“In an age of constant movement, nothing is more important than sitting still.”
~ Pico Iyer
Thanksgiving 2018 is behind us already. Autumn swooped in on a caravan of vehicle transporters around the end of September. About that same time, we enjoyed our final summer rainstorm, and the seasonal residents started trickling in. As the population of our little pocket of paradise swells, evergreen garland and red velvet bows are sprouting boldly on thresholds and windowsills, and Nat King Cole croons about chestnuts over my car stereo. Didn’t we just do this? I mean, weren’t we just at this holiday juncture like…yesterday???
When I was a child, growing up in Iowa, there were only two seasons; winter and almost winter. Of course, at that time I didn’t care because I was a kid and impervious to cold. I could play in piles of leaves or mountainous drifts of snow with equal excitement in a time-oblivious state. Until Thanksgiving. I am confessing right here and now that all the talk about Pilgrims and Indians and the true meaning of Thanksgiving was a nice story, and I would obligingly make an Indian headband with construction-paper feathers as my art teacher instructed, and wear it for the school Thanksgiving party, but the reality is that Thanksgiving, for me, was the day the clock went on vacation, and hours stood frustratingly still. Those days between the third Thursday of November and the 25th of December crawled by like a sloth in sludge. Not so much anymore.
I blinked one day after the Fourth of July and looked up to see the calendar flipped to November. Ready or not, Holiday Season is in full swing and if you’re not riding a fast horse or a crafty pony, just bow out of the race right now or you’ll be trampled by the hooves of Black-Friday shoppers, Cyber-Monday clickers, or Last-Unicorn-Barbie-Princess-On-The-Shelf clutchers.
A couple of years ago I made a mad dash to the grocery store for some necessary items. I say “mad” dash because there can only be a modicum of sanity involved if you think you can get through the dairy aisle, slip quickly past the meat counter and grab some bananas from the produce bin, without incident, in the last few days preceding Christmas. Unless you’re a vampire and keep odd hours. For the rest of us, we write out our list, tie on our sneakers, and grab a few plays from wide receiver, Antonio Brown. Fake. Swing. Run. Grab. Go.
So, on this particular day, as I made my mad dash, I grabbed a cart and gracefully maneuvered it to the end of aisle 1. Victory! Buoyed with confidence, I picked up a little speed, rounded the corner, and crashed broadside into the cart of a fellow shopper. The encounter was so sudden and clamorous, it caught the attention of the store employee passing out samples of Holiday crackers and cheese. “Is everyone alright?” she inquired. I looked at the woman whose cart I had slammed and saw the face of my very best friend, and Iowa neighbor for 27 years. I guess if you’re going to cripple a shopper, it’s best to hobble someone with a friendly face. Luckily for me, no harm was done, except that we both lost time on our grocery shopping mission.
There is a saying about dealing with crisis, “DON’T JUST SIT THERE! DO SOMETHING!” Well, this holiday season I have a tidbit of advice. For a few moments, every, single day, “Don’t do anything. Just sit there.”
The clock is going to tick whether you’re racing or resting, and the days on the calendar will march into history with or without you. You might as well garner a few moments of peace between the shopping and the indulging of whatever you shopped for. Plop yourself in a chair, or on a pillow. Or settle into a soft Child’s Pose on your yoga mat and close your eyes. Withdraw from what’s going on outside, to check in with what’s happening inside. All you have to do is breathe. Just tell yourself, in this moment, all I have to do is breathe.
As we slip into the shopping and gifting and celebrating and indulging that mark the next 30 days or so; as we race against the clock to get that one last errand run; remember to be charitable and kind. Charitable and kind to others always, but to yourself first. Just sit there.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.