My thoughts just went back to a time, more then 20 years ago, when I experienced for the first time how it felt when there was a gap between my thoughts and saying something out loud.
I was 18 years old and my throat tonsils had to be removed. It was my first (and only) time being in a hospital to stay for a few days. I wasn’t really in agony, so I actually quite enjoyed myself there. It was important that I drank a lot to keep my throat moist, so I was allowed to get lemon lemonade as much as I wanted. My parents and some family visited me sometime and that was nice, although they had to do most of the talking, talking was quite painful. For the rest I was reading, sleeping and watching tv.
Eating was a bit painful because I could only chew and swallow very slowly and mindfully (although I don’t think I knew the word ‘mindfully’ back then already) even though my food was chopped into very little pieces to help me. After 4 nights I was released back home again. I did live in a student house at that time, but still was at my parents place often. Just like then. It was the week before Christmas and my sister was at home too. And I remember family visiting now and then.
What I mostly remember though, was that I wasn’t able to join the conversations.
But I noticed that most things that I wanted to say, didn’t seem so important anymore after a few minutes. The momentum of them passed. So I listened more. I read a lot. I was in the room with people, but I really wasn’t contributing as much as I used to.
And I found it fascinating. Sometimes annoying, sometimes pleasant.
Looking back, I think this was my first experience of mindfulness.