avoiding pain

avoiding pain

I have been trying to not do this. By 'this', I mean coming here at the end of the day for a 15-minute free-writing session.

For the past hour or more, I've been sitting at my computer, wondering if I should resume this practice or not, and surfing the Internet, looking up old friends on FaceBook and wondering what they are up to in their lives, and shaking my head at myself even as I see the sand-grains of time, of my precious life, slipping away in the pursuit of non-pain.

Not so much in the pursuit of pleasure.

But in the avoidance of pain.

Of the pain of putting words to screen and feeling they are not 'good enough'.

Of the pain of sitting down to play with D and finding he's not in a particularly gregarious mood that morning and keeping myself calm while helping him navigate the situation.

Of the pain of sitting down to have a chat with KrA and finding out that we think very differently on certain issues and also finding out that I don't know how to agree to disagree.

Eventually though, I have come here. And that's a start.

I find it funny how I find ways to avoid doing the things I love so much. Writing. Spending time with D and KrA. These are the only things that matter to me. But somehow I find a plethora of excuses to not do these things, or to make the practice of these things more difficult and onerous than they could possibly be on their own.

Like condemning myself to not be at ease. With who I am. Who I love. What I love. Who I spend time with.

The answers are so obvious when I type it all out here at the end of the day. But then the sun rises, and it feels as if there are more important things to do, more important activities to pursue, even though for the life of me I couldn't tell you what exactly those are. It just feels as if what I'm doing, right here, right now, is insignificant. Immaterial. Makes no difference to anyone. Not even to me. But then, a dear friend from halfway across the world wrote in to say how much my writings struck a chord with her.

How do such ideas enter our heads? Every night D goes to bed, eagerly waiting for the next morning to arrive so he can get back to playing with his Lego! He doesn't question why he is playing with Lego. Or whether there are more important things he should be attending to. Or whether playing with Lego will earn him a livelihood.

The 'business' of being a grown-up is a difficult one indeed!

The other thing I wanted to write today was about the myth of finding a balance between making time to write and being present for D. (Poor KrA, he's been on the receiving end of my insanity for so long I'm surprised he's still sane!) Whenever D comes barging into my room (closed doors are sometimes insufficient to keep this child out), my heart sings at the sight of him. But after a few minutes creeps in the resentment because I'd have been in flow and mercilessly yanked out of the WIP I was working on. And then I have to ask D to leave me to work.

Often I wish he wouldn't barge in in the first place but that's a silly expectation. Isn't it good that I can attend to him for 5–10 minutes and then get back to what I was doing? Calmly? Gently? Everyone's happy. Everybody's needs are met.

Perhaps this is a great opportunity for me to learn how to set effective boundaries. I tell myself that and then in the same breath I also remind myself that he'll be off to school next week and I'm already in pieces thinking about it. Gosh! An empty house without D feels unbearable, even though I know from past experience that I'd also cherish the much-needed time it will give me to attend to myself and my needs.

It's a never-ending dilemma for me. As with everything else, I'll figure this out too or I'll find a way to live with it. In the present moment. Giving all my loves – myself, D, KrA, and writing – the time and attention they need.

Each moment will present what it needs of me, what I need from myself in that moment, and I'll rise up to meet it. No plans required. No premeditations needed.

À demain? Peut-être.

Image Attribution: Photo by Josh Rangel on Unsplash