Anxiety, St. Anthony and my lost iPod

Meditation is one of those things which always sounds amazingly powerful to me but completely out of my realm of capability. Meditation involves quieting your mind and that, my friends, is something I struggle with. My mind is constantly at work and while it often produces some good things, it also tends to run amok, making up stories which I tend to accept as truth regardless of proof otherwise. Still, every so often I explore the possibility of meditation, usually when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed or too keyed up.

St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Items. "Tony, Tony, Come around. Something's lost and must be found."

I’m not sure I can call what happened this morning meditation, but it certainly caught my attention. You see, I had misplaced my iPod. And this was not a good thing in my book. I’m not attached to material goods. (Aside from my bike and my laptop that is. I wouldn’t necessarily call them sacred items to me, but really, please, it’s best not to mess with them without my express written permission, just be safe.) My iPod is nothing special. It’s an older model nano and though it was given to me by parents in celebration of my Master’s Degree, there are no engravings or other special sentimental attachment. It’s a digital music player.

But I couldn’t find it yesterday and for some reason I had wanted to listen to music while running eight miles in the rainy and windy 50 degree weather. I searched and searched and searched until I could no longer put off getting out the door for my run. Since I normally run without my iPod this was not a tragedy. However, Sunday includes a 2 1/2 hour bike ride on my trainer and the prospect of no iPod for was not an enticing thought. I offered a quick prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items, and went about the rest of my day, figuring at some point I would find the iPod or at worst, put in a season of the Gilmore Girls in the DVD player for the 97th time during Sunday’s spin session.

My iPod. Found.


This morning I sat at my desk with my cup of coffee and an anxious mind. It’s a busy time of year and my old mind was at it again, making me 10 ways of crazy and slightly nauseous. I needed this to stop. Meditate? Maybe. I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes and took several deep breaths. I opened my eyes, turned my head to the left and …. there was my iPod resting (somewhat ironically) on a stack of CDs. There were no fist pumps or thrusting of arms over my head in triumph. No woo-hoos. Just a smile, big and warm and real.

There was sweet relief that Sunday’s spin session and subsequent treadmill runs would be bolstered with the appropriate soundtrack. And there was a joy in remembering that sometimes the harder we look for something, the more elusive it becomes. Instead of barreling through — my interval set, my long run, my project at work or my brainstorming session — I just need to turn the volume down of my inner dialogue. And as it turns out, I have a better ability to do that than I previously realized.


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