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Maybe It Does Pay Off

I’ve spent the past month deep in thought. I’ve meditated at least twenty minutes every day, journaled daily, and I’ve studied Stoicism like I’ve never studied before. I did everything in my power to find comfort in those things while I processed my grief and contemplated how I wanted to live my life.

The problem with going all in on something so serious like this is you can get lost in it. I stopped watching TV, reading, blogging, exercising and so forth. My life was deep thoughts, all the time, without a break.

Despite having written about this before, and repeating this cycle a hundred times prior, I found myself a bit too deep and without a little joy and fun in my life, eventually I started feeling bad. Things were getting bad inside my head until the end of last week when I finally snapped out of it. I spent the weekend relaxing as much as possible, watching goofy 90’s comedies, and I didn’t study or meditate at all. I just took a deep breath.

Part of me wondered if philosophy was truly good for me. I actually journaled out my experiences with both philosophy and religion and came to the conclusion that I always end up a bit too deep. I contemplated swearing off any serious contemplation going forward and just trying to live a mundane, distracted life since maybe a pursuit of peace is not good for me. Maybe I just can’t handle such a concept.

four days of stepping away from meditation and Stoicism I was pretty happy with my decision. It’s not like I saw immediate effects from all the work I was doing.

Then, I did.

Out of nowhere, I got a text that a good friend of mine found himself in a very dark place. After spending some time on a suicide hotline, he went to therapy, and was working on himself. Suddenly, as we talked, the words of Marucs Aurelius rang out. While I didn’t flood him with quotes or anything, I do think some of my advice and comfort were enhanced by all the time I’ve spent contemplating and studying.

Then this morning I walked out of the house and something felt off. I reached back down into my pants pocket and my wallet was missing. I’m not the type of person who loses things, ever. I mean, I can count on my hand the number of things I’ve lost in my life, so this is unusual for me.

I didn’t have much time to look but I quickly checked the laundry I did last night to see if I left it in my pants (it’s a super light front wallet pocket). Then I glanced around my drop off station where I empty my pockets and still didn’t find it. I needed to get to work, so I went out to my car and glanced around the parking spot as well as inside the car, and I still didn’t find it.

A year ago, or maybe even a couple of months ago, I would have been distressed. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on work or even driving to work, because I’d be retracing my steps and freaking out all day. I’d find excuses to rush home from work on my breaks to keep looking and I wouldn’t be able to focus until I eventually found it.

Today, I drove to work calmly. At the first stop light, I pulled out my phone and locked my cards and then I drove the rest of the way to work. As I sat down, I couldn’t help but notice, this is not the usual Brandon response. Where is all the anxiety, pressure, and self-abuse for being so careless to have misplaced my wallet?

It reminded me of last week when I was in the grocery store. I was in the self-checkout area with my small cart when a lady came barreling into it with large cart. She smashed right into my cart and just kept on walking. I looked over, moved my cart closer, and finished scanning my groceries. On the way to the car, I thought to myself, where is the rage? Why am I not mad about this? Why am I not swearing to never go out again or regretting not ripping her a new one for being so rude?

I’ve meditated off and on for well over two decades, but never with any true consistency or length of time. After a month of regular practice, I’m actually seeing results which is startling to me. I guess, in some ways, I thought meditation was a bit overhyped. Maybe I was wrong.

Going forward, I need to balance this quest for peace and living authentically, no matter what that looks like. I think it’s time to just be myself, without judgement and without constraints. Maybe that means a twenty-minute meditation session following a King of the Hill marathon, or maybe it’s writing about deeper thoughts and following up that post with something about some obscure 80’s toy. I think I need to mesh my worlds, and stop separating myself, my writing, my interests, this concept of who I am, and the idea of who I want to be.

On a side note: I used my fifteen-minute break at work this morning to get a little fresh air. By the time I got back into the office, the pollen had done its work, and my nose was running. I reached into my back pocket to fetch my handkerchief and I felt something else in there. Yep… it was my wallet. I haven’t used a back pocket wallet in almost twenty years, I have no idea why I stuck it back there, but I did.

Thanks to Eric, I ordered a Zike card to place into my wallet. I use a very thin front pocket wallet that you basically cannot feel in your pocket and there is no place for an Air Tag, so I’m glad to have a bit more protection than just the tiny Post It note attached to my driver’s license.

Published inSelf-Reflection

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