Top Half Mindfulness

Abdulkader Thomas
2 min readJan 10, 2022

I have always been good with time. Many of us are.

And, then came COVID. What was it that we lost: The commute? The suspension of travel? In person meetings?

Didn’t our gain, the endless Zoom appointments, make up for the losses.

Wait, time wasn’t the problem. What happened during the time was the issue. Safe commuting requires mindfulness. Travel and meetings require preparation. Travel was required. Business-time was puntured with unexpected meetings. All brough me face to face with people, who deserve thoughtfulness.

Going to an office exposes much more of our selves than the top half on our screens.

Did I let COVID’s reorganization of time turn me into a grumpy old man? It’s not pre-ordained. My father and grandfather weren’t cranky when they were old.

I can’t blame more groucy time on my wife. We work together and rarely got testy with each other.

Oddly, I am a coach. I have years of youth coaching under my belt. I have been working on a professional coaching certificate. Mindfulness, awareness, thoughtfulness are part of the trades. Maybe we use different words for youth hoopsters. But, it’s the same: Know what you can do, be aware of the floor and where everyone is, think of who has the best opportunity.

Is it hitting you like it smacked me?

When I used the in-between time to be mindful, it would stick with me.

At home, I became a self awareness slob. Despite my Mom’s best efforts and my wife’s fashionista instincts, I can drift towards the sloppy side. Not having to be somewhere is the gentle push setting that boat sailing.

Nowadays, I wear sweat pants under my dishdasha during Zoom meetings. Top half mindfulness. A hoodie comes on after our meeting, unless you are my academic supervisor, then you only get the hoodie.

And, that is where coaching comes in.

I clearly haven’t listened to myself.

I let COVID take me backwards.

A better me. Shouldn’t I be mindful, aware and thoughtful?

Why is that good?

There should be the simple satisfaction of being better. It is disappointing that “better” is going back to where I was. But, my memories of whole mindfulness are good. Being testy isn’t worth it at home, on the bus, in the plane,… After all, I give you the best of me without grumpiness when we meet on Zoom. Shouldn’t everyone closer to me receive the same? And, those are my #challenges_2021 and aspirations for a #better_me_2022.