I’ve been doing a lot of running around lately, what with a trip to Cleveland to see my 90-year-old parents and a parade of dinner guests and overnight visitors and the start of the craft show season. Next week, John and I are flying to Portland Oregon for the annual Handmade Soap Makers Guild Conference. Neither of us has been to that part of the country before, so we’re looking forward to it.

Still, I’ve been feeling pretty frazzled.

Wednesday night, I came home from a semester-end gathering at Sam Diego’s, and instead of immediately logging onto my computer, I curled up in my comfy chair and read a book till bedtime. IT FELT SO GOOD. It felt as if my system was being replenished with a vitamin or mineral that had become dangerously depleted.

Similarly, a few weeks ago I finally got to work in my garden after weeks of indoor work. Digging in the soil, I had the sense that THIS was the ingredient that had been missing in my life lately, though I didn’t know it till I got it.

Amazing how dense we can be about what we need to thrive in a given moment. Sometimes it’s more time alone, sometimes less. More rest. More physical activity. More conversation. More silence. Sometimes we need to cook, and sometimes we really need someone to cook for us.

Sometimes I’m just wandering around in a funk, asking myself, what do I need? what do I need? (which usually means, how can I fix this mood?), and I don’t know the answer. I’m not even sure it’s the right question.

My meditation practice reminds me not to be a fussbudget. When I try to arrange circumstances so they meet my exact requirements, it’s both futile and a setup for further unhappiness.

Still, that doesn’t mean I have to be stupid about my basic needs.

My friend Jim has posted on the wall by his computer a list he calls his Minimum Daily Requirements. It’s aspirational, but good to think about. Do you know what yours are?

Jim’s Minimum Daily Requirements

Fresh air
Uplifting music
Physical activity
Creative endeavors
Prayer or meditation
Rhythmic movement
Appreciation of nature
Supportive relationships
Healthful food and water
Sleep, rest, and relaxation

By James Kershner…thank you, Jim!