Today marks two weeks into My Passion Experiment. You can catch up with the project here, Day Two, Day Four and Day Seven if you like. I’m feeling pretty good compared to a couple of weeks ago. Here are the things I’ve noticed last week:
- For me, becoming complacent or thinking I know what’s going to happen or how I’m going to feel robs me of the ability to actually experience each day. This one is très difficile but incredibly important for me to prevent feeling like I’m trapped in my own routine! Getting up and going through the same motions day after day; shower, cook breakfast, make coffee, feed dog, eat/drink, wash up, watch news for 11 minutes, drive to work, make tea, find something to do until noon, eat lunch, find something to do until 430, drive home, walk dog, start dinner, eat, cleanup, bed between 8 & 8:30, read for 20 minutes, sleep. Repeat. Can you see how that would get depressing? But what if each day could feel different? I’m trying to do small things that change how each day feels in order to avoid monotony and cultivate some passion for The Everyday. Playing tuggy with Gracie for 11 minutes in the morning instead of watching the news, turning Ray’s alarm off and waking him up with kisses and cuddles instead (I like that more than he does, LOL!). Doing a lemon sugar facial/upper body scrub before getting in the shower once a week, taking Gracie on a longer walk after work instead of rushing home to start dinner, having an after work drink in the driveway on nicer days, of course, biking to work, turning on music in the morning instead of the television, having a water-only day, going tanning in the evening instead of couch-time, floor stretches during my lunch break when no one is around. Anything to make the day feel a bit different.
- Passion grows on itself. You put a little teensy seed down on a welcoming foundation, cover it up and then spend time cultivating it. You can’t see anything yet. Nothing looks different….but you keep watering and you keep letting the sun’s warmth get to it. You don’t lose faith. And eventually a teensy little speck appears. You rejoice that the little guy is alive and then you just keep doing what you were doing. Watering, protecting, feeding and allowing it to grow. Some days it seems as if it’ll never get any bigger….and then poof, new leaves! Everything that it is and everything that it will be comes from that first tiny seed and the faith that it would grow in time.
- Letting the past go is still a work in process. A couple of times this past week I’ve had to gently (and then not so gently) tell Ray that I don’t want to talk about the plant or what might be happening there and that I sure as hell (that was the not so gently part) do NOT want to go for a drive and see what’s going on over there. Not. I also bumped into a former customer last weekend whom I knew outside of work before I knew of them as the customer….so I completely forgot that we had both associations. Until she started grilling me about what had happened and what was going on and how could she contact someone there now. I was so blindsided and not expecting that discussion that I nearly fainted. So this part is still a work in process. Although it has been successful by some measure as well in that I have not used the past as an excuse to do or not do something. It’s simply irrelevant now. I’ve stopped using the word “anymore” (eg, I don’t get four weeks of vacation anymore) or the word “now” (eg. I work 8 – 4:30 now). I did that because if I drop those two qualifiers, what’s left is just a true statement. I don’t get 4 weeks of holidays and I do work 8-4:30. “Anymore” and “now” are those little tentacles trying to hook onto the past and keep pieces of it in the present. I also try to avoid starting sentences with “I used to” and instead I say “When I” because I feel like starting with “I used to” makes it too regretful sounding and saying “When I” is more positive and more of a statement of fact. (eg. “I used to have an amazing boss” vs “When I worked at ABC, my boss was amazing”). Maybe this is all BS as far as “professionals” are concerned but I find it useful for myself in staying current and closing that door.
So that’s the summary of Week Two. Week Three should be more of the same, and instead of dreading the next 5 days of life, I’m going to be excited about it and try to wake up every day looking forward to what may come.
In other news, I rode my bicycle to work today and have revised my “scaling in” plan. Since today is only Monday and Thursday & Friday are supposed to be nice days this week, I don’t see any real reason why I can’t ride on both those days as well, especially since the weekend is right there for recovery afterwards. I’ll judge how I feel after riding on Thursday but this morning felt great even though I did 30 minutes of hill training on the indoor trainer on Saturday. Bicycling is such a low impact activity that I don’t feel I have to recover my joints, ligaments, tendons after every ride; so far I haven’t been in any pain or discomfort. I feel fantastic when I’m done and I look forward to the next outing so I’m going to keep letting my body run the show. Going out in the morning and smelling that damp air and breathing hard; I know it’s where I’m supposed to be right now and I love it.
Breaking that routine is seriously a life saver! The worst part is that the longer you go through the motions, the better your brain becomes at justifying them (and worse, the better it is at vetoing any ideas to part from them).
I didn’t realize how much of a routine I was in (commute, work, internet, commute, internet, internet tv, sleep repeat) until I threw a HUGE wrench into it: cold showers! It sounds crazy, but that’s what it took for me haha!
You literally took cold showers? That’s impressive desire for change!
My routine saves me in many cases….but I don’t want it to own me so I try to shake it up!