There is no such thing as a straight line around here. There is no uninterrupted time, there is no start-to-finish. Everything is punctuated, diverted, channeled, diverged, pushed aside, overridden.
There is no “Get up before everybody else,” because you never know when everybody else is going to suddenly get up earlier, or keep you up all night. I can’t count on peace at night because I never know when somebody is going to get out of bed, sing songs at the top of his lungs all night long, be afraid of the dark.
I continue to work on a daily practice, but it is hard to truly pay attention to the morning prayers when I am being hit, tapped, yelled at, head-butted. It is hard for writing to contain anything but “Leave me alone” when I am constantly being spoken to, climbed on, hit some more, questioned. It is hard to center and find calm when I can hear yelling, crying, doors opening, dogs barking. All of these things that are supposed to help, to calm, to soothe, to provide a grounding, they sometimes end up causing more stress and anxiety than I started with.
This morning I had the thought that I wish I could find my blankie, find a corner, and just sit and suck my thumb. I often think of running away, hiding, giving up. Sometimes I do just that. It doesn’t last long, though. Always, after a time, I feel antsy, nervous, wondering what’s going on without me, anxious to get back into things. I wonder why I surrounded myself with all these little people when generally I don’t like to be touched too much, interrupted, bothered. But when they are not with me, it doesn’t feel right, because they belong here. I belong here, amidst all the chaos and distraction.