Day 4: Adventure. And Finding Your Moment

Day 4… Saturday.

Saturday is a ‘hit the ground running’ kind of a day, in a house with five boys under 13. It isn’t a leisurely day, it isn’t an “I’m just going to take myself off to meditate” sort of day.

Saturdays have become family adventures of late. We get up, pack up some food, walking boots, waterproof coats and water bottles and off we go! We are exploring our new environment and today’s adventure took us to a fabulous rocky outcrop (or ‘mountain’, if you’re five) delightfully named Roseberry Topping. Some of us got to the top. Some of us got to the top and back a few times.  One of us got to the top and managed, even at his advanced age,  to get lost coming back down… And some of us didn’t quite make it to the top, since we were escorting the person with the smallest legs (who was still very determined, nonetheless).

And I have a confession to make: If I hadn’t taken up this challenge, I think I would have let today slide… given myself the same old excuses… let myself off the hook. But, as I have discovered (much to my own dismay, actually, since it means I can never give myself a pass-card again), there is always a little corner of the day somewhere…

Teatime out of the way, little ones quietly occupied, older ones quietly occupied, I slipped away to my bedroom. I got comfortable and it didn’t take long at all to get into the zone today, which is testament to the fact that it is day four without a break, so it is getting easier, more familiar. And the circumstances surrounding each meditation session the past four days have been different, which means I’m learning to do it anywhere. Tonight, I could hear the gentle sounds of the Bedtime Hour on television, the dehumidifier going on and off, my eldest two larking about together in the room next door, a couple of kids on the village green and the odd car going past. But although I was aware of them all, they didn’t prevent me focusing on the breath. A fact about which I am enormously heartened. If that is the state of play after four days, then imagine how much more I will gain from this after forty! 😉

Tomorrow, for us, is a day at home. The week is spent at work and school, Saturday off on an adventure, and Sunday is about big, cooked breakfasts, creativity, and relaxing. That sounds far less challenging from a meditator’s point of view than a Saturday so I have high hopes.

But today, too, was a lesson in positivity.

One of my darling boys tends towards the squeaky wheel… He has become something of a master of the sour face, of blame-dodging (and reassigning), of rewriting history, of ducking responsibility… And he didn’t want to go. He began, on getting into the car, with attempting to corral everyone else in: “Nobody else wants to go on an adventure either!”, added a bit of pressure with “I feel sick!”, and sat in the backseat muttering and making a bit of a fuss, frankly. Were it not the case that a) he does it every week, and b) it never bears out during the day, I might have taken it a bit more seriously.

Later on in the day, as the beautiful September sun was beginning his slow descent and we were following, back down the ‘mountain’, I looked at my three middle boys (of which our protester is one) hiding behind trees, leaping out at each other, laughing, giggling, play-acting… I should perhaps have resisted saying, with a laugh in my voice, “It’s a shame these days are so awful, isn’t it?”…

… but I didn’t.

And I might even remind him next week 😉


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