Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taming the Monkey Mind

By Friday I was fried. A very full week (work and non-work) left me Friday by noon not able to string two thoughts together. I take that back: I couldn't complete even one thought. It was actually quite scary. Trying to wrap up things at the office took three times as long as it should as I had to sit there and trace my circling thoughts back to whatever was at hand.

I am currently juggling about a dozen live projects in various stages of need. One included attendance at an evening Planning Commission meeting that lasted until 10:30 PM on Thursday. Another is requiring creative design/analysis to accommodate a 3.3 million sf development. Still a third requires binding cutting edge technology into new uses to orchestrate unusual loading dock logistics at a large hospital campus. Top that with trying to come up with a plan of attack and budget for a huge redevelopment plan in the heart of Abu Dhabi. My friedness drove me to bed by 8 PM which made it possible to get on line with "our man in Abu Dhabi" at 5 AM to finalize (I hope) negotiations on that job. Abu Dhabi is exactly 12 hours ahead on the clock and lives their weekend on Thursdays/Fridays, meaning they are geared up to work through our Saturday/Sundays. Not easy to coordinate with.

So, I needed badly to decompress yesterday. Being awake to see the sunrise across the lake from my bedroom perch was a good start. Pulling on the gardening gloves and attacking the yard for the first weeding of the season was key to my recovery. Made all the sweeter by a long phone call with my dear sister. It was a badly needed feeling of accomplishment to know my yard is almost completely free of weeds from top to bottom. Catching all those little buggers and clearing them from the roots early enough in the year to snuff them before they have a chance to reseed is worth alot. After fixing myself a healthy lunch I made my way to a "foot spa" treatment.

The (*name withheld to protect the owners) Foot Spa is a hidden hall of torture that my body so badly needed. Here, for $25 and a healthy tip, I get the equivalent of a $125 professional hour long deep tissue massage. I think this place has to call itself a "foot spa" and charge these unrealistically low prices because the owner and all the folks there don't speak a lick of English. They can't converse with you about injury spots and concerns. And really they should, as they give you a head to toe, front and back very deep tissue massage. The folks there have obviously been trained in serious massage. (I refer to the masseuse as "they" as I've been now two weekends in a row. A few of my friends have been as well and describe consistently similar treatment so I am inclined to generalize in the description) From every movement on my face and scalp (earlobes even) to the way they worked the tendons in my hands (each finger joint wiggled and stretched to perfection) to the lengthening stretches of my arms and deep rolling of my arm fat to the care and attention they they gave my knobby feet to the pressings deep on the sides of my spine to the needing of my backside (including my generous ass) and the cupping slaps to the length of my legs: I was well kneaded. (If you want the name and location of this gem email me and I'll gladly steer you their way. Just be prepared for some very rough treatment). The thing about this torturous treatment is it requires you to be in the moment on that table keenly aware of what is happening to your body. At times thinking "I hope I survive this" and "I hope this will not cause real injury" to being aware of what it is like to have someone physically touch your body when you no longer get that contact in a marriage. Right now, the day after, the memory of the pain during treatment and the parts of my body that feel a little abused and bruised leave me sure I won't get up the nerve to return again. But I know I'll be back for more abuse some near future weekend when I will need a good body workover again. My mind did wander a bit during this workout as I thought about these good people doing their magic on myself. I wonder how the owner can possibly keep in business charging so little for the service. I thought about the laborers having to patiently and thoroughly put their hands on my rough feet and jiggly parts: do they hate this? Do they resent having to put their highly professionally skilled hands on the likes of us who can afford it for the lowest of wages and hopes of a generous tip? Do they realize how much they give up because they cannot speak the language of the country in which they now live? I feel a little like I am taking advantage of their disadvantage. But, if I didn't go then they would have to wait another hour idly waiting for some other person to wander in.

In my state of happily ended abuse, I made my way to the market to stash up on healthy foods for the week. Then made a exchange at the mall which takes me out of my element. I have only been to the mall twice in the last year: once for a good bra fitting, and; yesterday to exchange one of those bras because one underwire was not behaving and staying in place. Today I will roast up another batch of a broccoli and cauliflower lemon dish for lunches.
Sis: new recipe for my vegan niece: cauliflower head separated into florets. Toss with olive oil to lightly coat. Salt. Put on cookie tray and roast for about 20 minutes. Then toss in humus to coat.

This morning I headed north to Edmonds to see my friend Mary. We took the dogs on a walk along the waterfront. Destination dog park: Satchmo was happy chasing the big dogs. Then home to catch up laundry. This is a special night: CLEAN SHEETS. And a CLEAN DOG. I'm showering and slipping into the clean sheets with a clean body. All that and now my monkey mind is finally tamed. Though tomorrow it's another evening meeting and another day of getting behind before I start. Hoping to keep the monkey away as best I can.

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