Flash Fiction

Inner peace

Aarthi sits with her eyes closed, takes a deep breath in. Her chest gently rises and falls. At five in the morning, there are no other sounds in her usually bustling neighbourhood, her busy house. The productivity gurus recommend early starts, meditation, cups of tea, journaling, and exercise. She grimaces at the last thought. She is meant to focus on her breathing, though. She shifts, straightens her back, focusses on her breath.

In, out.

In, out.

Maybe today, she will successfully achieve all she needs to, having started the day the right way. Journal. Tea. Exercise. Get the children ready for school. Breakfast. Work. Pick up the kids from school. Soccer practice. Or wait, is it swimming today? Did she send that email to the client as Mandy had asked? Shit. 

Aarthi’s breathing is shallow. She’s doing something wrong. This isn’t how meditation works. She is meant to be at peace. Clear your mind, clear your mind. She shifts again and straightens her back. How hard could this be? Breathe, she mutters to herself. It helps and she can follow the coolness of her breath on her nostrils as she inhales.

In, out.

In, out. 

In, out. 

Her shoulders relax. Journaling should be fun. She has a brand new notebook that she has been saving for years. But what should she journal about? Her kids? She shakes her head. Her work? Her mundane, everyday single-parent life? Her breaths are suddenly shorter. Maybe she should skip the journaling for today. Maybe meditation is enough to help her be productive. 

What time is it? She opens her eyes and looks at the phone beside her. Has it only been six minutes? It has felt much longer! She has another fourteen minutes left. Maybe this is enough. After all it is her first day of this new routine. She doesn’t want to peak too soon.

She stands up and stretches. She will soon become one of those early-morning people with a smile on their face, a joyful jump in her stride. Aarthi feels smug at the thought. Imagine all the things she can get done. She might even write and publish the book she’s been talking about. Aarthi looks around her room; she really should exercise if she’s not going to journal today. But maybe, that can wait till day three. The kids will be awake at six and she has a few moments to herself. She snuggles back under the covers. Everything else can wait.

© Sanch V @ Sanch Writes (26 May 2023)

***Using the prompts by Vinitha for Fiction Monday 151***

Featured image by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels

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  • Vinitha
    28 May 2023 at 1:14 pm

    I think catching a few more zzz’s would make Aarthi peaceful. Some days my state of mind is exactly like hers.
    It was lovely having you join Fiction Monday, Sanch.

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      29 May 2023 at 11:48 am

      Hah, I think a lot of us can identify with her. It was great to participate, Vinitha and I hope to join in a bit more.

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