Counting down …
We all have things we count down for.
Sometimes it is something grand like a fight and sometimes just the tick-tock of the clock till the end of the work day.
When I get anxious, I like to think of things in three-minute intervals, plus the sixty-second rest.
It’s a way of organizing my thoughts which otherwise race around in what my old Dharma teacher used to call a monkey mind.
If I set the clock, I can think of things in finite terms. I can count out each second, or count out other things such as the number of sit-ups I can do in three minutes or the number of words I can write, or the amazing amount of tasks that can be completed in between the buzzers.
Imagine, one can actually pretty much empty a sink full of dishes, or run down four flights of stairs, grab the mail from the mailbox and come back upstairs and find that the clock hasn’t even hit yellow yet.
At other times the clock provides order out of chaos. It quells the what-do-I-do-now panic of momentary indecision, or worse, the I-can’t-get-started rut can be kicked into gear to a set menu of things to achieve–even if that just means taking an interval or two to calm down.
I bring this up as person facing deadlines and the stress that accompanies that. Thinking of the clock and the ding of the round though is helping to soothe me. In breaking things down into the tiny snippets of time I am reminding myself that no matter how daunting something may seem, it is only ever made up of moments; moments that follow one upon another each carrying its own weight and import.
Much as when I train, I can set aside so many rounds for one thing followed by a set number of rounds for another.
In their totality the time winds up to be the same as what had been originally allotted, but somehow in breaking it down into smaller bits, one can see and touch the progress as so many things that have already been accomplished.