Think deeply and separate what you wish from what you’re prepared to do.
Yesterday I walked – twice. I also made cards. I ended the day feeling relaxed and peaceful (even with the political storm swirling around). I walk or run in the morning almost everyday, but yesterday I went longer than normal and, later, when the beautiful November afternoon beckoned, I didn’t look at my extensive To-Do list; I went outside. Before my afternoon walk, I spent a few hours working on greeting cards I wanted to send out. A couple of hours slipped by as I experimented with my cutting machine, selected papers, found quotes, glued and taped, but they were restorative hours that were thoroughly enjoyable.
During the twelve months of this 366 Somedays, I will have tried twelve activities I’ve always thought I wanted in my life. I’ve discovered some of these activities simply don’t call to my heart as I thought they would – speaking Italian, for example. Sure, I’d love to speak Italian, but not enough to put in the time to learn it. Unfortunately, the same may be true for learning to play drums. I’m not ready to cross that one off my list, but I’m getting close.
Yesterday, as I practiced a little self-care, I realized I really love walking and running, especially when I do them outdoors. I also really love making cards and playing with paper. It dawned on me that a benefit of this 366 Somedays process is I’m homing in on activities I truly love and am prepared to pursue as well as discovering which activities are simply wishful and probably need to fall by the wayside. I want to spend my time pursuing those activities that leave me with the relaxed, peaceful feeling I experienced last night. That feeling shouldn’t be reserved for days when I have made a concerted effort at self-care. That feeling should be the norm and getting there requires letting some activities go in order to focus on others.
My January “Someday” was the physical challenge of walking or running 1,200 miles this calendar year. This challenge is part of the Oregon Road Runners Club’s 1,200 Mile Challenge. This is the “Someday” at which I’ve been most successful and I’m excited to announce that last week, on the last day of October, I went over the 1,000-mile mark, right on schedule. I worked hard before October to put in extra miles knowing October’s travel would make it difficult to accumulate miles at my normal rate. Extra banked miles plus a few runs in Italy and I made my mini-goal of staying on target throughout a month with very low mileage.
I have 200 miles to go, but I’m feeling pretty good about putting this “Someday” to rest before December 31st. Then what? I’m thinking another “Someday” will be to learn to swim adequately enough to be able to complete a mini-triathlon. Right now, though, I need to go pick up my knitting needles and work on this month’s “Someday”.
Time for a new “Someday” and I realize I never made the announcement last month that I was taking another hiatus. I was out of the country for almost three weeks in October – not the time to take on a new “Someday”. We were in Italy where, if I’d actually learned Italian earlier this year, I’d have been able to try out my new skill. However, my realization during my Italian language “Someday” regarding my lack of skill with languages was reinforced during this trip. I use the basics: per favore, grazie, si, ciao, but even after being there for more than two weeks I can’t say much more. Perhaps if I were immersed in the language for a decade or two I’d be able to carry on a simple conversation, but I’m not terribly certain of that either.
So, I used last month as a hiatus and now it’s time for something new and this month I’m knitting. As a teenager, I learned to crochet and made a typical granny square afghan along with coasters and a pretty cool mobile using little crocheted doilies dangling by fishing line from cut wire clothes hangers. I tried a brief stint (15 minutes, maybe) of knitting, but it just wasn’t happening. I see people knitting and I think it looks like a relaxing way to spend time, not to mention the beautiful scarves, sweaters, and blankets knitters be produce.
To kick off this month’s “Someday”, I’m attending a local knitting club’s monthly gathering this afternoon. They’ve assured me they can get me started. I’m determined to give this more than a 15 minute try and, since the meeting this afternoon lasts 2.5 hours, I’ll have reached my goal. Seriously, I really would like to give this enough of a try to see if it’s a fit for me. I’m a fidgety person and having something to do with my hands seems like a good thing. Of course, it will be tough to eat popcorn or other snacks while knitting, but that’s probably another good thing.