I’ve been trying to give my husband ideas for what I might like for Christmas this year. It seems that throughout the year I have lots of ideas for things I’d like, but as soon as December hits all I can think of is slippers. I do need slippers desperately – my favorite ones have holes in both toes – but it’s not exactly the kind of “Wow, I can’t believe you got this for me” gift that Jose has in mind. So I’m wracking my brains, adding boots, a purse, and jewelry to my list and then taking them off again because I don’t really need them, or I want them but don’t know exactly what kind I want. To be honest, aside from slippers, I don’t really need anything, but the one thing I’d really like for Christmas this year is Wa.
Wa is a Japanese word, meaning peace and harmony. It not only means peace with others, but also peace within oneself. I could use a little Wa in my life. Don’t get me wrong, my life is pretty good, in fact in the big scheme of things, I consider myself lucky. But I don’t have much Wa. I’m often frustrated, stressed, over-worked, racing from one task to another, trying to do it all and do it all well. If you’re a 21st century woman, you’re probably thinking “join the club, sister.” I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but it gives me little comfort.
Books and magazines tell me to take time for myself, breathe, smell the roses, go to yoga. Sometimes just the idea of doing any of these makes me even more anxious. I just need to get things done, crossed off the list, and then I can relax. But life never works like that and it seems to go out of its way to throw up obstacles and road blocks. Just when you have enough money for that weekend away, the washing machine dies; when you plan your day’s schedule to move smoothly and efficiently from one meeting to another, someone makes a last minute change and throws the whole thing off. Without Wa, these are the things that can throw me into a tailspin.
So, I’m going to give myself a Christmas gift this year. I’m going to give myself Wa. I’m going to figure out what’s really important on my giant task list; I’m going to look at all the people who depend on me, either emotionally or from a work standpoint, and figure out who and what is really important…to me. I’m going to remember to breathe, to practice “Progress not perfection,” and to keep that task list short, but important. And then maybe I’ll have enough Wa that going to yoga or taking a stroll at the beach will sound like a very good idea, and just another thing I have to do.
How are you finding (or maintaining) your Wa right now?