January 9, 2008

Back to Business

Well folks! I like Christmas as much as the next guy; probably even more, actually, since being a Waldorf parent has taught me valuable lessons about how to seriously tone down the commercial aspects of the season and to tune into the spiritual dimensions of the "festival of light." I had a great time. Szilvi had a great time. The kids had a great time. But once the noise and indulgence of New Year's Eve has passed, and the tree and decorations are whisked away on Epiphany, I really enjoy the feeling of rolling up the ol' sleeves and getting back to business.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a workaholic. When I say business, I'm not talking about professional life and what goes on in the office at The Firm (though that's part of it). I'm talking about the business of my life. The day-in day-out task of figuring out what my role is in this world and trying to be an effective player in the story of the human race. That business.

I've been observing how, despite the fact that I've generally become a calmer and more focused individual over time, reality still challenges me with little things like the traffic accident (fender bender) I had four days before Christmas, or the surly clerk I had to interact with at the post office today. There are just moments when I feel really uptight because I'm in a hurry and I have to get too many things done in too short a time and there's something in the back of mind that's bugging me and "Bzzzzzzzzzt!!!" something short-circuits and I yell, or I drop something in the kitchen and shatter it and scatter its contents all over the floor. I reflect on those moments and realize I still have a lot to learn about staying cool under pressure.

I'm much better about things I can prepare for nowadays. I can give a presentation at a meeting with minimal nervousness by meditating and visualizing. I can often recognize bad states of mind coming on and head them off in time. It's those sudden, unexpected challenges to my cool that still trip me up.

With that in mind, I'd like to give y'all a gander at a nice essay I read the other day. It's about maintaining stability in an unstable world. It was written by a raja yoga teacher who uploads material to ScribD. I have to admit that part of the reason I'm doing this is just to see what one of these things looks like on a blog when you embed it.

But I've been letting this stagnate long enough over the holidays. It's time to get back to business.



szilvi said...

It doesn't look like anything at the moment... :-(

Theo Huffman said...

OK, fixed it. It should work now.

Henitsirk said...

Looks OK except not centered, and oh-so-tiny...OK, just found that if I was brave and clicked on one of the little boxes, it opened in a new window. Now I can read it.

I love that "Ow, oh it's hurting me, I'm suffering!" Just let go of the pan! But it seems like our hands get melded to the pan and we just can't let go with just the thought of it. Something more organic has to happen. Not sure how far to go with this metaphor, though.

We are all about quiet around here. Sometimes we play music on the iPod, but mostly we don't. And we're forever trying to get our kids to quit yelling.

Hellibrarian said...

Hmmm, "surly clerks" as the post office. Isn't that a staple of Hungarian life?

Our postal clerks are not surly. We reserve that designation for librarians with double classes.

Our postal clerks were the first to notice that my father had shaved his mustache (he had had it for 40 years!). Even my mother and daughter didn't notice--but the mail clerks did! (They see him quite often as he sends off his rare books to clients).