Presence of Mind

Philosophy Part 4 commenced last night and I was happy to see my classmates again after the break. It was exciting to see familiar faces, to catch up on our festive exploits, plus I was grateful to be greeted by warm hugs on a cold January evening.

We started this term with a new lecturer, and a new topic – Presence of Mind. After the usual stimulating discussion and idea sharing, I headed down to the tube with Sue and Joanna. Upon leaving the building we realised (in amongst our effervescent chatter) that it was drizzling. Naturally, I started looking for my umbrella which I had used earlier in the evening. I say ‘started looking’ because I was using a new polka dot handbag for the first time and the lack of familiarity threw me a little.

The three of us were giggling like silly school girls as I searched and double checked all the compartments in my bag, I thought, and failed to find my umbrella. By this time Joanna was kindly huddling up next to me with hers, trying to provide me with some shelter. Ever practical, Sue was being the sensible one asking when last I’d used it, did I leave it anywhere, and my mind drew a total blank. Since I wasn’t particularly attached to the umbrella, in fact I’ve thought it hideous ever since it was purchased in similar emergency circumstances, but it’s been the sturdiest brolly I’ve had to date!

I succumbed at the tube station, admitting defeat I bid farewell to my friends and just made it into Superdrug before they closed to buy a replacement. As cliché dictates, low and behold, upon withdrawing my Oyster card from its pocket with my new polka dot umbrella in my left hand, I see that I’d failed to check that compartment for my old brolly, which lay there sadly like a discarded piece of Christmas wrapping. To complete the trifecta I was also wearing a polka dot scarf – which I reckon means I was dressed to be a bit dotty.

Lesson learned on being attention focused – what we had spent the last hour of class discussing. Lesson learned that what is in front of you is your teacher – which is our homework this week actually.

I was discussing the ideal being calm as the ideal state with my other friend Jo during our tea break. This little incident has shown me just how much control we do actually have over our state of mind, and how we can affect how we approach situations to avoid drama and stress and a lot of the mental pressure we feel in our daily lives. I am indeed the master of my own mind, even if I don’t always remember to bring it with me.