As I wrote about in my last post, I was lax in my routines for the past several months. So I made a vow to myself to be more mindful …
Do you remember going back to school in September, and your mom or dad (or teacher) would tell you that you had to just buckle down and do what needed to be done (typically homework or piano practice)? I recall being royally ticked when my parents told me to do something, but I did it anyway – stomping my feet the whole way. So I’ve been talking to myself like a parent. Just put the dishes in the dishwasher and clean the kitchen before you go play.
The biggest change for me has been not using my electronic devices from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. As I head into a third weekend of this routine, I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish over those 24 hours. The first Friday I actually sat down with a pen and paper and wrote with ink. That particular week was really tough – two members of my family had personal tragedies and a friend from many years ago was killed in a plane crash. For some reason, writing prayers and thoughts with a pen and paper (instead of a keyboard) was more cathartic and meaningful.
Saturdays I just get things done. In truthfulness – I did use my GPS last Saturday to get to a meeting. The not-so-shocking thing is, in the 24 hours I’m offline each weekend, nothing amazing or important has happened via Facebook or Twitter or Instagram (or even Google News). That’s a big lesson for a news junkie like me. If someone really needs me, they’ll pick up the phone.
The second habit I’ve been working on is getting back to my Marie Kondo lifestyle. The no shopping bit has absolutely stuck. But the everyday tidying has slipped some. So I’m back to saying “hello House!” as I walk in the door and changing from work clothes to play clothes. This was an easy habit to slip back into. Rewarding, too. I’ve actually been on time for work a couple of days because I’m not frantically searching for my sunglasses or security pass in a pocket or handbag.
This week I discovered another new routine to try. And I found it in the ‘don’t judge me but I read the’ Daily Mail. Yes, I know it ranks with the National Enquirer in terms of reliability, but I’m oddly compelled to read it every few days. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the DM published an article about women who rise at 4 a.m. and how they find that it makes them more productive and peaceful. The theory is that you take that hour for things you want to do (work, exercise, meditate, or read) while the house is quiet and there are no other distractions. That actually does make a bit of sense, especially for those who have children demanding attention. So I’ve been rising about 45 minutes earlier each day and being mindful about how I spend that time. This week I’ve gone through the paperwork, done a load of laundry, pressed some clothes, and the past two mornings I worked at my sewing machine for 45 minutes. The crazy thing is that I don’t have to go to bed any earlier to get my 7 hours – I am always in bed at 10, but I’m turning out the light and going to sleep instead of looking at my iPad. So it’s not changing my routine that much – just forcing me to try to put my time to the best use.
That’s not to say that everything is coming together perfectly. I’m still not working out more than twice a week, and my weight loss has stalled. But at least I’m heading in the right direction.