Your Life can be wasted so easily
There was this cute old retired teacher. She lived on her own, but still managed to look after her home and herself with no bother. Here is her routine.
She gets up in the morning. She is wondering if she put out the bins last night. Gets dressed and goes downstairs, opening the curtains while thinking about breakfast. Eating her breakfast, she watched the news on TV and tutted at all the bad news around the world.
She fed the cat as she pondered which bus to take to the shops, then made her list. Hat and coat on, she trundled down to the bus stop wondering if she had her bus pass in her pocket. Luckily, the bus was on time and she got on and found a seat even as she thought about bus times home. She never noticed her friend Betty across the way. She got all her food shopping and caught the bus home, all the time trying to guess when the grandchildren would arrive.
Can you carry on the story yourself? Do you perhaps have a similar routine?
What has our old teacher missed today and many other days as well? Was she ever paying attention in the moment? Perhaps when she was shopping or she might bring the wrong thing home. For finding a seat on the bus she had to wake up. How many of us talk on our smartphones when shopping? You could be more unaware than the old lady.
1 She might have looked out her window and registered the weather
2 Same again with opening the curtains
3 She never tasted the bowl of cereal and got some enjoyment out of it
4 The news would also have obliterated her memory of breakfast as well. It might have a depressing effect.
5 She never stroked her cat. One of the most comforting things in life is stroking a pet.
6 Still not noticing around herself, she was worried about her bus pass which never moves from the pocket of this particular coat.
7 She missed seeing her friend, though she would have been happy to chat. Being sociable is a human necessity.
8 She fussed about the grandchildren.
Now she is an old lady with lots of preoccupations as the elderly do. But look how much she could have appreciated in her routine world that she could experience new daily. No two days are the same. No two moments are the same. They are the only ones we will ever have.
So it is common at the end of our days to wonder, “What have I done?” and not be able to come up with anything he/she is particularly proud of.
Not the money or possessions, status or achievements. “Why didn’t I …” “I wish I had…” are common regrets.
This type of assessment of ourselves is not the direction that practicing Mindfulness leads us in. We will have smelled the flowers and seen the abundance of life all around us. We will eat slowly and savour the tastes of food and not read or watch TV or be on the phone or be playing a game.
We might choose to watch and read Positive News. If we have a pet, we can love it and rely on it to make us feel better.
We won’t miss our friend. We will phone them up and initiate socialization
You will take joy in your family and let the little one tempt you to share their discoveries with curiosity.