Sometimes doing our best means having a day in which we make great strides on a personal or work project, or help someone else out, or simply stick to our new improved routine and habits.
Other times, doing our best may mean simply prioritizing one thing, and doing that.
Today was a “one thing” day for me. After a lengthy, unpleasant morning appointment, all I wanted to do was go home and rest for the remainder of the day. And I did rest. But at some point, I started to feel like I would regret doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. Doing just one thing felt doable and sensible.
So I brought my laptop to the couch where I’d been having my do nothing day. I organized some book edits. That felt good, productive, painless. It was just one thing. But it led to another. And another. Now here I am writing this blog post, because it’s Monday after all.
When we feel like doing nothing, sometimes that is what we need. And having too many things to do can be overwhelming. But I find if I pick just one thing, and do that, it starts a momentum, and other things follow.
Everyone can do just one thing, even on a bad day.
I’ve been collecting blurbs for my upcoming memoir. In addition, one writer pulled out some lines from my book that he liked a lot. I am sharing these lines below.
• I’ve become the best-behaved little girl, but my hair is still unruly.
• She will tuck our mother back into the past, not worthy of any more effort, and I will do the same.
• Once Catholics, we had stopped going to church several years ago, jumped right off the moving sidewalk of sacraments before her Confirmation.
• I can feel her regret that is so vast it could swallow her; I think her grief might turn her to particles, to the dust in the desert she lives in.
• In this moment, the art is everything.
Happy Monday and Happy Creating!
It is just over three months away from the publication date of my upcoming book, You-Know-Who: An Alienated Daughter’s Memoir.
Here are just a few things that are happening in preparation for that:
* I have begun to ask for comments on my book to use for back cover blurbs, press releases and my webpage.
* Awaiting the digital galley of my book and will soon be rereading it to look for any edits the publisher or I may have missed.
* Planning my trip to Athens, Greece where I will speak at the International Conference on Shared Parenting, an event very relevant to the topic of my memoir.
I have worked on my memoir for so long that you’d think I’d be ready to have it out in the world by now. And I am, sort of. But there are moments when I feel like I need another year, another decade, a lifetime. There are some things we have to do before we feel ready, because feeling completely ready may never come.
Each year I reread one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books, and this year I’ve chosen The Four Agreements Companion Book.
Ruiz’s books are full of great wisdom and insight, but I want to share part of a passage that I think is pure gold in its simplicity.
In Chapter Seven, Ruiz writes about seeing through our old beliefs that we adopted from others in order to get to our authentic truth. He acknowledges that this can be very difficult because the belief system that breaks our integrity has our loyalty. So how do we know what is true?
“Go inside and listen to your body because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your gut, is the truth.”
(Ruiz, 2000, p.152)
Isn’t this reason enough to live in our bodies? To take great care of our vessels? To get out of our heads, and to experience the richness of life, including truths that are beautiful and those that are painful, is truly living.
With each new year comes the rewarding and fun task of choosing a fresh planner. As I’ve already written about, I love using Cal Newport’s Time-Block Planner to schedule chunks of time to work on writing projects https://danalaquidara.com/2022/08/08/minimal-monday-25/ . But I use a separate tool, an agenda, for my weekly and monthly calendar and to-do list, and I think I think I’ve outdone myself with my choice for 2023. I purchased the Dreambook + Planner which includes far more prompts for hashing out your life dreams, goals and values than any planner should. It also costs as much as a fancy lunch for two, but hey, it lasts all year. https://dreambook.vision/
I ordered this Dreambook + Planner just before life got so “lifey” for me, and then I hesitated to crack it open on January 1st. What was I thinking when I chose such an in-depth planner? Who has time to reflect and journal on things like Am I trustworthy to myself and Am I focusing on the right things? I could feel my eyes rolling at How do I feel in my body when I wake up in the morning and Three Questions for Healing and Evolution. I began to have some buyer’s remorse.
I’ve got a lot on my plate this year and perhaps I should’ve gone with my typical, good ole simple planner. But here’s the thing – When I did finally get myself to sit down with this spiral bound beauty, I felt optimistic, and peaceful, like I might actually benefit from it. When stressful life events come knocking, reminders like How can I reframe something stressful and What does it feel like to take a deep breath and Rituals to thrive are not at all bad. What are you procrastinating? What are you wasting energy on? And a built in Habit Tracker– who can’t benefit from that? My healthy habits keep me grounded and calm. Anything that helps me to stick to them is a good thing.
Sometimes we need simplicity, like a basic calendar. Other times, life calls for a deeper dive, and a lot more thoughtfulness. Perhaps this is my year for the planner that is like a calendar, journal, guide and motivator all in one. I’m taking a deep breath and diving in.
Happy New Year!