Once upon a time I was in a serious quandary. I wanted some cheap, plastic, materialistic consumer shit made in China and I wanted it now. What to do, what to do?
As I saw it, there were two choices.
I could haul my fat ass up and out of my chair, somehow make it to the car, drive to a big-box store, somehow make it inside and navigate the maze to (hopefully) the right section where the object of my desire might be found. All the while being blasted by a tasty mix of songs scientifically designed to make me spend more money. (The mix is a rotation of two songs. Happy, by Pharrell Williams and anything by Mumford & Sons.)
I say “might” because I’ve tried this in the past and it didn’t quite work out. Ever go to the store to buy one specific thing? After expending incredible effort (see previous paragraph) you learn it isn’t even there. Out of stock. I do not believe there is a worse feeling in the entire universe.
And that other choice I mentioned earlier? Amazon. Duh.
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Finally, the Sabbath is here. Whew! No A-Z Blogging Challenge today. Yeah!
What day of the week is the Sabbath? I don’t really know, but as far as A-Z is concerned, it’s Sunday. We’ll pick back up with “C” on Monday.
So, I will now strive to emulate God, at least in this one way. According to Genesis, God created heaven and earth, light, firmament, Earth, seas, vegetation, seasons, the sun, moon and stars, moving creatures, fowl, cattle, creeping things, beasts, and humans.
Then, on the seventh day, God “rested.” Woot! I’m gonna do that, too.
Literally, Sabbath is a “ceasing,” a rest from work, or a hiatus. According to the Bible this even applies to the beasts, so I have unharness the cats and have given them the day off.
I’ve established I’m taking a break from the A-Z Challenge. Now what?
For today’s sermon, I wish to delve into something else. Master Yoda once said, “All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph.”
Yoda was talking about being mindful.
According to Wikipedia, one possible definition is, “Mindfulness refers to a psychological quality that involves bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.”
Ha! How often does anyone really do that?
Have you ever done stuff like driving away with your coffee mug on the top of your car? That’s mindlessness.
Today I offer for your consideration a few examples.
One day I went to a restaurant I knew should be open. I walked up, turned the door knob (yes, they have a door knob) and pulled. The door didn’t open. I looked in the window. There was an “open” sign. “What the hell?” I was livid. I stomped away all the while imagining the nasty note I was going to post on the internet to let them know I didn’t appreciate being treated that way. They’d learn a thing or two from me.
Before getting too far, however, I watched someone else walk up to the restaurant. They turned the knob, pushed on the door, and walked on inside.
I just got schooled on mindlessness. Quite effectively, I might add. Humbled, I shuffled over to the restaurant and successfully let myself in.
For this next story, I’m going to give you the ending first. It ends with someone sitting on the living room sofa, drinking some milk, then shouting profanities with alarm.
Ah hell. Why be coy? It was my wife.
Once in the kitchen, she immediately grabbed a glass and poured herself a drink of milk. Savoring the moment, she went to the living room and settled in before, finally, taking a long satisfying drink of delicious milk.
Or so she thought.
It can be quite jarring to take a drink of something expecting it to be one way and then finding out that it’s something else. Quite jarring.
It turns out she didn’t buy milk after all. She bought something from the milk case that was bottled and labeled in similar fashion to milk, but it wasn’t milk. It was some sort of lactose-free beverage that my wife hates.
Yes, she was mindless in the store. She didn’t bother to mindfully look at what she was buying. And it led to quite the surprise.
Okay, only one last example and I’m done.
Last weekend, my wife hired a friend’s kid to help with chores in the garage and around the house. One of the jobs was getting rid of the big umbrella from the table in our backyard. It seems it had been left open during a windstorm and had been broken. I ended up wrestling it down just before the whole thing flew away Wizard of Oz style. And it only cost me one severely pinched hand.
So here she was, paying this kid in cash money to help her take care of the umbrella. She instructed him to break it down and dismantle it for the trip to the dump. He dutifully pulled off all the fabric and crunched it down as much as he could.
When loading the car, however, she noticed something strange. There was the damaged umbrella still sitting in the garage and it was completely untouched. What the hell?
Oh yeah, they had just destroyed our backup umbrella, making us the proud owners of two useless piece of shit umbrellas.
Remember that in everything you do, there is a choice. Be mindful and pay attention to what you are doing. Or be mindless and think about anything else and suffer the consequences.
You can expend all the energy you want, but if you do it mindlessly, you’re probably just wasting your effort and time.