Have you ever wanted to go back to school?  I have not; I hated school, but I have always wanted to go back to the psychward for a weekend, just for some rest and relaxation and low expectations!   I’m kidding as I’d rather not revisit that time/s in my life but I do want to revisit the teachings I received.

When I was in the psychward and during the eight week post day treatment program I was learning mindfulness.  I don’t like mindfulness, my mind always has at least 20 tabs open and my brain is fighting between positive thoughts, negative thoughts and thoughts on actual productivity  such as “this report needs to get done NOW, no one cares if I like myself of not during the process!”

During my treatment though I worked hard and found that painting was something that worked for me.  I should say I am a HORRIBLE painter.  No skills, no vision for how colours mix, but I do enjoy painting.  I would focus on the colour, the brushstroke and the mellow music.  If I smoked pot I was one toke away from euphoria (alas I stick mostly with prescribed substances) and being a hippy.  (I don’t know why I think painting makes me a hippy, but it’s a stereotype I have had my entire life).

As time has gone by I have done less and less painting.  I am busy; a mom, a wife, a job, comedian and the odd movie keeps me going.  I still have bad days but just find I didn’t want to paint anymore.  Today mindfulness came back by accident.  I was walking by a group in our building that was doing wood carving.  As a Director sometimes I sit down with the staff and clients and “shoot the shit” and be present to answer questions and such.   Today I picked up a chisel and started carving.  I carved and carved and trust me, focusing is essential in wood carving, even more so than painting!  You can lose focus on painting and make a mess, but lose focus while carving and OUCH!!  So I sat there for half an hour carving and the time went by faster than sex with my husband!  I enjoyed the carving, the pounding, the chiseling; I enjoyed BEING IN THE MOMENT!

I am thankful to work in a place where every now and again I can stop and gain some culture and new skills.  I am thankful that I took the time to get away from my head and growing negative thoughts and just pounded on some wood.   I am thankful that “pounded on some wood” is NOT a euphemism for once.

So friends, take the time to do things you enjoy, even if you are busy.  My job and life can be stressful and while a borderline can feed off of this chaos, sometimes a good grounding must take place.  I should add that it appears I suck at wood carving too, but this will not deter me from continuing!  If I stopped at everything I sucked at I wouldn’t have gotten better and be where I am today!

Thanks for listening,

jenn

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