Thursday, January 17, 2013

Re-Entry Revisited

      Time off - so good, For my soul, my racing mind and tensing muscles. It began to work for me while I was still working, merely anticipating the time away, knowing it was coming. "Only __ more days of this," I kept telling myself.

      Up until when this healing began, I couldn't even know the extent of my dis-ease. I didn't realize how I moved about with my neck and shoulder muscles so tightly bunched, against...nothing. I didn't feel how, when I walked, I projected myself three feet ahead of where I was walking, always hurrying, always behind, never actually able to settle into my steps.

      But once the healing began...ahh, what relief. I notice the tension in my shoulders only when I've begun to relax them, and they sink down an inch, then another, then another. I take walks without the imperative of arriving somewhere, and the lean has gone out of my walk. I'm aware of the different quality of my waiting at busstops, my eyes not locked in the direction of the unseen horizon, but seeing everything else around me, in that calm way we can look at things of which we have no expectation, but that they reveal themselves. And what revelation - when it doesn't matter, at all.

      I could go on - about the time away, the contours, the weight, infinity of it - time unmeasured. But I'll only say that it was healing My shoulders are hanging more naturally these days. I'm walking a step at a time. I'm more settled and accomplished in my uni-tasking, this wonderful, life-breathing practice of doing just one thing at a time.

      But what of the re-entry? Well, I come with a different energy than last year. I'm not feeling so much that I have to hang onto something that's foreign to my everyday - the tranquility of the break, the goals I set and resolutions I made. Re-entry this time around feels more like remembering pieces of myself I'd forgotten or set aside. It feels like recognizing that 'working' me and 'on leave' me aren't different people at all, but products of the undeniable influence of environment, and the power of habits and patterns to lock us in or out. And I'm knowing that the bonds I keep with others (colleagues, friends, clients) are at least as important as the bonds I keep with my dreams, and in fact are the best of what I have that can support my dreams.

      It's very satisfying in a way, that after two months off work, so little has changed. I slip back in this time around, with hardly a tremor. My own calm is noted. I see immediately how my perspective and my talents fit. I'm bringing strength. My one-task-at-a-time approach is like a window into a more sane ordering of time, in which I won't be able to lose myself again, nor anyone else.

      I've been learning, for awhile now, that you get to the life you want by living it. My newer understanding is that the living isn't planned, it's not tomorrow, not a goal for the future. It's today. Here and now.

      Re-entry? Maybe I never left.

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