It started off as a thought.
Then it was a suggestion.
Soon it became a recommendation.
Then a plea. A directive.
I promised to look into it. But did not.
I swore I would explore it further. But did not.
I pledged to give it a shot. But did not.
I didn’t want to spend the money.
I didn’t want to make the time.
I didn’t want to go there.
I am a master of coming up with excuses.
Until I finally did it.
(Aside: this is pretty much the story of my life.)
I downloaded the app – but not until I got an email from a colleague with a link that had a code that, when applied, allowed me to get it for free. As opposed to the $80/year fee. Even that took me better than a week to do. I’m nothing if not honest.
Said download found a place on my homescreen and, feeling super proud of myself, I took a screenshot and texted it to my therapist. You know, the one who suggested this whole thing in the first place. (See: “it started off as a thought.”)
Truth: it took me about 10 days to actually open the app.
Another day or two after that to hit play.
And now, day five, I am kinda into it.
Headspace. A meditation app.
Kinda hate that my therapist is always (as in every time) right.
Kinda love it, too, though.
Recently, Barry and I finished watching all four seasons of “Life In Pieces” on Amazon Prime. We are crushed that there was no fifth, sixth, or seventh season. If you haven’t seen (or heard) of it, I highly recommend you do. It’s a smart, quirky, funny, and relatable show about a family. Think “Modern Family” only totally different. Dianne Wiest and James Brolin play Joan and John Short, the matriarch and patriarch. They have three adult children (fun fact: one is played by Tom Hanks’ son, Colin) and I dare you to not recognize yourself in one (or several) of them. In every single episode, we found ourselves laughing out loud. Watch it.
Anyway, in one episode (season 2, episode 7: Swim Survivor Zen Talk. You’re welcome), Jen, who is married to Greg – the baby of the family – is smart, sassy, and finds the whole family charming, albeit a bit much. After much deliberation and with the hope of finding her in-law family less ridiculous (but she does love them), she downloads Headspace (okay, I don’t know if it was actually Headspace, but it was a meditation app). As a lawyer working to make partner, mom to a toddler and having to deal with her husband’s whacky family, she thinks that perhaps meditating will help her get through their weekly Sunday brunches. She will politely excuse herself to “meditate”, separating herself in a room apart from everyone else. Plugs in her earpods, assumes a “comfortable position”, takes a deep breath (in through the nose, out through the mouth), and commences to meditating. And, for the first couple of escapes, she does indeed meditate. Until she doesn’t. Until that is, she decides she would rather play Angry Birds (or something along those lines) and proceeds to get as into it as much as humanly possible. But, alas, she must maintain the charade that she is, as she has convinced all of the Shorts, meditating. For a while it works perfectly. Until she gets busted. It is one of my favorite t.v. episodes ever. Better than Seinfeld’s “Master of My Domain.”
In the weeks (okay, it may have been months) that my therapist suggested, recommended, pleaded, and ultimately directed me to try Headspace, I could think of nothing other than this episode. I saw enough of myself in charmingly high strung Jen that any attempt at meditation would eventually find me aggressively fighting against birds. Fair, right?
It has taken me weeks (okay, months) to make space in my
day head to give it the ol’ college try. And, um, so far so good. (Aside: it doesn’t hurt that the voice talking me through something that feels outstandingly unnatural is an Australian mate named Andy who, I am quite certain, is a fine specimen of a man.)
Yes, it is true that my heart was racing through the first two sessions (all 4.5 minutes of them), but by the third time, I was kinda into it.
Slowing my breathing. Noticing the “traffic” in my head. Calgon-ing myself away from it all, if only for a few minutes. Hearing my boyfriend Andy lull me into a happy place.
I make no guarantees that I will not morph into a bird shooter, but, for now, during this ridiculous craziness that defines us all right now, I am kinda digging it.
My point? Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a terrible idea for you to try it, too. I am a professional worrier and catastrophizer and it seems to knock me around enough to settle the mind a little, which, if we are being honest, sort of shocks me. But alas, as always, my therapist was right.
So, perhaps when the calendar turns from 2020 to 2021 (which cannot come soon enough amiright?), you will take that thought that morphs into a suggestion, then a recommendation and winds up a plea and directive, cut it off at the pass and make something happen at the suggestion stage, and see where you land.
It might surprise you.
Unless, of course, the suggestion is that you run naked through town. Or blow up a bridge. That’s more likely to get you arrested than empowered.
Wishing you peace in a snowstorm, health in your household, and the ability to relax even a teeny tiny bit in the new year.