“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” – Pema Chodron
The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about routines and schedules and how I can “tweak” mine to make things a little less stressful.
Every morning I wake up and try to be mindful and try to slide into a different approach to handling the start of the day. And every day something unexpected has been popping up that throws me off my game and sets me back into “scramble” mode.
A few mornings ago, I was multi-tasking, hurrying from the bedroom to the laundry room and thinking, the same thought: “tomorrow I’m going to do this better.”
But then I realized- I didn’t have to *wait* until tomorrow.
I could start *right* that moment. I could decide right there, right then, that as of THAT moment, things wouldn’t be hectic. Mornings would not be chaos. That very moment could be the starting point for something new. I didn’t have to wait until the next morning, or the next week, or a fresh month or new year to make steps to change things, I could just do it right away. No waiting necessary.
I know this is very basic knowledge to most people but it seemed like *such* a huge thing at that moment- almost a kind of tremendous relief. It reminded me that while things happen that are outside of my control, I still can control how I process and react to those things (well… for the most part.)
I can also control (again… for the most part) how much stuff I am allowing myself to take in at any point in the day. Meaning, if I feel overwhelmed and over-stressed, then I can choose not to open myself to more stuff. I can choose not to answer the phone or emails or the be available to the extraneous stuff of life until I’m feeling ready to plug back into the world.
Any time is a perfect time to start fresh. Any moment can be the moment when things turn around, when I mark the changing point in my habits, my routines, my philosophies, my beliefs, new passions, new approaches… whatever it is, any time can be the time it all starts.
For example: when I was 15 years old, I made the decision to become a vegetarian. I can’t remember the exact time I made the decision or the first meal in which I ate no meat, but the important thing about it was that I *stuck* to the decision, and here I am, 24 years later, still a vegetarian.
I didn’t wait until a new week or month or new year to start that approach to life, I just started when the decision was made and it altered the course of my life.
Same with swimming. I have been swimming on a daily basis for almost twenty years. I just decided one day I wanted to swim. And so I went swimming. I went back the next day. And the day after that. It wasn’t a “I’ll start when the week is fresh” or “I think I’m going to become a swimmer” decision, it was deciding I wanted to swim and then going back and doing it again. It started the day I got into the pool and continued the next day when I did it again.
I only mention these because whenever I’m wondering if it’s possible for me to make a positive change in life, I remember that I’ve done it before, many times. And it wasn’t just about intention (although that’s a powerful thing), it was just about *doing* it. Making it happen.Following through. Deciding that *right then* was the perfect time to start and then just starting. Claiming it.
So I’m very grateful for this realization: any time or place is the perfect time or place to start fresh. Today can be the very day when my morning routine goes from hectic to meaningful. Right now can be the start of something good. No waiting necessary.
Common Miracles is a project I started in May, 2011 to examine and discover how gratitude works in everyday life.