Ah, goals. I have so many, one of which is to start my day off correctly as frequently as I can. Invariably this translates to me listening to a Tony Robbins podcast in the car on my way to school drop-off. Because nothing says girl, you’ve got this day like straining to hear a self-help guru speak over the din of elementary-aged boys arguing about Overwatch in the back seat, amiright? The way I see it, if a busy billionaire can find the time to center himself and chart the course for his day, then so can I. Even in yoga pants that haven’t seen the inside of a yoga studio in
forever a while.
I don’t think Tony Robbins has small children, though. Or if he does, I’m fairly certain he has people to contain them while he’s inhaling and exhaling with intention before climbing into his cryotherapy tube. But it remains true that one of the supposed silver bullets to ensuring a productive day is to take 10 to 20 minutes each morning to meditate. I’m in! As a woman with a to-do list longer than a Costco receipt from the day before Thanksgiving, I can use all the help in ensuring my day is filled with productivity.
After learning I need to meditate, I decide to start right away. On a day all of my kids are home from school. But they stayed up late the night before, so surely they’ll sleep in, right? (I can hear you laughing, please stop). I settle in, wearing my trusty
pajamas yoga pants, criss-cross it on my office floor, and set my phone timer for twenty minutes.
Inhale deeply. Fill my lungs with air and a sense of gratitude. Slowly exhale, remembering to contract my abs* to send all the air and negativity out. Easy!
My phone vibrates, I look down. National Geographic alerts wants me to know that a new species of large, tree-dwelling rat has been discovered in…wait. I must not let myself become distracted. Gently set the phone under a pillow. Look out the window and take in the warm, morning sun on my face. Be grateful it’s even sunny out, because this is Oregon and in about two days the sun will disappear for the next seven months. The boys are going to need new rain gear. Would it kill my husband to think about this? I mean, they are supposed to attend a football game on Saturday, and the forecast calls for rain. How hard is it to look at the weather app and take a quick coat inventory? Stop. Breathe. Let this thought slide through your mind.
I breathe in deeply, opening my heart to the sky, holding my breath at the top of the inhale. How long am I supposed to hold it for? That felt like a really short inhale, surely my lung capacity should be better than this. Are those cigarettes I used to sneak in college catching up with me? How long do I have to live if it’s lung cancer? Will I look good with a headscarf during chemo treatments or will I be one of those warrior women who just goes bald? Because I can already tell you a wig is out of the question.
Exhale all the negative thoughts. Set the day’s intention: productive. grateful. focused.
I am breathing. I am placing this distraction to the side. This is not unfolding like some clichéd scene from Eat, Pray, Love. My child will quickly discover I am otherwise occupied, and using his accountability skills will seek the answer to his question on his own.
But. What if he’s hurt? Wait, did I lock the front door? What if there is an intruder in the house? Most break-ins occur during the day. Why haven’t I issued a code-word to my kids to signal distress so I can at least grab a baseball bat and dial 911. Which reminds me, I need to pick up Corn Nuts before the next Little League practice.
I glance at my phone. It’s been less than two minutes. But you know, I think it’s working.
Okay, PlanHero readers, what are your tips for staying on track with your day?
*technically I have not had abs since approximately 1997 but whatever