The countdown is happening. I have but three more days working as a practicum student at The Polyclinic’s Behavioral Health Department. As I prepare for the day ahead of me – one Mindfulness 101 Group and one Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group – I find that my heart is both heavy and bright with the fullness of an incredible experience.
It’s hard to imagine life without school. Or without school-oriented things.
In lieu of class, I’ve started obsessively planning vacations. Allegedly, one must get a job after getting a Masters degree, but I’m fairly certain that it’s important to bookend this accomplishment with something big. Something… dare I say… grand.
So I’m booking vacations too. In addition to the planning.
I realize, both in reflection and once again in writing this, that part of the obsessive trip booking is born out of fear of dead space. What do people do with large unstructured amounts of time?
When I quit the business, part of my work was to build schedules into my day: In part to keep me out of trouble but also in part to provide me with a sense of purpose and mastery. It helped my recovery, and actually did provide a sense of purpose and mastery. Seven years later, I get to re-examine what it means to create a schedule, along with the daily activities that give me a sense of purpose and mastery.
It feels like a tremendous load to bear.
I’ve never worked banker’s hours, and don’t know how I would fare should I opt to do so now. I’ve always had/enjoyed/valued a modicum of autonomy and freedom in my work, along with the ability to connect in social and meaningful ways. I need creative space, and the emotional space to create, and have a few big visions about creating that may take upwards of ten years. It’s bigger than a sentence or two in a blog post.
The vacations are all using benefits – flights standby using my brother-in-law’s airline benefits, which means a giant amount of uncertainty and ambiguity. Hotel benefits with my husband’s company, which means champagne on a beer budget. The time will come for work. For job. For whatever “job” may look like. Nonetheless, I’m nervous about the change. About nothingness. About ongoingness.
These final days of group, this, today, my final Mindfulness 101 Group, I notice the fullness of heart. Fullness from gratitude from my supervision, from the participants, from the ongoing nature of a mindfulness practice and the sanga that’s formed over time. My practice remains to be present with whatever comes up, as it comes up, and to notice that the vacation and job planning thoughts are all happening. But those thoughts are not telling me about right now.
Right now, I can just be here. With this breath. And this full, heavy and bright heart.
The clock keeps moving forward. What will you do with this moment?