that melted candy bar mess back in shape! :-) We all can relate.

modern viking vixen said...

Hour of power! Love it!


One Woman's Thoughts said...

Okay, I'm impressed that you can get up, do a few things and then go meditate for 45 minutes without going back to sleep and feel like you're starting all over again.

You know they all love the beegeebees out of you for all you do for them, right?

Tony Anders said...

@OWT - LOL it can be hard to "pour" myself out of the chair afterward, but I find the mental "noise" is lessened if I do it, and my ability to be more cheerful is greatly increased. I always felt through serving my family (and others) that you cannot "buy" your way into heaven, but you can arrive at the door with "good credit". LOL Have a great day!