I do this supremely dorky thing in the morning before I even open my eyes: I smile. The sun streams directly through my window and onto my face, making me feel like I’m starring in my own Downy commercial.
And as much as I laugh at myself, for doing this, I do it for good reason. My natural inclination when I awake is to immediately take inventory of the things I have to worry about. I would quickly scan recent memory for all the dreaded things I have to do that day, or things that are weighing on my mind, or ways that I’ve let people down.
What’s even more bothersome about this approach is I’m actually not a negative person, nor are my problems….problematic. It’s such a horrible way to start the day I choose to reclaim it with flower petals and smiles bathed in rays of sunshine.
On Saturday, my Downy Commercial Tactic didn’t work. My brain hurt and the act of simply taking my dogs for a walk was overwhelming to me. To top it off, we discovered we were out of coffee which is a fire-able offense in this household, being 30 minutes away from the store.
My brain hurts from overuse, and trust me, the threshold is low, but I’ve reached it. I found myself watching Smash episodes on the couch on my iPad. Honestly, I can think of 2,345 ways to be a more productive member of society. I couldn’t even muster the energy to look at Facebook. I can’t even believe I’m telling you I watch Smash. Which I found out got cancelled when I went to find that link for you. Now I’m devastated.
At mid day, Pepper was nudging me with wagging tail wondering when we were going for a run.
“Sorry, girly girl. Not happening today.” But she doesn’t get it. Nudge.
I stayed offline and I indulged myself in a supremely lazy day.
During that time, I read a fabulous article about creativity and productivity, ironically. You should read that article. It’s very good.
Isabel Allende says about writing and the creativity process:
“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
It inspired me to get back into my book project I had let sit idle in mid April because I had four speaking engagements on three different topics in a two-week period to prepare for. (Rookie mistake.)
I had let myself off the hook on my writing routine so I could prepare for the busy month ahead and discovered much like when you stop any habit – eating well and exercising to name two others, it’s harder to get back into it. There is never a good time. As it turns out my next month is busy too. And the next one likely will be as well. You just have to make time.
Expectations have escalated out of control. Draw your own boundaries and give yourself the breaks you need, but don’t forget to show back up. Decide when it’s time to sit on the couch and watch useless TV, spend the day in the woods with your family, and let all those digital messages wait. I always freak out during those periods of laziness that it is my new permanent state.
You might be amazed.
Sunday, the Downy Commercial Tactic worked. I was off like a slingshot; making up for lost time.