So How’s That Meditation Stuff Going?

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My meditation spot — I do my best to pick up the toys, laundry & random dress shoes before beginning.

 

I got this question from a quirky neighbor yesterday. And why, you might be wondering, would I ever share the fact that I’m trying to meditate with a random person I know virtually nothing about.

This, my friends, is the beauty of having children.

My kids are participating in a neighborhood swim team this summer (and I have SO much to say about this…but it will have to wait), so we were at the pool on Wednesday. They were sopping wet and all up in my armpits asking the questions of summer — “Can we have a popsicle?” “Can we have a playdate with Evan?” “Can Dillan come over?” “Can we stay at the pool and play.”

You guys. This summer is trying to kill me, and we’re only a week in.

At some point during the interrogation of Mom, I calmly said, “Guys. Enough. I’m not answering any more questions right now. Stop firing them at me.”

They kept going, so I sat down on a nearby bench and closed my eyes and internally coached myself to breathe calmly.

“Oh, Piers, we should go swim. Mom’s meditating again.”

So there ya go.

That was all it took for the dad of another swim team participant who overheard our conversation to quiz me about my “meditation practice.”

Have I ever mentioned here that I have what my family calls an “open face” that sort of screams ‘TALK TO ME?’ I’m working on that…because these days I only have enough conversation in me for my two kids and a friend here and there.

I ended up sharing with him that I was trying to meditate for thirty days.

He was mesmerized. Bless his heart.

Seriously, he seemed genuinely interested and said that he had always been too hyper to meditate. Another woman overheard us and said she was also intrigued by meditation.

I quickly explained that I was no expert and had never been able to maintain any sort of practice long enough to call myself a meditator and that this was all a big experiment.

Well that apparently seemed intriguing as well — the fact that I experimented with this sort of thing.

So now I feel as though I’ve become this random suburban neighborhood experimental meditator because every time I’m at swim practice, someone yells — “Hey, how’s that meditation stuff going?”

Since my inner introvert is in high gear these days, I kind of cringe whenever I hear those words, but I suppose I should be grateful for the added accountability. And honestly, I’ve only been asked once, but anxiety girl over here feels a bit on display. I’m adjusting to neighborhood life… he asked on a particularly maladjusted sort of day.

I’m still working towards thirty days in a row, but yesterday was somewhat of a wash. I’m trying to just go with it.

Here’s how it’s going:

I’m showing up and breathing.

This week has been slightly challenging with my kids on their first week of summer break.

It’s our first summer in a new locale AND the scene is pretty different from our old home and previous summers where we had more space and our only neighbors were college kids who didn’t give a flip if the kids used the front lawn as a urinal or changed clothes on the front porch.

Neighborhood life is a little different.

Honestly, it’s more good than bad…but it’s still an adjustment. We also have a neighborhood pool, so I’m having to navigate that, and well, there are a lot of people. Luckily, Savannah is a pretty chill place, and while people are pleasant and love to chit-chat, most pick up on social cues and recognize when a person wants her space.

The other thing is that my kids are older — eight and seven now — and they fight and get “bored” more than they used to.

I’m not sure I loathe any words much more than “I’m bored.” As a big believer in following your curiosities and exploring your surroundings to see where that leads you…I simply can not stomach hearing that my children are bored. I have to remember that a big part of this is their age and the transition from a structured school environment to open-ended days at home.

But still. Can we just stop with the boredom talk, children?! I feel as though I’ve been entertaining them in some capacity all week. Beach, library, pool, playground, playdates with the neighbors, who seem to want to take up residency in our…dining nook perhaps. That’s the other thing — 1500 square feet is feeling quite small now that three people are occupying the space all day long. Remember when I wanted a tiny house? Yeah, me neither!!!

Seriously, all in all it’s been a good week, and I feel stronger than ever that establishing a meditation practice will only make our summer that much better.

Anyone else out of school yet? How’s that going? Any tips for keeping boys engaged all summer and keeping them from taking random garage items apart?

Here are a couple of shots from last summer. I knew things were entirely too quiet while I was making dinner! See why I need to meditate?!

 

 

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29 thoughts on “So How’s That Meditation Stuff Going?

  1. I love that you’re giving it the old college try! I now meditate, lying down, just before sleep. Maybe that’s cheating, but it’s the only way it gets done. At least I’m fitting it in, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree — you’re fitting it in. Applause! Applause! Truth be told, I’ve been doing the same thing the past two weeks. And…if I’m doing a guided meditation, I inevitably fall asleep before the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s some summer ideas that kept me from losing my sanity in the past:
    -take some sidewalk chalk to a park and have the kids write/draw positive messages to strangers (things like “have a great day”). Then they can take pictures of the positive messages. If you have a printer you can print it out and they can use their message to make a card for someone they really know.
    -make a “bingo” style board full of common “stuff” they might see as you run errands (a red car, a person walking a dog, someone in a swimsuit, etc) and have them take the boards with them. We did popsicles for a BINGO (I would’ve done popsicles anyway, lets be honest) and a bag of “treats” if they filled the card
    -make up crazy “treats” and make sure the kids think it’s a big deal/special. I got away with this for 2 summers in a row before my now 10 year old finally called it what it really is! A handful of goldfish, a handful of pretzels, and a handful of smartfood popcorn in a ziploc becomes “marvelous movie mix” when we go watch the free movie at the library!
    -never underestimate the power of a 20 minute timer while they read a book. That can be when you meditate!
    Have a great summer and good luck with the meditation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to reading more from you. I love Germany and would love to explore more of the country. I’ve visited Berlin and Munich and have a brother-in-law from Cologne. Take care.

