22 May, 2012

Letting go

Off the mat.

About a month ago, I had tickets to see a National Geographic lecture at Benaroya Hall. I have tickets to this speaker series each year, consisting of about one talk per month in the spring.

Somehow, I forgot I had the tickets, or lost track of the date. The night of the talk, I was riding home on the bus (from yoga, I course), and we passed by Benaroya. There were many people coming in and out of the building. It immediately occurred to me: "The talk was tonight." It was already 7:15pm and there would be no way to go home and come back in time.

I had missed it.

Years ago, or perhaps not even that long ago, I would have become very upset, stayed upset, and really lamented this mistake. I think that my yoga practice has helped me to move beyond that. It is already the past. I am here, now. What good will it do to obsess?

I am learning to let go.

I made the note to myself to not let it happen again, and made mental note of when the next (and final) talk of the year would be.

Fast forward to last night. I had just returned home from yoga (of course), and I was sitting on the couch. It was around 8pm. My housemate suddenly says "Hey, wasn't tonight the National Geographic talk?" as she holds up two tickets that say May 21st. They have been positioned on the kitchen counter, prominently, for the past month. So I would not forget. But I did. I has missed another talk.

For a moment, this emotion of anger at self began to rise in my gut. But I immediately closed my eyes and turned to breath. This was either going to be a horrible session of self-beratement, or it would be nothing at all. After all, I had been sitting on the couch, relaxing. How is the moment really any different other than this thought in my head? My situation is unchanged.

I didn't lose my shit. I've thought about whether I want to try to buy tickets again since there is another showing tonight. If I decide I really want to see it, I can still try to do that. Or I can just be okay with missing it.

The thing I really want to understand is why I have not yet implemented a system to manage these events. I use my work calendar all the time, and in the past I have used calendars for social events as well. Even recently. But there's some type of blind spot here regarding these lectures. It's rather curious, actually. The interesting place to "think" is about that: Why didn't I put them on my calendar? Are they really not that important to me? Or am I not managing some of my life as thoughtfully as I could be?

I have periods of higher and lower maintenance of my affairs, and now is clearly a lower maintenance time. My clean laundry remains scattered around the entire second floor, with little concern for putting it away. I might pay a bill a couple of days late, here and there. What drives these periods of lower maintenance? And does it even matter? Does everyone go through this? Does that even matter?

It sounds a lot like being on the mat in a yoga class.

Just as the mat mirrors life; life also mirrors the mat.

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