This is part three of a 5-day series this week as I follow a 5-day reset journey toward happiness using One Day thinking, rather than Someday thinking. Join me, even if it’s just quietly reading and watching me as I go through the steps. Or, share your stories of inspiration and failure to help us all move along our own paths to happiness. If you feel like it, drop a line here or on my Facebook page: What did you do today?
Days Three and Four of One Day thinking have been tricky, people. I’ll explain in a second. But first, let me remind you that plans can have pauses. So this is where I tell you I think I might need to smoosh a couple of days together and extend my 5-day plan. Totally okay. Right? Right!
One Day mentality rather than Someday thinking might sound a bit obtuse or confusing, especially grammatically. But if you think about it, this whole “someday I will get that thing done,” or “someday luck will come knocking,” or even–“someday the world will figure out that I’ve been wronged, and my destiny will fall into place”–is just so darn misleading.
It’s so flipping not the truth. And that way of thinking might be ruining parts of your beautiful life.
I have been thinking about all of this a lot this week. And at the risk of sounding even more obtuse, I need to go on and on about it a bit more. I have to say to this mentality: No. It just doesn’t work like that. You need to rise up and look around you. You need to spend buckets of time thinking about what you want, what you really, really want. You need to pick a goal, a measurable goal, and get there step by step. Today. One day at a time. It’s not “One day I’ll get that done.” It’s “I’ll get there one day at a time, and I’ll get that part of it done today.”
There’s a whole foundation of emotional wellness underpinning a goal-setting mentality, and you need support networks to help get you to that place of wholeness. You need friends. You need to find your friends. They are out there for you. (More on that another day. It’s worth a few buckets of posts, because it’s a big topic.)
And you need buckets of luck. It’s true. It’s not all on you. Forgive yourself for all the times when it hasn’t gone your way. Turn the sails and pick a different destination. As I used to tell a former friend of mine: “You need to set your compass on your final destination and sight off from there. Every day. Because every day you’ll have a chance to get distracted and pick a different focus. Figure out what you want (what you really, really want) and set your sights on that.”
I say this from a place of complete and utter humility. I say this from the place of the girl who has had to do this so many times throughout my life that there just isn’t any room for me to see a different way. I say this from all the places–amazing places and terrifying places–that I have been emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I say this from the place of the girl who worked full-time at age 12 as a nanny to help pay bills. I say this from the place of the girl who stayed up all night through snow and starry-sky weekends in forests with one of her best friends to become a search and rescue worker. I say this from the place of seat racing for varsity and feeling the boat pull ahead. I say this from the place of the high school girl in the hospital with a 107-degree fever, told I was lucky to be there or next in the queue of possibilities was death–and the month of recovery leaving my seventh-seat placement behind while my team won first in the State Regatta. I say this from the place of the girl who interviewed for a $1,000 one-time grant and instead got a full, all-expenses-paid scholarship to college. I say this from the place of the girl in grad school working full-time and going to school full-time and sleeping not at all. I say this from the place of the woman who married the love of my life and count the blessings of that every.single.day because I have another day to love him. I say this from the place of the woman on the operating table with a c-section and a Code Red. I say this from the place of joyful purchase of our farm and all the dreaming that began the day we moved in. I say this from the place of the woman who experienced unutterable trauma and had to rise up from that place of disdain, despair, and shock that will stay with me forever. I say this from the place of waking this morning to look at my two beautiful children and feeling gratitude so big that it was like watching joy in slow motion.
I say this from the place of full-spectrum belief that the world is simply not fair. It is not. It is full of ups and downs, sometimes impossibly difficult ones that challenge you to your very core.
It is full of luck, though, and beauty, and moments that take your breath away.
Plant the seed.
Water the seed.
Watch it grow.
Day by day.
This week I was all set to do five big major wonderful things for myself every day. I wrote a list about it on Day Two of my 5-day journey. Oh my goodness, it was bliss: I went for an amazing run (oh, I love to run, I love to run, I love to run). I organized a cupboard. I wrote. I stayed focused. I connected with my kids without feeling distracted. Simple things, I know, but moments that were totally important to me this week.
And then my daughter came down with strep. And stayed home from her field trip. And we spent the day together sorting through urgent care appointments and antibiotics and how to (not) make it to Port Townsend to support our friends as they set off on a 750-mile sailing adventure to Alaska. And I struggled through sitting still while waiting for the medicine to set in.
Isn’t that how it goes sometimes?
And all I really got out of all my goal-setting for Days Three and Four was this beautiful photo of me and my darling daughter wearing semi-matching shirts under a bower of roses, taken by my neighbor and dear friend who I love for so many reasons, not least of which is that she dashed down from her work moving boulders (literally) to take this photo to help me record my daughter and me wearing semi-matching shirts.
Isn’t she lovely? You’d never know she was ill here. She headed to bed right after. Isn’t she tall?! I don’t understand how my baby is getting so tall.
And you know what? I know I will look back on this photo forever, and I’ll see this moment as a tiny snapshot in time when everything hovered into stillness and I got to hug my daughter. There’s an ebb and flow to everything. So maybe I didn’t get a cupboard organized (to heck with that) or a fast run in with my Luna dog, but I did get buckets of quality time with my daughter. So I’ll take that moment and raise you $2. 🙂