Monday, February 10, 2020

The Value of Breaking My Routine

The Value of Breaking My Routine

We all have them. Morning routines, that is. Open the blinds, drink some water. Make the tea/coffee.

However your day typically starts, that routine is what we do over and over and over.

I wonder sometimes how it would feel to eat breakfast, not make the bed, and then shower? In that order.

I worked with a young lady years ago, who asked me if I made my bed each day. (An odd question if I say so myself.) But perhaps, she had already seen signs of my at-work behaviour and she was confirming her suspicions!

And I dare say, that when she asked me, I also knew that her answer was No! she didn't make hers.

Or someone else who said that her husband and had not made the bed once in their married life. Not ONCE, I asked. She said that she had done that task from day one, and he had 'agreed' that it should be hers.

That easily. We let things just happen.

Now it doesn't truly matter who makes the bed each day. But do we allow other decisions to just happen also?

If someone were to ask me what about my morning routine, it would be horribly boring to many. Tea up, eat up, tidy up the bed, shower up. Plan the day. Clear the clutter in my mind, the bits on my desk, review the list to complete, the mundane administrative tasks to keep a business running, reading and researching for the next... and then and only then do the creative. That's just how I need to do it and I know that it could different but... I don't. Usually.

My daytimer has notes scribbled for the entire week, people to see, bananas to pick up, things to drop off. If I am fortunate like today, a friend suggests a coffee because she's at my end of town. Or another says she'd love to buy a pair of earrings similar to what I've made and posted on pinterest.

Then a wind howls through my space and I hear the permission to hurl myself into the unexpected, abandon my list and immerse myself into those fleeting moments. It's something I'm only now just learning to do!

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's City of Girls: A Novel. A delightful and still gut-wrenching chronicle of the people whom we all know and recognize. The wicked humour, the lavender-scented memories, the scandalous and the brave inhabit these pages. Each character with a routine, a habit, a belief, a way of seeing the world which could be the same or cosmically opposite from us. We learn which ones we are like, who we would want as a friend, which one would hurt us.

The Value of Breaking My Routine
The most wonderful thought in this book however, is how it speaks to the passing of time. How the years take those most precious to us, because of someone's actions or death. It reminds us that the spaces they leave behind are not easy to fill. We learn that there are many people in this world, but not all are worthy of being included in our lives. (Tweet This)

So how does my long, tangled story come back to routines, you ask? How does whether you make your bed or put plants in a straight row on your window sill make a difference? How dropping your plans to visit with a friend has meaning. Why some people make it easier to be kind and generous? Why do some people always give us comfort?

Routines, make them, break them, do as you will.

But when that unexpected moment arrives, you have to decide whether to stick to a routine or jump.

And the most important thing right then is to know what to ignore and what is worth our attention. (Tweet This)

 Be well,

My recommendation: 5 Stars

Friday, January 31, 2020

Watch Who You Walk With

When you walk with someone, 
something unspoken happens. 
Either you match their pace
 or they match yours.
Sidney Poitier 

You fall in love and you marry. You work alongside a colleague. You reach out to a neighbour. You watch a family member's struggles.

You live each day in tandem.

Watch Who You Walk With

And then one day you pay attention, pause, open your eyes and see that they are ahead of you in business success or emotional growth. Or, you look around and they are nowhere in sight.

Watch who you walk with, you will keep pace for days, or weeks or years. And then, you or they speed up, or slow down.

Life happens. Partners change, health changes, resilience changes.

So what do we do when we want to keep these people in our sight? Do we slow down, speed up, ask, learn, grow or do we give up?

Do we reach ahead or behind, do we give a hand or appreciate their example? It's complicated. (Tweet This)

They might offer help, we might ignore or accept.
We might offer help, they might ignore or accept.

Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another... The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness. M. Scott Peck

We're following the same path to the end aren't we?
A friend of mine shook her head with a smile when we talked about this idea years ago.  Not everyone wants to grow, she said. Sometimes comfortable is all some people want. (Tweet This)

Flat ground, no surprises. Hills and corners, always changing. Which one are you? Did you reach who you want to be a decade ago or is it still ahead? (Tweet This)

Watch Who You Walk With
We can reach a plateau that is safe, and not ask for more. We can read and read and learn nothing more. We can travel to foreign places and come back with nothing more.

Watch who you walk with.

It's complicated, this pace we keep.

Now tell me, who taught you about your pace.

Be Well,

Monday, January 20, 2020

You're Not Buried - 5 Tips from Newfoundlanders

If you are Canadian, you are no doubt aware of the storm hitting in Newfoundland. If you live anywhere else than there, you 'come from away' but you'd always be welcome. Newfoundland (pronounced new-fn-land if you're Canadian and you say it quickly) is an island and our easternmost province.

Newfoundlanders (sometimes affectionately called Newfies) are often the recipients of below-the-belt jokes at their expense. Heck, come on, who would want to live on a rock, distant from civilization, plagued by brutal weather in winter and speak with a funny accent?

However, our country is diverse, and we like it that way. We travel for kilometres to see the icebergs floating by in the east, the waving fields of wheat in the prairies, the majestic snow-covered mountains (even in July sometimes) on the Coquihalla Highway and the tulips in the far west at our other coast. 

St John's NL (not Today) Courtesy Pixabay

A state of emergency has been declared in St. John's. But nothing has beaten the spirit and the humour of our Newfoundland family of Canadians as they've laughed, tweeted, or driven via ski-doo to deliver their baby, through this unprecedented recent snow storm.

So when each of us is buried in overwhelming snow, stuff and sh*t that we are not expecting, we could turn to these Canadians seen here in this assortment of tweets from Huffington.

Let's see what we our Newfoundland friends have shown us.
  1. being stuck is temporary
  2. you can count on each other
  3. ask for help
  4. digging out takes time
  5. keep your humour

If you're going to visit, please check the weather forecast, or wait for Spring! Newfoundland is truly beautiful and worth the visit.

Stay safe Newfoundland. You make me proud to be Canadian.

More photos from CBC.