I have been told recently that it would be a very good idea for my health if I ate better, exercised more, and spent some time reducing my stress levels. I laughed at that last one and pointed out that not only am I a Future Generator (consistently ranked as one of the most stressful professions invented), but also a HS coach AND a father of 3 girls. The Doc just stared at me for a minute and eventually shrugged and said, “I don’t know… maybe try meditation?”
So basically the best medical advice I received amounted to, “Dude, just chill out.” For this sage advice I paid hundreds of dollars and had a quart of blood removed. And they say healthcare in this country is broken!
As it happens I’m not totally unfamiliar with the practice of meditation and in the BC portion of my life was a regular practitioner. So, with our nation’s best medical advice in mind, I sat down on the floor to reacquaint myself with the Oneness of Things. 15 seconds in the Gnome comes pounding into the room demanding something and crying. I’m uncertain what she was demanding because she was crying. (Please note that the Gnome spends roughly 75% of her day in tears. We took her to the doctor and guess what their advice was?!) Anyway, I finally got her to go look for whatever it was herself and she miraculously found it and went back into her room. This took about 5 minutes. I sat down again and started to focus on my breath. No more than 5 breaths in (and out… that bit is important!) and the Barbaloot careens into the room demanding that Paw Patrol be played… again. Now completely exasperated, I turned it on in the bedroom and planted her on the bed and retreated to the family room. She promptly followed me and demanded that Paw Patrol be played there as well. Clearly, she wanted to watch it where I was. Ok, fine.
You can imagine the Hobbit’s reaction when she walked into the room 5 minutes later to see this scene. I am sitting on the floor seemingly oblivious to the environment. The Barbaloot is climbing up my back and beating me on the head while chanting the names of the cartoon characters on the television while the Gnome is sobbing quietly in the next room. “Dad, I swear that you are the weirdest person I’ve ever met. Hey, what’s for dinner?”
So perhaps there is a way to experience zen and be Dad at the same time, but this is clearly going to take more practice.