I am spending a lot of time practicing Dharma. My life right now is an exercise in patience. Despite my frantic striving for a plan, I am forced to stay in the moment.
These are just the facts, man.
My dad has dementia and has spent the last two weeks very, very sick with both the flu and pneumonia. The illness has caused some progression of the dementia as well. I have to not make plans or even a plan to make a plan. I just have to take each day as it comes and be available and open. I have to be patient and kind and positive. My mother is mentoring me with this and is far more advanced at "the Now", than I am.
My grandmother has fallen three times in the last 6 weeks and has been in the hospital, rehab, home and hospital again. My grandfather's dementia is progressing.
My mom and my uncle are working, working to try and get them taken care of, and make them happy, or at least safe. They have to stay patient and kind and positive. I try to support them as much as I can. And now my Uncle has the flu!
My husband works nights and his sleep schedule is crazy. He has to take extra care to sleep enough, eat enough, exercise enough. He must take good care of himself so he can be patient with the rest of us and support us. We have to support him. He spends all his free time caring for me, the kids, or the family. I am so grateful for him, but I must make sure to care for him and respect his needs as well.
My children are taking huge amounts of patience. (We have a tween in the house, I am afraid). I want to be short tempered sometimes. I want just tell them, NO! Or GO! Or Issue Orders. But I can't. It never gets me anywhere and it takes longer to deal with the fallout than it would to approach the issue with patience. I have strong willed children. They do better with respect and listening than orders. Don't we all? So I'm working on it. I'm carrying, "How to talk so your kids will listen…" every where I go.
So all of these facts help me to practice my dharma. I stay in the moment, I am patient, I am open to possibility, I try to respect the people I am dealing with, even when they are not their best.
I fail. I fail every single day. But I am not "achieving", I am PRACTICING. So I'll get better. Right?
Michael went to stay with my dad the other day, so that my mom and I could take a walk around the ranch. It was a lovely day and we walked down to the river and it was perfect. Peaceful and beautiful. It was a great moment and it was right there, happening right then.
I am beginning to see that there is beauty and joy in the right now and it doesn't have to be special, or far away, or exotic. I'm always planning- for the future, for projects, for adventures. But my right now is very busy and all encompassing and FULL of opportunity to become a better person. I'm trying to just find my way through that right now.