no. 2 – drain the water, but don’t throw out the baby

I can’t say how happy I am to see 2016 come to an end. I’ve never said that before…that I was happy to see a year end, and I don’t think that’s because nothing bad happened before either.

2016 may have been the year I started paying attention.

  • The news.
  • My students’ feelings.
  • My co-workers’ strange interactions.
  • My strange interactions with my coworkers.
  • My strained relationship.
  • My paralyzing obsession with religion.

And all of this was different than the year before. Because before, I had only noticed these moments.

  • I had heard the news.
  • Saw the frustration on my students’ faces.
  • Experienced and observed socially awkward moments with co-workers.
  • I had recognized my own tendencies to push away my partner and to be critical at times.
  • And I was certainly aware that my obsession with religion could be unhealthy.

By 2016, I was more than noticing these things though. I began to realize the cost, and it wasn’t cheap!

People that pay attention know two things:

  1. Paying attention is an investment of time which has the potential to prepare you for opportunities.
  2. Paying attention may be at the expense of your health, relationships, career, and the time you once spent enjoying other things.

In 2016, I began to actually feel the weight of being tuned in, and it was debilitating. I got in the habit of performing this daily, moral inventory and somehow kept coming back to the idea that I was this waste of a person. Not to mention, I was in this weird obsessive, compulsive place of wanting to find the meaning to everything, and I needed to know if it was possible to find it in holy books and to have it all make sense.

Every evening, I came home and said no more than a few words to my family. I walked upstairs and closed the bedroom door behind me. I essentially treated my bedroom as if it were a private apartment for the last year. The only thing missing was a makeshift kitchenette. Had I added a few amenities, I would have never needed to leave. 

I’d run a bath and sink into it with every question I’d dreamt up that day.  Then I would search. I’d watch video lectures, read articles and immerse myself  in theology…all from the bathtub. Now, I can’t tell you how long I stayed in the bath, but I can tell you it was usually long enough to warrant warming the water 2-3 times…

So, how will 2017 be different? Well, I’m not going to stop bathing! But I will write notes from the bathwater. I am going to have to make a clear effort to replace some activities, but that’s not one of them. I will still take my long baths, and my computer will still be present. The only difference now is that I will be blogging instead of teetering on the edge of a religion induced nervous breakdown.

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Author: Kate Hill

Hi, I'm a 31 year old adjunct who writes in my spare time. I live with my girlfriend, her 13 year old daughter and the imaginary dog we keep talking about. I live in my head, and I like cheeseburgers. Did I mention a warm bath is a nice thing to come home to?

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