Life Rhythms – Part 1
Did you ever have one of those days where no matter what you do, you can’t get it together? I’ve been having one of those days for the past three days now. Whenever I go away for a week, or even a weekend, I have a hard time getting back into the rhythm of my life. It seems I spend at least one day playing catch-up. That is, unpacking, doing the laundry, e-mails, and answering phone calls. All of which puts me one day behind in my writing schedule. Then I check the calendar only to find out that I made an appointment with my dentist a year ago for the following morning. I’ve already cancelled the appointment once because I wanted to finish the edits on my book, so I have to keep it. Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? Except the dentist is a specialist and he’s out of town. Now we’re talking a bigger commitment of my time.
OK I decide, I can work with this. While I’m away I’ll get that refund for the shampoo I didn’t like, and check out that patio table while it’s on sale. But when I get there I find out that the dentist thinks I need braces – again. What? I just came in to get my implant checked. Now I’m completely thrown. I wore braces for five years in my thirties, I don’t want to do it again.
Then off I go to return the shampoo, grab a protein shake, and head out to check out the patio table. This is where I get a bit good news. I love the table and therefore buy it along with four chairs and four cushions. I now have just enough time to make it home in time to take my son to a friends place.
By now I’ve got a splitting headache trying to adjust my mind to the thing about the braces. I can’t possibly write today. So after I drop my son off, I spend an hour at the coffee shop over a chai latte and read. Now I feel a bit calmer and decide to go and visit my mother in the retirement home since I haven’t seen her in a few weeks. To top it off I haven’t had the time or the energy to do my regular workouts which has made me feel tired. So now it’s the end of day three and I’m sitting here – finally – writing this post for you. I won’t mention that I started writing a completely different post and wasn’t getting very far.
You see what happened was my girlfriend and I were talking just this morning about life rhythms. She’s going through a lot of changes herself right now and missing her routine. But I told her that sometimes you just have to go with the rhythm of the moment. She liked that and said I should write about it. So here I am wondering just what pearls of wisdom I can impart to you.
It seems that I’m constantly juggling priorities. Every day something different will get bumped up to the top of the list of things that need to be tended on any given day. For a long time I used to drive myself crazy trying to push and shove my days into a certain pattern. I’d plan one thing, then something else would come up. Then I realized that I had to just stop fighting and go with it.
A friend of mine told me a story once about a person who fell into a hole and can’t get out. It starts to rain and the hole begins to fill up. He panics as the water continues to rise until it’s over his head. He sputters and coughs while he treads water and still the water continues to rise. He becomes tired and doesn’t think he can go on another minute. Then he gets an idea. He decides just to lie back and float. So now when the water rises, he’s more relaxed and rises with it and before long he floats to the top of the hole and is able to pull himself on to the ground.
Not a perfect rendition of the story, but you get the message. Relax. Go with it. Don’t fight what you can’t change. Things have a way of working out for the best. Like Sunday night a cab driver dropped me off at Union Station in Toronto but not at the Front Street entrance which would have made it easier for me to find my way to the departure gate. Instead he dropped me off at the side entrance where I wasn’t sure of myself. Earlier that evening I asked my daughter if there was a Starbucks at the station. I thought it would be nice to have a latte while I was standing around waiting for the train. But she said she didn’t think there was. It turns out there is – at the side entrance where the cabby dropped me off. Nice surprise that. And I did manage to find my way to the boarding platform. Turns out that it’s a lot shorter than my previous route.
Now, having given all this sage advice, I do have to admit that even I am not always able to follow it. There are times when I forget to just go with it. In my defense, this whole idea of going with life rhythms is a new concept to me too, so we can learn together.
Meet me here next week when I go more in-depth about the concept of life rhythms.
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