happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens

I’m facing a big challenge at the moment. It’s something that’s been building up for a while: finding out what life is like – and what I’m like – when there is no “something next”. When nothing is about to happen.

mg 0305 28 03 2012 niell 6 happiness that doesn't depend on what happens
photo by Aquabumps

Boy. What would that feel like? I’m always onto something next. Surely I’d be a shell of a human if I had no more happenings to forward onto?

I find life almost inconceivable without this relentless scheduling voice in my head, steering me on to the next thing, slotting in activities all day, timing how long it will get from here to there and what phone calls I can return while I’m transit. I rang my brother the other day. I was riding up a hill carrying groceries on the handlebars. “Geez Sarah, do you ever uni-task?” he asked. He’s 21 and he shakes his head at me.

When I was a little girl living in the country I would jump with excitement when the phone rang and physically ached to hear the sound of a car rumbling up our long driveway. I would climb a tree and wait and listen. For something to happen.  Someone’s coming! Something’s about to happen! I don’t think this anxious, incomplete anticipation has ever left my bones.

My biggest impediment to reaching something  resembling a meditative state each day when I sit in lotus is the constant diarising and scheduling more things to happen. I revert to this as soon as there’s an empty moment.

I thrive in disasters, because something is happening.  I always know what’s around the next corner…because I’ve anticipated it, planned it, scheduled it’s very possibility. Arghhh….it never stops.

I schedule, therefore I am. It’s my default cognitive position.

It’s got me places, this over-eager embracing of possibility and activity. Lots of things have happened in my life. Great jobs. Awesome opportunities. Excitement.

But it’s now starting to drive me mental. This, I know, is because it no longer serves me.

Whenever something no longer serves me, it all starts to become a noise that gets louder and brighter in my head, more irritating, until I just have to do something about it. I have a bunch of pink elephants in a room sitting opposite me. Staring at me. And demanding I act.

It’s time to act.

Read more