I’m not really sure yet just what being mindful means but I caught a glimpse of something tonight that I though was worth writing about. Two weeks tomorrow I go to have a basal-cell carcinoma removed from my forehead. I’m a bit worried about it – a little about how bad it might be, a little about how bad the scaring will be, a little about the days immediately following. It is a busy time. Four days after the surgery, I have a gig with my band and another three days later. A couple weeks after that I’m going on a week-long trip to visit family, then come back to four “pit band” performances for a local high school musical, and then a week later another performance with a local choir. And work, and practices for all those things in between. That’s feeling like a lot. It occurred to me in an unfocused moment during band practice tonight just how much I love singing and playing with my friends and just how good it feels. And I realized that if the hole is bigger or deeper than I hoped, if the stitching or prognosis is worse, if there’s bruising and I’m covered in bandages on stage, being mindful of the goodness of this gift I’ve been given is what will sustain me and give me the energy to do my best. Maybe I should incorporate some mindfulness practice into my music practice.
I woke up this morning not having had enough sleep but I was feeling pretty balanced and had a clear idea of where I was going for the day. By noon, it was clear that the coding I had been planning to do was not as easy as I’d hoped and I’d have to put some stuff off. By two in the afternoon I had a customer with a crash and another with a serious bug and two support guys looking for help from me. I didn’t get in the yoga break I’ve been trying to take every day. And then the insurance company phoned to let me know they’d put off my application until after my surgery for the carcinoma to see what the prognosis would be. If I hadn’t already been feeling overwhelmed that might not have bothered me, because it isn’t so surprising. My balance, however, was gone, and I crashed emotionally. While it is easy to forget, at times, to keep moving forward, I got it today. I managed to finish the code, repair the data, and fix the bug. I put the work away and got in a really good guitar practice and spent thirty minutes on the exercise bike. I reviewed my To Do list and have a clear idea of where I’m going tomorrow. Balance restored.