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  3. I found your site because you ‘liked’ a post on mine. Thanks for that, glad you liked it, also thanks that it led me to look at your blog. I love the honesty that shines through it; please don’t take that as patronising. In my practice of yoga I have life easy! there’s only me, whereas I see you have children. Respect that you persist in finding time for practice! And we are lucky to have so many techniques that allow us to carry ‘meditative space’ into daily activity. I wish you happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a kind and encouraging comment! I didn’t find it patronising in the least. I’m still plugging along with the meditation. I think for me, in the past for sure, my perfectionism has gotten in my way. I’m doing much better rolling with things this go-around, and thankfully, my kids and I have settled into our summer routine this week. Wishing you peace and happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have kids yet but my mum always prides herself on having two kids who never complained of being bored and to be honest now we’re older we both really pack our time full of activities. The thing is we actually did complain of being bored a few times only we can both remember the response we got when we complained and that was our mum saying “Oh well if you’re bored, there’s a heap of laundry to be done, some dusting or how about vacuuming, or you could change your beds or tidy out your cupboards, or let’s all set to on weeding the garden, how about peeling some vegetables?”… we soon disappeared and found things to keep us occupied and after a while we learned not to complain.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, my mother’s response to our boredom card was always, “I have some extra chores you can do!”

      And suddenly we weren’t THAT bored. And on the rare occasions we were truly, desperately in need of something to do, Mom always had something she needed help with. Even if it was just matching and folding socks. Seriously, it didn’t take long for us to figure out that we needed to come up with ways to amuse ourselves. My mom just didn’t have time for that.

      It works with my 3 boys too. I always get from the older boys, “Nevermind, I’m not that bored.” My 5-year-old sometimes will ask instead if I want his help rather than play the boredom card. That’s when I pray I can find him something helpful to do so I don’t break his heart. He really hates being told he can’t help.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! It works every time. And thankfully, my two don’t really mind doing chores. Things have been better this week. I think we were all adjusting to a new routine. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. πŸ™‚

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  5. I loved reading this post for all sorts of reasons. I could visualize each scenario so easily, especially your kids firing a bunch questions at you like they each had a J.D., and then your “escape” into your meditation pose that drove them away I giggled at that because it was such a brilliant move on your part!

    I too loathe the phrase “I’m bored”. Whenever I hear it I usually need to give myself a time out in the bathroom! :0 Kids need to learn how to entertain themselves (aside from using devices).There are ancient objects called books, yes? πŸ˜‰

    I have an awful case of social anxiety, and I marveled at your speaking with your neighbors about meditation the way you did. I’m thrilled that your new meditation practice is empowering you to have a better summer!

    We still have 8 more days of school. My older daughter is doing an professional-caliber theater production for the first time that will keep her busy for a good chunk of the summer, and our youngest girl is attending a great, two-week-long county park day camp. Those are our splurges. But other than that we don’t have much else going on….it’s going to be a challenging summer. I might finally be motivated to try meditation – and maybe I’ll get the girls to do it too! (My psychiatrist, an avid meditator, taught his young son to meditate….apparently with success. He encouraged me to involve my daughters and start them with one minute. Hmmm. Well, you never know, right?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I relate. My social anxiety has been in high gear lately. Swim team is gonna do me in. Hello, people. This isn’t the Olympics. Calm the hell down. Suburbia makes me a bit edgy. Meditation is going okay. I need to do better with the mornings. I would really prefer to sleep than to get out of bed only to sit on the floor and breathe. Sounds like a fun summer for your girls. Hope you’re surviving the last week of school!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: A Hippy – Who – Me? | Happily Ticked Off by Andrea Frazer

  7. I encourage you! I need to do it, too. I know how hard it is to “calm the brain” when my brain wants to do so much. A good friend told me that meditation isn’t about not thinking, but intentional thinking. She suggests a book called “Wherever You Go There You Are.” I bought it but, um, apparently one has to STOP and read it to get it. Anyway, wishing you much luck. I have two kids, too, and it’s not easy. But being mindful that there are good days and bad days with them and not judging my experience has been helpful. But, well, I still fall short. I’m glad I found you! Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I’m still plugging along with the meditation. I like what you said about being mindful that with kids there are good days and bad days and not judging your experience. That’s a worthy aim in my book!

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  8. Haha!! Summers are great for kids right??πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ Now that people know you meditate almost regularly the feeling of they might ask again about how it’s going will keep you regularly I suppose and what are they doing with the wood???

    Liked by 2 people

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