New Lamps for Old

Wednesday May 13, 2020

I was grumpy this morning. I lay in bed fuming. I was furious with my husband, who I knew would blame me for his bad night’s sleep; I was angry at my daughters, who wouldn’t get up until lunchtime. I was angry with my husband again, when he didn’t come down to breakfast in time and his scrambled eggs and toast had gone cold and his tea was stewed. I was angry that I had forgotten to put the laundry in the wash yesterday evening. I was furious with myself for not noticing the frost last night: the guinea-pigs – out in their garden hutch for the summer – could have frozen to death, poor things.

All that anger – and for nothing.

My husband can catch up on his sleep tonight; my daughters were both up by 10am; the breakfast was still edible, and the tea was only strong, not stewed. The clothes were washed, and the guinea-pigs are fine.

Nothing was worth being angry about.

But then, really, I wasn’t angry about anything I thought I was angry about. My husband, my daughters, me; all just innocent bystanders hit by the shrapnel of the anger explosion.

The last couple of days, I had missed my morning walk and meditation time. It seems to make a great difference. Each day I walk the same woodland path and absorb the peace of nature. Each day it is the same walk and each day it is different as I notice different things and as nature changes day by day.

This morning, in the wood, I realised. I wasn’t angry with my family; I was angry with the whole situation nationwide.

I had become used to the lockdown and comfortable with it. I had worked out ways to cope and to thrive. I felt safe. Now the rules were being relaxed and I felt just as scared as I had been at the beginning when it was new. I no longer felt safe.

We humans just don’t like change, do we!

There is no point in being angry at something you can’t change; even if that something is change itself. The only thing you can change is your own response.

So, I used the walk to centre myself again and find that peace. I phoned a good friend who always has words of sane and sensible advice and who always makes me smile. I thought about the new habits I have developed during this time and which I shall take with me as my country and the world becomes free again.

These new habits are precious. I have spent more time at home and in the garden and have loved it. I have found pleasure in virtual living: zoom parties and coffee chats. I have separated my working office from my family life and have walked away from the screen at the end of the day.

These new habits are worth keeping. I won’t be taking back the old ones.

A Moodscope member.

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