Updated: Feb 2
Alright, folks. No more excuses. I'm ready to live my best life, slowly.
I'm sure that, like me, 2020 put a lot of goals on pause. Being at home, raising kids, working virtually, virtual schooling, or maybe needing to work in the world and not having the luxury of staying home. 2020 was about survival.
The holiday season brought a lot of joy into our home, and like every other holiday season that came before, I indulged. I celebrated, I ate, my fitness routine was lacking. I was exhausted from surviving and acted accordingly. And still, there was joy and love and happiness.
I'm always inspired after the holidays to pick up my dusted off goals and get to work. On New Years Day, I sit and dream and make big plans. And then, usually, by the first Monday, life is as it was. Kids fighting in the house, the constant battle to scroll or go to bed, drinking way too much coffee before even sipping a glass of water.
But this year, it's okay. Because I am permitting myself to restart my goals, every. single. day. I'm taking this year, day by day. Not rushing forward, not wishing it away. I'm here to embrace the moments and slow down my days.
You know, there's this really fantastic poem by Danna Faulds called "Walk Slowly." She reminds us that life is not a relay race; we all cross the finish line. She reminds us to catch ourselves charging forward without even knowing where we are going.
So I'm slowing down and being mindful with my moments. These are a couple of the action items I've worked to incorporate into my daily living. It's a smorgasbord of goodness and totally random in priority.
- While I boil my water to make coffee in the morning, I fill my coffee mug with water, thus forcing myself to drink a glass of water before drinking my morning coffee.
- I've let go of the need to have a morning routine. As a mom of two young boys, I am simply not that person who will wake up an hour before they do to have my quiet time. They wake up early enough as it is. Me letting go of this need to have a morning routine is refreshing.
- My phone is off and charging in the kitchen, and I don't turn it on until I've made my coffee.
- Because I don't have my phone, making coffee is my morning ritual. Grinding the beans, boiling the water, seeping the grounds. I have a favorite mug. I know how to make my perfect cup of coffee, and that brings me joy. I never get tired of having a perfect cup of coffee.
- When folding laundry, I think of something I like about the person as I'm folding their clothes. Or I'll reminisce of a favorite moment. I use this time as a meditation of love and gratitude for my family.
- I used to watch Netflix when doing dishes, now I've switched to self-help audiobooks. This has proven imperfect with kiddos around. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck does indeed have many F-bombs. So I listen to that one when walking with earbuds and Super Attractor while in the presence of my children.
- I have an app, Presently. I have it set to ding at 9 pm every night. I jot down one thing I am grateful for that day. This is also my reminder to turn off and plug in my phone in the kitchen.
And the last thing I've incorporated in my life is,
- After plugging in my phone, I take the time to take everything off my kitchen counters, and I wipe them down. I love waking up to a clean kitchen. As Marie Kondo would say, "This brings me joy!"
None of this list has anything to do with fitness goals or new years resolutions. What I've been able to incorporate are small moments of gratitude and joy sprinkled in my day. Life is never going to be perfect. Whether you're trying to lose 10 pounds or meet the person of your dreams, work to love the moments in between.
Of course, we keep growing and learning and working to be better people, and still, can you start from love? Can you start your journey of improvement from contentment? There is another great poem, perhaps it's simply a text, and I don't know who wrote it, but they talk about happiness not being the goal, but the dividend. That happiness is the "incidental consequence of the intentional commitment to fulfill your whole capacity for living." I love this - "because happiness isn't the target, happiness is what you get for hitting the target."
So go on, get back to the goals and the resolutions and the intentions. Be the person you want to be, live the life you want to live. You are here, and you will always have a there, a different place you'll live, a different person you'll be. And yet, whenever you get there, it always becomes your brand new "Here." So have love Here, have joy Here, be content Here. Here is the only place that you will ever be.
I'm going to leave the two poems that inspired this post below. Please keep them and share them. Come back to them often.
by Danna Faulds
It only takes a reminder to breathe, a moment to be still, and just like that, something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection. The harsh voice of judgment drops to a whisper, and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line; that waking up to life is what we were born for. As many times as I forget, I catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I’m going, that many times I can choose to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk slowly into the mystery.
Happiness is not a goal. It’s a dividend. It’s the incidental consequence of the intentional commitment to fulfill your whole capacity for living. And when you focus your energy on that first, it just shows up. Because happiness isn’t the target – happiness is what you get for hitting the target. What will make you happy that has nothing to do with ego or image, or status?
The purpose is not a task. It’s the way you choose to live your life. It’s the amalgamation of everything you do and say each day, which validates your existence as a human being. And if you’re not sure what your purpose is, no problem: Finding your purpose can become your purpose until you find your purpose. Get to work. What three things do you do regularly that don’t serve or support your vision, calling, or purpose?
Love is not a combination lock. There’s no how-to book. There’s no formula. If you want to make love stay, it’s simple but not easy: Never get lazy with people. Make love the question you answer with your life, every day until it’s over. Because in the end, your life is measured by how well you love, not how far you get. What are you trying to figure out that can’t be figured out?
I SAY IT AGAIN: What can’t be measured matters.
After all, when it’s your heart, you don’t have to convince people that you can’t live without it.
Are you spending your time measuring or mattering?