My mornings spent listening to Tempo while in contemplation are pretty much my most favorite things in the world; it is during this time that I can find a form of healing solitude. With as much time as I spend alone, one would think I’d be quite adept at using this time consciously; instead, I woke up grumpy and anxious (which tends to be my default state; come to think of it, that’s why I’ve earned the labels of “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” and “Major Depressive Episode”). I was wondering when I’d be able to even look at the academic work I had been unable to complete yesterday, due to working overtime; I was looking ahead to today’s shift, trying to think of what behavior management strategies I’d adopt now that I knew a little bit more about our current clients. I was thinking about all of the things I feel my life is missing these days (namely, fun and excitement); I was pondering the ironies of being a self-identified feminist who had unwittingly (unwillingly?) taken on the role of “mother figure” in both her personal and professional life (I want to be random and irresponsible too, goddamn it)… and so on.
Then I took my place at my desk, in front of my computer, and the magic of positive associations kicked in. I felt focused, I felt safe, I felt like I’d come home. The radio in the kitchen was tuned to CBC Radio 2’s Tempo; the strains of classical music floated through the living room and into my bedroom, where began to settle my mind by triggering positive memories of this place. I was reminded it of all of the times I’d deliberately cultivated a sense of calm in this space, by taking a few minutes to slow down my breathing and tell myself that I didn’t have to take on the world that particular day.
I don’t have to take on the world today, either.
For various reasons my apartment hasn’t really felt like “home” lately, so it was helpful (in terms of settling my negativity/anxiety) to take a few moments to remind myself of what was in my power to control, at least in this particular moment (ie, my mind). Again, it’s not everything, but it’s something.
“The Overlooked Composer,” indeed. At times one has to take stock and learn the true identity of the one who is “taking something for granted.”