I miss the beach and other thoughts from today’s 30 minutes of silence

I’m trying this thing where I sit in silence for 30 minutes and write about it. If you’re curious about how the day before this went, click here.

I don’t have too much to say about how my 30 minutes of silence went today. When I first started I thought I would, because I felt so much more relaxed than I ever have before during this so I was kind of hoping some mind blowing breakthrough would happen, but not so much.

It’s worth noting that I probably felt more relaxed because I’m in the office today (by myself with all the hand sanitizer, masks, etc…) so instead of taking a lunch break I basically did this instead. I think because I know there’s no way anyone else could come in as the condition for anyone at my company to go to the office is that we have to take turns so we’re the only ones there, I just felt much more at ease. I’m staying at my parents’ at the moment and I don’t have my own bedroom, so every day when I do this I think there is a part of my mind that has a hard time focusing because I’m a little uncomfortable with the fact that someone could see me or that I could be interrupted (and that’s probably why aside from today the most relaxed I’ve felt during all this was the first night I tried it, while I was taking a bath).

Even while I was in the tub though, the whole experience still brought up some stress or just general things that got my mind going in a more active way and I was instantly fidgety. (Someone who read my last posts on this was surprised to learn that I’ve been fidgety as I don’t usually seem like the type to fidget….I think that’s a compliment?) In any case, I wonder if I’m not the type to fidget, or if you never see me fidget because I’m always occupying myself with something so there is never a reason to fidget. Since that’s happened every time I’ve done this so far though, I expected today to be similar but it really wasn’t.

I take this to mean that the fidgeting I’ve been doing during this at home is a distraction my mind’s given me to avoid thinking about the fact that it’s quite possible for someone to walk in and ask me why I’m sitting alone with my eyes closed, and that I think that’d be really uncomfortable. Without that possibility when I did this today, I wasn’t fidgety at all.

Today’s 30 minutes was very peaceful, and I felt more relaxed after the same way you would after taking a nap or a hot shower but my mind didn’t really wander anywhere too deep or come up with anything that interesting. The fact that I was so relaxed and sitting in silence and yet my mind felt like it was doing almost nothing made me focus on what I could take in from my setting despite the fact that I was alone and had nothing to look at.

So I noticed mostly how the temperature of the room was and how that made my body feel. I’m wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt, sandals, and a baseball cap- not quite what you’d usually wear to an office (but I’m the only one here) and probably more what you’d wear on a cool summer night (I say ‘cool’ because it’s New England, and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, once the sun goes down that’s it). And for how tired and relaxed I was, I related the feeling to how you’d feel after a long day at the beach. Parts of my body were warm (essentially from my waist up with the long sleeve shirt on) while others were cold, my feet and hands notably, but also as I moved around and shifted positions a bit my stomach as my shirt rode up and some of my midriff was exposed to the (just barely) cooler air. I thought about how the weird mix of warm and cool just felt so much like summer– something like how it feels at night after your skin is warm from tanning during the day but the air hitting you is cool, or floating in a cold pool or the ocean on a 90+ degree day.

My thoughts really didn’t go any further than that, just that I felt relaxed and apparently I’m looking forward to (/hoping we get to experience) summer. The type A side of my personality that wants everything I go out of my way to spend time on to have some worthwhile outcome I think would prefer that I be disappointed with this, as I went into it thinking if I felt so much more relaxed something that much more incredible was going to happen. But ultimately I think coming out of it feeling a little more at peace especially given how stressful everything is right now thanks to rona and how off my sleep schedule has been, I’ll take it.

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