My two-month hiatus is done; now it’s time to get back on track with my Somedays. I have five months left of my 366 Somedays – 153 days and I’m struggling to decide which Somedays are worth my time, which call to my heart. Over the last two months, as I’ve eased back on my Somedays, I’ve thought about what I’ve done so far and what I still want to do. I have a list I made when I began this project, but already I’m questioning how many of these Somedays really warrant my time. I’m torn between activities I’ve always thought I wanted to do and the reality of a limited number of hours in the day. I’m finding this process both beneficial and discouraging: beneficial because I’m really working to identify my heart’s desires (Oh, my, I sound like Dorothy. Perhaps a pair of ruby slippers would help the process.) and discouraging because I’m having to admit some activities I thought were salient, don’t actually make the cut.
I haven’t yet decided what my August Someday will be. Check back tomorrow and, hopefully, I’ll have a worthy plan ready to hatch.
As I think about my plan of tackling a “someday” every month for a year, I realize I’ve created something similar to the 12 Days of Christmas where each day something new is added and all become cumulative. Day One: Partridge in a Pear Tree. Day Two: Two Turtle Doves AND a Partridge in a Pear Tree. For me it’s Month One: Daily Writing Practice. Month Two: Daily Meditation Practice AND Daily Writing Practice. Next month I’ll be adding in the physical challenge of a daily four mile walk/run and it goes on from there. I see myself at the end of the year getting up in the morning and spending the first four hours writing, meditating, walking, playing the drums (I’ll need to save that until everyone else in the house is awake), practicing Italian, etc. This could become crazy.
I have always said “Embrace the Crazy”. Many have said my family and I lead crazy, busy lives. But additional craziness isn’t really on my “someday” list. Perhaps my 366 Somedays only seems a prescription for crazy. Perhaps it is the route to sanity…wait, would that mean my life is already crazy?
Sigh. What a year this is shaping up to be.
Today I began my second “someday” – meditation. I knew this would be a hard activity for me. I’ve tried to develop a meditation practice a few times in the past, but haven’t followed through for more than a few days at a time. Yet I know regularly meditating will be good for me. Just Google “benefits of meditation” and you’ll see a plethora of articles touting meditation’s rewards. My problem, and I’m sure many people relate to this, is my mind runs as if the fast forward button has been pushed on the remote. I once had a friend comment she’d love to see the action inside my brain. She imagined my thoughts as a ball inside a pinball machine – ping here, ping there, lights flash, noises go off. Yes, I know I need to learn to quiet my mind and let that quiet ripple throughout my body. So, on to my second “someday”.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, in preparation for this month I’ve been listening to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation. The instructor suggests a meditation practice of 20 to 45 minutes per day. I heard that and just about crumbled. 20 to 45 minutes per day!!?? Luckily I didn’t hit the off button immediately because he went on to say even five minutes per day was adequate to start, especially if the shorter time contributed to making the practice a consistent routine. Okay; I figured I could handle five minutes. He also suggests figuring out the best time to meditate to facilitate making it a daily practice. I know I write best when I write in the morning. I also know the only way I’ve ever maintained an exercise program is to workout in the morning. So, it wasn’t hard to decide my meditation practice needs to take place first thing in the morning. Since the instructor also suggests wearing comfy clothes to meditate, I figured I’d hop out of bed, make a pit stop, and head right into my meditation practice.
Part 2 tomorrow: Place and Time
Thanksgiving is not yet over and I’m prepping for December. Every year there are the early preparations for Christmas: ordering Christmas cards, compiling gift lists and starting the shopping, planning holiday events. This year, in addition, I’m prepping for my December “Someday” – meditation and mindfulness. I specifically chose this “Someday” for December because the holiday season can be so crazy and I wanted to force myself to slow down and be aware of the joys, the events, and time with family and friends.
Developing a meditation practice will be a big challenge for me. After all, my motto is “Embrace the Crazy”. One meditation expert says a key to mindfulness is to “live without frenzy” – seems a bit of a conundrum. How will I figure out how to embrace the crazy while living without frenzy during the Christmas season? My first step in preparation for next month is listening to an audiobook, Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation. I began listening yesterday. No practice yet. These are baby steps. I’m beginning slowly: listen this week and be ready to set aside a few minutes a day for practice next week.
Day 4 of my “366 Somedays” and today was a reality hit. I’m sure there will be additional hits as the year goes by, but I didn’t really expect one this soon. Day 1 was exciting – I set-up my blog and Facebook pages, I announced my plan to the world, I received some great feedback. Day 2 I worked on the outline of the book I will write this month and the excitement from Day 1 lingered. Yesterday, Day 3, still felt pretty invigorating. Today, Day 4, I had a morning commitment which put me out of my routine. I normally write in the wee hours of the morning, but I couldn’t do that today because of the meeting. As I prepared to head out the door, I thought about what else I wanted to get done throughout the day: some bookkeeping needs for our business, prepare some packages for mailing, further work unpacking from our recent move. Then it hit me – I needed to make time to write! I’ve committed to writing a book in November. That won’t happen unless I … write!
So, even though it’s not 5:00 a.m., even though I’ve already had more coffee than should be allowed in one day, even though my little dogs are looking at me wondering why we haven’t yet gone on our walk, and even though this is not my normal writing routine, I WILL write!
Keep on reading, thinking, doing, and writing.