Yesterday Lea and I went to our local Farmer's Market, as we have every Thursday all summer. It is a small Farmer's Market, but a nice one. Every week we walk through once to see what everyone has, then we walk through again and make our purchases. The whole process takes about 15 minutes. There was no reason to think that last night's visit would be any different. It was just another box to check off on our long weekly to-do list.
I would be hard put to tell you what shifted to make this visit different.
I suppose part of it is that my schedule is completely filled with meeting other people's needs. To be honest, I had allowed some resentment to build up around this. I'm not proud of that, but it's true. Give and take had turned into give and give and -- while I'd love to tell you that I rose to the challenge selflessly and without complaint, the truth is that I did indeed rise to the challenge, but I did so with a big-ass chip on my shoulder.
So there I was, in my usual-of-late grumpy state, completing my first round and ready to make my purchases when Lea ran into a couple friends. "Great." I sighed, "Now she's going to argue with me about leaving. Just what I need. Super." And then I stopped. As part of Lea's Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) she has been working on mindfulness -- on being in the moment. I looked at her talking to her friends -- happy -- carefree in that moment. Why would I want to take a pleasant moment from her? Was our schedule really that tight? It was not. I backed off and decided to appreciate the moment myself.
Earlier in the week, a friend had said something that had really settled into my brain and made itself at home. Essentially, she said that if we don't make the most of the situations in which we find ourselves we are doomed to wallow in resentment. That was precisely what I was doing. I was allowing myself to resent everyone and everything that was causing me to put my own interests on hold. I was trying to think of ways to make my new situation palatable and I was hitting the wall with each suggestion. To say that I was frustrated would be a rather dramatic understatement.
So I looked at Lea -- just enjoying a late-summer moment -- and I followed her lead.
I took note of the sunshine, and the way it felt especially nice after the light summer rain. I became aware of the smell of the homemade warm donuts that were being made and decided to treat us to a bag. The girls had asked for them before, but I'd always said no. This felt more like a yes moment. As I waited in line, I listened to the street musician, singing songs from my youth and from his heart. I thought about how much my dad loved homemade donuts and I missed him, but in a warm nostalgic way, not in a painful empty way. I took a bite then lifted the rest in a toast. Cheers, Tut. I turned the resentment aside and started letting the love flow in. How appropriate that Lea and Tut were the ones that created the impetus for this. The negative drained out as quickly as the positive flowed in. It was summer, I had a bag full of delicious fresh produce in one hand and a bag full of hot fresh donuts in the other. Yin and Yang. Balance. The sun was shining, my daughter was smiling, my thoughts were loving and all was well in my universe.
Just for a moment.
Of course the rest of the daily obligations remained. We didn't stay forever. It wasn't forever. It was a moment.
A really nice moment that put the rest of the day into perspective.
Maybe there's something to this.
Maybe I can find the good in this less than optimal situation I find myself in.
I've been looking at the big picture.
Which is sometimes the right thing to do.
But for me, right now, I think I might fare better if I put the big picture in the background and concentrate on the details.
Take the time to smell the donuts.