While wasting time on Pinterest just now I came across this quote that I pinned a while back:
Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.
— Alice Walker
To be honest my present does not look at all like the future I am dreaming. I want to be doing, not observing, and creating, not consuming. But lately that’s not happening.
This is a total excuse, but part of my sluggishness is that I am struggling a lot with my energy levels. I feel tired and worn out a lot of the time, so it makes it harder for me to motivate myself to get anything done. Little tasks feel like big tasks, and big tasks feel like they’re insurmountable challenges — even if I’m just thinking about loading the dishwasher. I am getting enough sleep these days, for the most part (Will has slept straight through the night [with a 10:00 dream feed] for about the last week! so exciting) but it’s still super hard to drag myself out of bed early for a run. I don’t know whether I’m not eating enough to sustain running and breastfeeding, or if my thyroid is out of whack, or if it’s just that I feel like I never really fully kicked that virus I had last month, or (honestly! I can take it!) if I’m having a long lazy moment, but it’s getting old.
I think I am just in a funk. What’s the best way to break out of a funk? I am letting myself slide into bad habits, becoming disorganized, overlooking clutter, and then feeling too overwhelmed to address anything. That has to stop — and yet, even just thinking about snapping out of it and getting off the sofa feels too hard. I feel stuck.
I want to reboot 2013. I have an ongoing list of projects in the back of my mind, and I need to address it without allowing it to make me feel overwhelmed. I need to remember that life is a process, not a destination to race toward. More than checking things off an endless to-do list, I need to get back on track with creating and maintaining good habits — both homemaking practices and personal wellness practices. I guess I just didn’t realize how easy it would be to fall off the wagon!
So to get myself inspired, I have been reading some zen habits.
Many of us work in an endless stream of tasks, browser tasks, social media, emails, meetings, rushing from one thing to another, never pausing and never ending.
Then the day is over, and we are exhausted, and we often have very little to show for it. And we start the next day, ready for a mindless stream of tasks and distractions.
That is not how I want to live anymore. (But we are making progress here, and not achieving perfection, even when it comes to living mindfully.)
(source — this is enso, the Japanese symbol of zen mindfulness.)
I’m also thinking about something I’ve seen some other bloggers do, and that’s choose a word that I want to represent 2013. I am trying to decide between mindfulness and simplify. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had a great big obvious word to represent 2012, and that was joy. I kept that word in mind as I moved through the year and looking back, it did turn out to be an incredibly joyful year. So I want to do the same for 2013. Simplify or mindfulness?
At any rate, I need to be doing more to make my present look more like the future that I want — but I think I need to start from the ground up, not just forcing myself to go through the motions just to check them off the list. One thing at a time. I need to clean my kitchen, but why do I need to clean my kitchen? — because I want a calm, serene living space. Why do I want a calm, serene living space? — because walking into a messy kitchen stresses me out, but a clean, streamlined space makes me happy and relaxed. — And so on.
One thing at a time, though. One thought at a time. Happiness is a practice, remember?