Yesterday one of my best friends gifted me a magical jar. It is an ordinary (seemingly) mason jar which she’d decorated with yellow ribbon and pretty scrapbooking paper. Inside it there are more scraps of neatly folded pretty paper.
I’ve written before about how much I’m struggling with, “Oh, dear God, what should I do?!” All the time. Constantly. Being stuck still a little bit in self-punishment-mode, I feel like I can’t be my own advocate for relaxation or fun or self-care, because why do I think I deserve any of that?
But, well, if a magical, pretty jar tells me what to do… Who am I to fight it?
Yesterday was a good day, even before the jar’s intervention. I woke up when I wanted, I hiked a mountain with my friends, I drank a lot of iced coffee, I went on another walk with another friend, cooked something nice for dinner… Which is usually around the time when the day starts to lose me. Post-dinnertime. I am a hungry beast, so I eat dinner pretty early, and then the evening just LOOMS, vast and gigantic and impossibly empty. How can I ever fill it with something like meaning?
Just the presence of the jar on my nightstand is soothing. I didn’t even need it right away. I ate my dinner, did my dishes, made some cinnamon tea, and started out by reading my book. Tried to breathe through the antsiness and focus on the words on the page. I made it about an hour, which has been unheard of for me lately.
Finally, I was too excited about the jar to wait any longer. I reached my fingers into the opening and withdrew a pretty piece of paper. I unfolded it and was greeted by the sight of my friend’s familiar handwriting.
Jar Adventure #1:
Do a guided meditation.
Meditation is NOT something I have ever done with much success. I don’t like sitting still and breathing and focusing. I can be tricked into meditation via yoga, because I know we’re going to move at some point.
But dammit, the jar is the boss of me, so I searched “guided meditation” on Spotify and I found one about Letting Go.
And, you know what, I feel like I mostly did what the meditation asked of me. I sat still and focused on my breath and I noticed when my mind wondered and I noticed what I’m still clutching, what I have not been able to let go. I did not scoff or bail when the nice lady on Spotify asked me to consider what it would feel like to let go.
“Joy” is what sprang to mind. Lightness, freedom.
I did not panic and click “pause” even as the tears began to roll down my face.
I just breathed.
(Thank you, jar. Thank you, dear friend.)
When the meditation ended and my eyes were wet and heavy, I realized regretfully that I did not have enough flour to make an actual batch of chocolate chip cookies, which I very much felt I deserved. So, I looked up a little mug cookie recipe and dragged myself into the kitchen to make a tiny mess and to create a little crumbly, chocolate chip situation.
The point, I think, is that I did not let the revelation of sadness send me careening back into the arms of sleep and Law & Order re-runs. (I only watch the Stabler seasons.)
My mug cookie and I watched a few comforting YouTube videos, breathed in the scent of our pumpkin candle (I am fucking ready for fall, gang), and didn’t give in until about 9:30.
This morning, I woke up again when I wanted.
Maybe tonight I’ll make it to 10.