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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#119: Be Simple and Easy

This morning, I woke up feeling optimistic. My daughter (who, like nearly all children these days) has been doing remote school from home and it's....a lot. But today, because it is the feast of the immaculate reception or whatever (I'm not Catholic) she did not have school, and could sleep in past 6:30. I was excited to get up to a quiet house, drink my coffee in peace, and get all the writing done I wanted before she rolled out of bed around 9.

My excitement was short-lived. I got out of the shower, and my husband told me Catherine was already up and downstairs, waiting for breakfast and to be entertained. My anticipation about my planned productivity dissolved into dread, knowing that I'd spend the morning instead negotiating phone calls between her and my mother, who is recovering from surgery, answering questions about the gingerbread house kit I bought in a fit of foolish craftiness, and fending off her requests to use my phone for games or some other bullshit. I wouldn't even be able to listen to music on my phone like I always do to write because she and my mom would be using it to have some long, pain-killer addled phone conversation in the other room.

In other words, my day was all f&*%^d up before it even really got started. I was grumpy, and disgruntled, and not very pleasant. I could feel nine months of Covid-related frustration coming to a head, ready to boil over on my unsuspecting family (and dog). So I decided to meditate. I knew that sitting on the mat and clearing my mind wouldn't hurt, so I went in the guest room, turned on my salt lamp, and picked the meditation that seemed most likely to apply. (They didn't have one titled "Calming down when you want to murder your entire freaking family" which seems like a real gap in their programming.)

Instead, I picked Joseph Goldstein's "Be Simple and Easy" which focuses on dealing with frustrations and negative emotions. For eight and a half minutes, I was transported to a calmer place, one filled with deep breathing and mindfulness around the idea of letting go of negative emotions.

I say eight and a half minutes, because that's the point where my daughter, knowing I was meditating, barged into the room to ask me some sort of useless question that she could have very easily asked her stepfather, who was literally in the room with her when she came up with it.

I took out my headphones, turned off the meditation, and decided that perhaps today was not the day to try to Be Simple and Easy. After all, there's always tomorrow to not be homicidal.


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