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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

How do you measure a year?

I’ve been in Massachusetts since last Tuesday for work. Because I know how to party, I excitedly made an appointment to have my mammogram while in the area. By party, I mean that I need to get new health providers in Virginia. As I walked down the hallway of Beth Israel in Needham today to the mammography suite, I randomly recalled how the last time I was there for my mammogram, I began to silently cry while checking in for my appointment.

“Are you okay?” The nurse quietly asked, leaning towards me.

“My cat. He has cancer. He’s going to die.” I had sniffed.

“Oh. I’m sorry. Do you want to reschedule?” The woman asked.

“Oh. No. Let’s get all the misery over in one day. I’ll be fine. Really.” I offered a tight, unconvincing smile.

She nodded and I pulled it together because it’s bad enough to have your breasts lifted and tugged into position without the added humiliation of crying about your dying cat. Fucking pets.

It was July 1st of this year that I learned that I’d be traveling to Massachusetts on the 7th for work. It’s strange how your brain can get one idea about where “home” is anchored. Random thoughts of Illinois friends, family and locations would come to mind and then I’d remember I was traveling to Massachusetts, not Illinois. Right.

I’ve moved before. Four states. Two countries. Never during a pandemic though. Moving during a pandemic – that’s an added complexity. Recently, someone was mining my blog for clues. I’m not entirely sure what they were looking for, so I asked them. And they said, “I’m not really sure you’re happy.” And, to be honest, I replied that I felt they had trouble with reading comprehension because I’d covered my mental well-being in great detail and clearly, I’m an asshole. If that person is happy, it gives new meaning to the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss.

Years ago, while I was enlisted in the Army, I complained to my mom that I was bored. I was stationed in Alabama at the time – not exactly a mecca of culture or things to do. Shortly after that, a hurricane threatened landfall in Florida and the state was evacuating. I worked in Aviation which meant that I had to go into work so that the helicopter pilots could get the helicopters in from damage. I had some notice to get to work so I went to the local Walmart. Only, apparently, everyone had gotten there before me so there weren’t a lot of essential supplies left aside from Oreos which I snapped up. Who needed water or batteries? My starter spouse did not seem impressed with my selection. More for me! I packed my Oreos and pet rabbit, Orville, and headed to work. I had pictured staying there for days, sharing Oreos with my fellow soldiers in some sort of quasi, soldier sleep over. But I don’t think I spent the night because, in typical Army fashion, they changed the plan.

Truth be told, boredom has crept in again. I’m tired of COVID wreaking havoc on us all. I’ve watched the latest season of Ozark. Then Andrea and I watched 3 seasons of Good Girls together. Now what do we do? Wait for the next seasons? In Good Girls, Elizabeth is a bored housewife who, along with her sister and a friend, busts up the monotony by turning to crime. Don’t worry – I’m not that bored. I will forgo crime and I don't wish a hurricane on anyone.

This trip was a refreshing change of pace after spending 4-months inside the 4-walls of our home. I had the opportunity to visit family, friends and colleagues. On Sunday, I hopped into the car, plugged in my cell phone and turned the radio on. Seasons of Love began playing from my iPhone through the car speakers. This is an excellent song from what I believe is not an excellent musical (colossal disappointment). But the song! I sat there staring at the radio in disbelief - wondering why my Audible book was not playing while simultaneously realizing there are no coincidences. I had such a great day with friends that it made my heart hurt at the end of our time together.

In late 2019, I spent some time at Kripalu, which is a retreat center located in western Massachusetts that focuses on yoga and mindfulness-based education. While there, I spent some time contemplating my intention for 2020 – which I knew would be filled with change due to our pending move from Massachusetts to Virginia. While walking the grounds of Kripalu, I left my My Intent bracelet with the Ganesh at the grounds of Kripalu. Ganesh - the remover of obstacles.

A My Intent bracelet is a reminder of your intention, representing your commitment to your dreams and to being the change you want to see. I released my 2019 intention and set “discernment” as my intention for 2020.

When I chose ‘discernment’ as my word for 2020, I had no idea that I would be spending so much time with myself. Sure – I knew I’d be moving to a new state, but the plan was to get settled and return to Massachusetts for work. I imagined seeing my colleagues, friends from Massachusetts while establishing a routine in Virginia.

“If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans.” Woody Allen

Due to COVID, my plans stalled out before they got underway. So I’ve been spending a lot of time in our lovely home tuning into the still, small, quiet voice that can often be silenced by the crush of life. One reason that people meditate is to tune into that voice. I'm currently halfway through a course certifying me to teach others how to engage in mindfulness meditation so they too can remove obstacles and discern what their inner voice is saying.

I have also decided to pursue coaching certification because if there was ever a time for authentic, mindful leadership, this is it.

Seasons of Love - Rent

525,600 minutes 525,000 moments so dear 525,600 minutes How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife In 525,600 minutes How do you measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love Seasons of love Seasons of love 525,600 minutes 525,000 journeys to plan 525,600 minutes How do you measure the life of a woman or man? In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried In bridges he burned, or the way that she died It's time now to sing out Though the story never ends Let's celebrate, remember a year In the life of friends Remember the love You got to, you got to remember the love Remember the love You know that love is a gift from up above Remember the love Share love, give love, spread love Measure in love Seasons of love Seasons of love Measure, measure your life in love

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