In recent weeks I must admit that I am losing interest in all of those things that I used to consider staples in my daily living.
I used to watch at least part of every hockey game that would come on TV, then I would only watch Ottawa Senators games, now I am barely interested enough to watch one period. Even playing hockey has lost some of it’s appeal. I go once per week but I now feel I can take it or leave it.
I also used to be somewhat of a movie buff. Often hitting the cinema at least weekly, and even maintaining a bi-weekly schedule when two kids came along. But now, with my wife and two kids away on vacation I have little desire to hit the theater. Not even the guilty pleasure of popcorn and fountain-pop can pull me in!
Watching TV also seems to be heading the way of the dinosaur. Last night I watched the premiere of an old favourite ‘Survivor’, and then the start of ‘The Amazing Race’. Survivor was entertaining enough, but I doubt I will watch a whole season. The Amazing Race actually gave me a headache. There are so many fast takes, and lightning quick switches between scenes that I couldn’t even keep my eyes on the screen.
Even my desire to blog has greatly reduced. For several months I was posting every day and now I believe this is my first post in two weeks!
This process has accelerated since my family headed to Florida to take in the sun. I stayed home for financial reasons, and for lack of vacation days. But I had figured I would be indulging in all of these guilty pleasures while they were away, instead I find myself sitting at home and not wanting to do any of them!
I don’t feel depressed. I am not unhappy. What the heck is happening!?
I have come to believe that with all of the stresses of having a young family I clung to these things as a sort of an escapism. That the only real reason I wanted to do any of them was to get away from the never ending responsibilities of raising two girls. The greatest blessing of this time alone may be an increased presence when my family returns. That instead of thinking when I will get my next break, I will realize that what I truly want is to simply spend time with them.
A part of me also knows that these fading interests are a vital part of my spiritual journey. That all of the things that I used to view as an integral part of me are just not that important. Everything I am not needs to go away so I can finally figure out who I am. There is saying I have that goes “First love empties you, then love fills you.”
Over the past few days there have been these incredible moments where I am sitting on my couch, the house is quiet, the dog is resting, the sun has set, and there’s just one lamp on in the corner. Those are golden moments. They are filled with silence and stillness. I can feel my breaths happen effortlessly. I don’t control when they happen, or how deep they go. I sense the aliveness of my body as something separate from my point of observation. I feel like a part of the whole. There is the body that came out of the universe, and the seeing presence that knows this. It is such a peaceful feeling.
I must be absolutely grateful to my wife for giving me this opportunity to have such experiences. She didn’t have to drag both kids through an airport, spend two weeks with a family that often drive her batty, and lose hours upon hours of sleep with no break. But she went anyway. And while she struggles, I have grown. That is sacrifice, that is love.