It is Saturday afternoon, I am home at my parents, we are just after lunch, and we are setting out with my mother for the neighbour city to settle the phone-subscription of the family. I am already tense and nervous enough, even the crowd is frustrating to me at the plaza. Getting closer to the store, I am getting steamed up, but I restrain myself, and tell the slightly complicated story about what we want to arrange here. I also show the authorization paper, that we wrote so that my poor sick and weak father can stay at home. The girl interrupts me immediately, claiming that they only accept authorizations signed by a public notary. We didn’t have that of course, because getting that is far more complicated and troublesome than coming here with my father. This was the point where something broke in me. I turned back to ask if I can sign the papers in the name of my father, but they refused it, because it is too risky for them to let that happen. My mind went blank, I knew that I can’t think and cope any more. We went back home with my mother, and told the bad news to father. Then we decided (actually they decided because I wasn’t in the state of making decisions) that we don’t have a choice but to go back together, with my father.
It is Monday morning. I went to sleep yesterday with the feeling that I am going to have a great day today. And it all started accordingly. I woke up nice and refreshed. I arrived at work on time, everything went perfectly. Until my stomach flinched, when my boss asked me about the delay of my document-management project, for which he hadn’t given me enough people to work on it for a year now. It was really hard to keep calm and balanced, but after that everything went back to normal.
I came home late to work some more, then two colleagues came to me to talk about our private little business venture. I went down to open the garage for them, and I saw that they had put a wheel clamp on my car, in front of my own garage. I saw that someone had put a black bag on the table that permitted parking. I went completely out of my mind, I lost the ground under my feet, my heart started pounding. I spent the whole meeting not really knowing where I was. Even an hour later, when I was going to the post office to pay the penalty, I had to take deep breaths to be able to control myself.
All this on a day that seemed to be so perfect, for a while…
It is mid-afternoon and I am sitting idle at work, thinking with emptiness on my face. Why am I here? What am I doing? What’s the point? It’s been months since I have felt doing anything meaningful, making any value, producing or creating anything. I don’t feel that me being here means anything to the company. It’s not about creating anything, it is not about that for a long time. The enterprise sucked me in completely. I am just pushing papers and e-mails around, doing administration and bureaucracy, fighting people, doing politics. I am trying to get things done with little success, with lots of struggle and with impenetrable resistance. What’s the meaning of all this? Another few years and I myself will be one of the corporate-idiots, who adapted themselves perfectly to the system, who gave up doing anything meaningful for a long time, but learned perfect survival, self-defence, shifting responsibilities onto others and doing politics all day long. That means death to me, maybe worse than death. On the other hand, I am too weak to stand on my own feet, besides I am paid too well to just leave mindlessly. It wouldn’t be reasonable now anyway. But I don’t want to give up the possibility to make something meaningful in life!
I was walking in the backyard with my father at home. He was balming himself for not walking and moving enough. He thought he was feeling unwell recently because of this. He thought it was all his fault. I didn’t want to argue with that, but reality is that this has to do only with cancer, not him or anything else. He does the best he can, but sadly cancer is stronger than him, stronger than anyone. Or maybe it is not stronger, only cancer started with too big advantage.
No matter how bad things are, I am still unable to imagine my father being dead, or just simply non-existent.
Kabat-Zinn writes this in this book: try asking yourself why you meditate! Don’t believe your first answers. Just write a list of whatever comes to mind. Continue asking yourself. Make a list of what is really important to you. Ask yourself: what is my vision and my map for where I am and where I am going? Does this vision reflect my true values and intentions? Am I remembering to embody those values? Do I practice my intentions?
So, I asked myself, and contemplated this question quite a lot. Why do I meditate?
I woke up early morning for a very long Monday. I meditated a bit, while my girlfriend was still sleeping next to me in the bed. I did my morning routine, I had a quick breakfast, then I left to the hospital where my father and my brother were waiting for me. There was snow on the streets everywhere, that had fallen during the night. I was already tense before leaving, even more during my way to the hospital. It usually comes and goes in waves, just like now. I tried to listen to the radio in my car, then I turned it off, because it disturbed me. Then I turned it back on, while time was passing, and I was sitting in the traffic jam. It took me an hour to get to the hospital. I wanted to arrive, but when I finally arrived, I felt I was unable to pull myself together to get out of the car and go inside.