Last night BGB and I rugged up and headed out for our nightly-ish after work walk along the Yarra River.
We passed a group of people with a full sized keyboard and four speakers set up on the grass next to a picnic table. Maybe 15 people were standing around in puffer jackets in the freezing darkness, taking turns to sing along to Korean pop songs. Fair play to them.
Next we happened across a huge possum sitting next to a tree staring at us. Said g’day and walked onwards.
As we walked towards the city I squeaked with excitement when I saw an echidna ambling down the river bank in the dark.
The excitement lingered for quite some time, even after the echidna turned out to be two ducks.
Across the street we could see that the trees in the Botanic Gardens were lit up purple and red for a Lightscape exhibit rehearsal, and I could feel slivers of excitement dancing around my body as orchestral music surged in and out as we walked.
En route we found a Lime scooter lying in the gravel where someone had thrown it.
It was beeping and flashing every now and then as if to say “help me!”
I tugged on BGB’s hand and told him I was just going to go and stand it back up.
He laughed at me and didn’t let go of my hand as we walked past. “Nah, leave it babe, that’s not your job.”
“But someone’s just thrown it there and it’s beeping sadly!” I replied.
I put on my cute face that usually gets him to let me do what I want.
Unless it involves me trying to peer over the edge of a cliff, in which case he’s more likely to spear tackle me to the ground than let me go near it.
We continued walking but I kept looking back at the sad, beeping scooter. BGB continued to laugh at me. I couldn’t let go of the feeling like I’d left someone lying on the ground needing help.
Unexpectedly, I started to cry.
“I’m sorry, I have to go and pick it up” I sniffed tearfully and ran back to pull it upright.
BGB thought this was infinitely hilarious.
Once I’d righted my scooter friend and pulled out its stand, I patted him and said “There you go Mr Scooter.”
He did not respond because he’s a scooter.
“You’re the worst robot ever” BGB laughed at me fondly, hugging me as I continued to cry inexplicably.
He sometimes says things like this, referring to the fact that I used to have a fear that deep down I was a bit of a cold, numb robot.
Before I learnt mindfulness a decade ago, my emotions were very shut down. It’s taken me many years of practising what I now teach in the Bloody Good Life program to unwire many years of emotional shutdown, and instead get in tune with the full spectrum of my emotions.
I can now cry with sadness or happiness at the drop of a scooter.
I love not being a robot. Being a robot was definitely easier in some ways, because not much affected me. But I also felt numb, like I was just going through the motions.
These days I don’t resist sadness, anger or any painful emotions, because I know that learning to allow them is the reason I can now feel joy and meaning in my life.
I wouldn’t trade the regular joyful feelings for anything.
Even though I now accidentally cry over spilt scooters.
If you’re wishing you could feel more joy and meaning in your life, or if you wish you could cry about inanimate objects falling over, I might have something of interest.
Ps — the photo is of my Mum and me on Lime scooters — how cute is my Mum!