Monkey mind showed up last night when I called my ex-wife's house to say goodnight to my younger daughter. My ex answered the phone. To paraphrase what she said:
"Hi! I wanted to let you know that I've been invited to dinner at (my new boyfriend's) house tomorrow night, so I probably won't be home when you bring the girls back from your Wednesday night visit with them. In fact, they're both old enough now that I don't think we need to have an 8 PM drop-off as a hard and fast rule anymore. 8:30 or so is okay. As long as (our younger daughter) is in bed around 9 PM, that's fine. I'll let you talk to her now because I have to run to the grocery store. I'm making a dessert for tomorrow night and I just found out I'm missing one ingredient. Gotta go - bye!"
Monkey mind says: "She didn't need to tell you any of that. She could have just said she was going out and wouldn't be home until after I dropped off the girls. And now all of a sudden she's decided the girls are older and can stay with me later than 8 PM? Give me a break!"
Quiet, you. Be thankful that you get more time with your daughters.
Went to work this morning. Had a light meeting schedule and couldn't bear the thought of sitting under the florescent lights all day. Decided to ask my manager if I could work remotely for the rest of the day.
Monkey mind says: "He won't let you. He'll probably get upset that you're even asking."
Quiet, you. He won't get mad. He might say no, but so what? You never know unless you ask.
So I ask, and of course he says no problem. I head for the local cigar shop around lunch time, looking forward to being productive in a nicer environment.
I get to the cigar shop only to discover their internet access is down. Helped them troubleshoot it to no avail. The problem is with AT&T - estimated return to service is 3:50 AM.
Monkey mind says: "See? You're screwed. You can't connect to the work servers, so you can't get anything done. What are you going to do now? Huh? Huh?"
Quiet, you. You have a conference call in a minute anyway, so focus on that.
The conference call ends at 3 PM. I decide to get my personal internet hotspot, which I bought a month ago and never have been able to get to work, and call the company's tech support to see if I can get online that way. I call tech support only to discover that I don't have my account information with me. Since they can't identify me, they can't help me.
Monkey mind says: "You can't win. This day sucks."
Quiet, you. There's still plenty you can do without internet access. Deep breaths. Get to work.
Another regular comes into the shop and starts making smart aleck comments about the new California Transgender Student Rights law.
Monkey mind says: That effing guy. Just when you thought you were getting along with him, he comes in spouting more Fox News nonsense. Tell him he's full of crap. Go on. Tell him!"
Quiet, you. It's time to go home anyway. You need to get ready to pick up your daughters.
I drive home.
Monkey mind says: "How come everybody is driving under the speed limit?"
At home I look for my hardbound copy of The Hobbit. My older daughter's birthday is Friday, and we're celebrating it tonight. She had the book on her gift list, and I'm thinking it would be nice to give her the copy that my father gave me when I was about her age. I can't find it.
Monkey mind says: "It's gone! You probably gave it to Goodwill with all of those other books you donated a couple of weeks ago. Now you don't have any copy of it to give to her."
Quiet, you. I think her younger sister borrowed it. I'll just make her a card saying I'll get her a copy of it and ask her sister if she has my copy. It'll be fine.
Monkey mind says: "But, but...your ex, and work, and no internet, and Fox News, and ..."
Quiet, you. I have a few minutes before I have to pick up the girls. I'm going to meditate.
Fifteen minutes later I've meditated for ten minutes and I'm on my way to pick up my daughters. They're both doing great. My older daughter is getting into being a senior in high school, and my younger daughter is excited about the book she's reading. We have a terrific dinner, and my older daughter loves all of her birthday presents. My younger daughter had my copy of The Hobbit, and my older daughter thinks it's really cool that I'm giving her the book that my dad gave me. After dinner we go shopping for a sports watch for my older daughter. She's running cross country this year, just like I did when I was in high school.
I drop them off at their mom's , silently thankful that she's not there. She's a nice person and I wish her the best, but I don't need to feed the monkey any more tonight. I go home, find my mifi account information, call tech support, and get the device working in 15 minutes.
I say: "See, monkey mind? It all worked out. That ten minutes of meditation really helped me get back on track, didn't it?"
Monkey mind says: "Quiet, you."
I hate monkey mind when it shows up, but I'm thankful that I know that I have the tools to quiet it down. I'm also thankful that it reminds me to use those tools.
I know I'll always have monkey mind, and I'm trying to accept that. I suppose that I should be grateful that all it does is chatter. If it ever started flinging its poop at me, I'd be in real trouble.