Thank you, dear reader, for putting up with my crap for the last couple of weeks. As you know, work has been ridiculously busy. Today was a 13-hour day, and it felt almost light. As I was driving home from work this evening, I was trying to figure out whether this current period of my life is one that’s honing me for similar situations in the future, or whether it’s one of those times that all my work on myself in the past has been preparing me for.
Probably a little bit of both (duh).
In the past few years, I’ve been working on deflating my ego. Being all into self has gotten me into some pretty crappy spots in the past, and I’ve been trying to spend less time in my own head. “Live in the moment” – “chop wood, fetch water, seek enlightenment”, as the zen saying goes. Well, the ass-kicking that work has been dealing to me lately has been very good practice for staying out of my own head. I just don’t have the time to sit around and think about how the world is affecting me. I just am.
Happily, I really don’t have much to say about the state of my ego. I haven’t really been paying attention to it. This time last year, I was about half as busy as I am now. And I was pissed. The single, constant thought that was on repeat in my head was (some variation of) “they’re not paying me enough money”. Some form or another of this thought consumed me, except during the few hours of respite I’d get when work consumed me.
Now, work has totally consumed me. Oh, those thoughts run through my head still, but I’m not spending any time with them. I let the thought/feeling wash over and through me, and I’m not sad when it goes. It’s not a productive type of thought, and I don’t have time for unproductive thoughts.
Overall, things have been pretty good. My ego seems to be pretty well kept in check by the sheer amount of work I have to do. When something happens that dings my ego, I’ve been noting it, but not really doing anything about it. Just moving on to the next thing that needs to be done.
I really hope that this continues. I’ve been pretty darned content. I don’t know that the word serenity necessarily applies – that word carries a lot of weight with me. I think, though, that I’ve achieved kind of a diluted form of serenity.
As far as the “little bit of both” thing goes:
The result of past work: I used to think that I was achieving serenity by repeating to myself “I really don’t care”, but I also kind of knew that that’s not what serenity is about. Serenity is more of an “I’m ok with that” – but one has to be able to insert any damned thing in place of the ‘that’. I’m pretty close to the latter right now. There’s not a whole lot that bothers me, because I can’t afford to let anything bother me – I just don’t have the time. So I think saying “I really don’t care” was more of a stepping stone for me to get to “I’m ok with that”, even though I still stumble over things that I’m not ok with.
Honing me for the future: I said to my boss before the proxy season started that “I don’t know if I have another gear in me”. After the last few weeks, I’ve found that I actually have several more gears in me than what I was working with last year. I’m hoping I can take this modicum of serenity (however diluted it may be) with me as I move into the next phase of life – whatever that may be and wherever it may take me.
And so, to wit, the reading from my zen-a-day calendar this morning:
“When you Truly feel this equal love for all, when your heart has expanded so much that it embraces the whole of creation, you will certainly not feel like giving up this or that. You will simply drop off from secular life as a ripe fruit drops from the branch of a tree. You will feel that the whole world is your home.” -Rama Maharshi
I’m certainly not there yet. Hell, I’m still hoping that chick from eHarmony emails me back and decides that there’s nothing more important in her life than having hot, steamy sex as many times as humanly possible with me this weekend. Yeah, I’m glad I still have some work left to do on myself. Being perfect is probably unbearably boring.