Today was an unexpectedly good day. Things were slow at work, so I focused on some housekeeping I had been putting off for a while. Being productive when no one asks me to always makes my day feel worthwhile. I also had a chat with an upset coworker whom thanked me later, so I think I helped.
Later I went to the gym and ran fast for a long time. It was awesome. Let. me. tell. you. When you are stuck in an office for a week, having time to go to the gym is like going to Disney World (or something you really enjoy). I know I've said this before, but I really like the gym. The gym is my sanctuary, there are no distractions. It's familiar, yet I'm pretty much anonymous. It's my time to focus on myself in a healthy way. Is there a little self-cherishing in it, yeah, but Buddha also taught that we must take care of ourselves in order to be in the condition to help others.
Going to the gym gives me some "me" time, which is very hard to get with two roommates, a dog, et cetera. I think this is important to remember for everyone. As I've gotten older I've earned/chosen more obligations and I'm sure you have too. My most immediate ones are my job and my dog. I sometimes have the urge to feel guilty for leaving work right at 7 or for leaving my dog right after I arrive home to get to the gym. But in truth, the days that I do let myself go, I feel great and I am a better worker the next day and more patient with my dog when I return. Perhaps balance is the key here? Obviously I don't want to be known as the person who is always leaving the second I'm allowed and I shouldn't leave my dog sitting alone every night when he's alone most of the day. However, I'm at work after hours 90% of the time and I take my dog to work with me at least once a week (among other things, he's a bit spoiled, that one).
I'm just thinking about how an irrational feeling can be analyzed and perhaps brought to a more reasonable conclusion. Instead of saying, "I am cherishing myself and being selfish" and harping on that, I could think, "going to the gym helps me to be a better person and a better Buddhist."
We could all be a bit easier on ourselves, no?
- gym time!
- good chats with 2 neighbors, roommate, and man at grocery store
- took care of some back logged business at work