A few days ago, I was on my way to California with M. I’m generally pretty chill when it comes to vacations, but for some reason, this time, I wasn’t. I was a ball of worry. When are we leaving? Did I get everything I needed to finished? When we got to the airport desk to check-in, I realized that he hadn’t advance selected our seats. I looked at our tickets – 27C and 22E. We would be spending a five hour flight sitting next to strangers. I was upset, I was angry at him for not planning in advance. When we got to the gate, he calmly took the tickets from me, sauntered over to a help desk, and asked if they could change them.
By the time we took off, not only were we sitting together, but no one else sat next to us either. I spent the next five hours stretched out on the seats contemplating what had just happened.
Some people just tend to go through life with more ease. M is one of them. He doesn’t worry too much and things tend to work out. It got me thinking- perhaps if I stopped worrying and trying to control things so much, I’d find that life just has a way of working out. I spent the next four days in Cali experimenting. I started being more go-with-the-flow. Perhaps things didn’t work out better than they would have otherwise, I don’t know. But what I do know is that those four days were full of once in a lifetime experiences- and what’s more, I wasn’t too stressed and worried to miss them. I enjoyed not acting like I had a personal remote that keeps order in the universe.
By the time we got to the plane ride home, I was convinced. I had gotten less sleep but felt more energy. I notice that when we’re at home, he never gets as much sleep as me, and yet he seems just fine. Jumping over those hurdles and climbing over all those obstacles sure does get exhausting. I always thought they were already there, blocking my path, that there was nothing I could do except struggle with them. What dawned on me was that, in fact, most of those obstacles are illusory- put there and imagined by me. And perhaps if I stopped trying to plan out and obsess over every inch of my life, I’d literally be less tired.
Without him noticing, I spent the better part of five minutes in awe of his peaceful way of being. He had taught me so much, I could model so much of what he does. And as I was reveling in his guru like status- his ability to be mindful without even trying, his appreciation for each small moment- he reached down, grabbed an Oreo, put the ENTIRE thing in his mouth, chewed it up and swallowed in one swift movement.
… Ok, so maybe there are some things I’ll never understand about the way he does things.