The most important thing I can do for myself for the rest of my life is maintain my daily mindfulness practice.
Given that a daily practice runs 10-to-30 minutes, this should not be a big ask. And yet, once life is happening, little things can add up, distract, etc. – and a lot of life is not little. I added a part-time job to my life, and suddenly, I have no time to practice?
The job is on hold for now, for at least a week, because I tested positive for Covid-19. I’ve me some symptoms, but not too badly (fevery at times, a bit of coughing but mostly due to a throat tickle). It feels like a bout of the flu that won’t give up and leave. Except this thing in my body has killed millions in less than two years.
That’ll get your attention fast.
Getting covid hasn’t really changed me much; I was taking it seriously but am stuck living with non-vaccinated people. Guess where I got it? They’ll still refuse to get vaxxed after this (they watch and believe Fox News) so I’m going to have treat my living circumstances, outside my own room, as threat potentials. They might not like my masked all the time, but they give me no choice.
I can’t move. Well, I might be able to, if I were to spend all my money on rent or relocate to Waterloo, Iowa. In the greater Portland area – and that includes Beaverton and all the rest that are proud not be Portland – rent levels are cruel. I at least have a good place to live, covid threats notwithstanding.
I’m on several waiting lists for income-assisted housing, Portland and Salem. I’ll probably be fine until that happens. I’ll get boosted as soon as I’m able. My non-vaxxed housemates will be a bit less infectious, and I’m hoping they’ll be a lot more careful. But if Fox News is telling them they are now immune, oy.
So this will continue to be a source of stress. Mindfulness does not mean trying to rid my life of that kind of stress or pretending I’m at peace when I’m not. I will continue to monitor whatever is going in my mind and body so I can recognize stress and anxiety, acknowledge it, and then allow the emotions and physical feelings to float by the way clouds do in the sky.
What matters, what is real, isn’t what’s causing me anxiety. What matters is that regardless of that, I am able to live my life according to my values. That’s why I continue to practice mindfulness and why nothing is more important in my life.