January 9, 2022

When You want to Live the Mindful Life—but Reality Looks like This.


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Chipped fingernail polish, greasy hair, stacks of papers about who knows what sprawled out on my kitchen floor, and a cat who went to the restroom outside of her litter box out of disgust for my lack of cleanliness is what’s up for me today.

How about you?

I pretend I have it together, but let’s be real. I don’t, and you likely don’t either.

I sleep with my laptop these days, hide my exhausted face behind my mask, and forget to buy my cat her chicken cat food, so I feed her the last of the tuna ones she despises and listen to her meow all night in protest.

I didn’t used to be like this, but as the years go on and the more I pile on to my already packed schedule, this has become my reality.

I’m a PhD student by day and a slob eating chicken fingers in my bed while reading Freud by night. You get the picture.

Yoga pants, 20-page papers, uncashed checks, and a planner I no longer use is what’s up for me these last three months.

I see ads on mindfulness meditation and laugh.

You’d think as a PhD student studying positive psychology that I’d be living the mindful life right now, but again, let’s be real.

The grad school life, no matter what you’re learning, is about surviving, not thriving.

You skip a shower to gain an extra 20 minutes of sleep.

You order Uber Eats because it saves you time from cooking.

You tell yourself you’ll take the cat to the vet next week.

You let your car tabs expire and say you’ll do it later.

You say yes to your sixth job because it will only bring your working hours to 62 and you somehow think that is okay.

By Friday, you’re so tired that you pay someone to go grocery shopping for you.

By Sunday, you’re crying because well, tomorrow’s Monday.

You post a few pictures of your cat on Facebook so everyone knows you’re well and avoid posting any selfies of you and those chicken fingers.

Your therapist says to find time in your schedule for a break, so you spend 15 minutes at 4:45 p.m. to drool in your bed.

You don’t feel better, but keep smiling though.

You keep pretending you have it together so nobody will know the truth.

You keep moving forward so nobody knows what’s actually up for you today.

Only you know what’s up for you today.

Well, you and your cat.


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