“You need even less than that.”
“You’re working too hard.”
Three different statements, uttered by three different people, perfectly punctuated in the three boxes of morning, afternoon, evening. Each phrase chimed some essential mineral in my bones when registered, like one of Dicken’s ghosts, suggesting a theme here that demanded attention.
Do I work too hard? Come on! It’s the beginning of the year, the land of resolutions, where rivers of sweat, blood and tears flows into the terrain of progress. I guess I grew up in a time of very mixed messages, “No Pain, NO gain,” “Just Do it” engaged in a tug of war with “Just Say NO” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
I became an overachiever anyway, and the developmental was far from natural. I sculpted these little rules to help me feel secure in the gray areas of my journeys, dampen my fear in uncharted waters, anchor me when I feel myself wandering haphazardly.
There have been a few other times that my daily experience have sent me such vivid encouragements, but I don’t think I’ve been that perceptive or aware of them. What made my bones reverberate a little more resolutely today? What contributed to such receptivity?
I spent the first day of the year in PJS, hair unbrushed, moving through the day on whims. Unclutter a drawer here, pay a bill there, pick up the phone and chat with a friend, handwash my North Face Jacket, view a show marathon on cable. I also completed a new vision board for what I’d like my life to look like. Images of connections and intimacy, words regarding peace, themes of writing and reflection merged into something creative…but far from flawlessness.
I spent New Year’s Day alone, single, and unkempt. And I was perfect.
This awareness made me much more alive today, questioning my habitual reaction of do, do, do…and I just want to notice it right now and be glad.
Glad and imperfect.