Remember back in October when I made goals for this year? Could I have pictured where I am today? Not that today is so crazy different from any other day, but did I know what opportunities or interests would present themselves in seven months? No.
Back in October, I said I would submit for publication in April. That didn’t happen, though I did write an essay and I did get some poems rejected that I had submitted previously. For May, I said that I would write a romance novel (#secretpassion #dreamjob), but I’m not actually feeling it right now. Instead, I want keep working on essays, or just building the writing habit, rather than taking on a shiny new project.
In fact, projects are something I’ve been thinking about cutting out lately. Simplify is a word that’s been floating around my brain lately. Minimize too. I’ve been thinking about doing less, having fewer responsibilities. Instead of trying to fill my days, even to fill them better, I have been thinking about emptying them.
Of course, it’s a challenge. Yesterday on my run, I thought of a couple of friends of mine who just ran a half-marathon (I could do that, I thought), then remembered another friend who did a triathalon last summer (I could do that too, I thought), then remembered a friend’s sister who’d been on the rowing team in college (I’d have great arms) until finally, I had to say, almost outloud, whoa whoa whoa Canter, slow down. Wasn’t the point to do less?
Oh yeah. Less.
Fewer meetings, less running around means more time to cook, to read, to sleep. More time cooking and reading and sleeping might mean more time writing, but if it doesn’t, well cooking and reading and sleeping are pleasures in their own right, not just a means to an end.
Fewer shirts in the closet means less folding. Fewer products in the bathroom means less digging around when I want the sunscreen. Fewer late nights might mean more time in the morning for writing, meditating, taking the cat outside, but if not, sleeping in is good too.
What would I rather do? What would make me happy? That was the point of this blog, once upon a time.
The best “challenges” I’ve ever done on this blog have been the daily present and cutting out restaurants. They were small (well maybe not the restaurant goal), and there was no definitive outcome attached; it was more about behavior change, an attitudinal shift. That’s what I’d like for May.
May challenge: spend 5 minutes (or more) outside everyday. Walking two and from the car doesn’t count.