There is another step coming on your journey forward.
You don’t know when it will be or what it will be. That is okay.
It doesn’t mean you can’t be happy and satisfied with where you are right now.
It doesn’t mean you can’t be peaceful in this moment.
It’s okay to believe and know that another step is coming.
It’s okay to have faith in that.
Because when that time comes – you will know.
A few years ago, I was riding in a car with some friends, and when we were about two minutes from our destination, I unbuckled my seatbelt. One of my friends noticed this and laughed. “You always do that,” she said.
I was confused.
“You take off your seatbelt before we’ve actually arrived at our destination,” she explained.
I considered this, and realized it was true. “It’s because I’m ready for the next activity,” I told her. And I was. Whatever the next activity is – going home, going for a run, saying hi to Tee, unpacking the car – I am always ready for the next activity. In fact, sometimes I am so ready for the next activity that I’m not really present in the current activity.
I don’t want to rush through my days. I want to savor every moment. Especially my Moments of Flow. (See my explanation of Moments of Flow here!)
Speaking of which – for the first time in what feels like forever, I had a Moment of Flow! It was during a session of writing last week. After Teddy went to bed, I sat in my kitchen with the lights off, the sunlight through the windows slowly fading, my fingers typing on the keyboard – and all of a sudden, I felt it. I was in Flow.
It felt lovely. So happy and free. When I have a Moment of Flow, I just want to stop, freeze, and breathe it in. I turned off Netflix; it was playing in the background, but when I’m in Flow, I don’t need the distraction of a television show. I just need to soak up the moment.
I found myself wondering why this Moment of Flow came. Was it because I was writing? Because the lights were out? Because I was surrounded by books, flipping through them in search of inspirational snippets? Was it my stretching? Scratching my head?
I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never know. But I have a suspicion that it helps to slow down. To take my time. I often find myself rushing through the day for absolutely no reason. One of my quick fixes lately has been to simply slow down. I stop whatever I’m doing, and I start doing it more slowly. I even walk slow – purposefully, carefully. It’s a way of resetting my internal metronome. Reminding myself that I don’t have to rush from thing to thing to thing to thing to thing.
There are always so many things. But my life goal is to enjoy every moment. And you can’t enjoy any moments if you’ve already taken off your seatbelt and gotten wrapped up in the next moment. For me, it’s all about taking one moment at a time – doing one thing at a time, fully.
I’ve been struggling with two things: television and sugar.
It’s time for a radical course of action.
Last week, I tried out the Whole30 program – you cut out grains, dairy,sugar, additives, etc, for thirty days.
I lasted two days. No cream in my coffee? Dealbreaker.
So, that program is not for me. But it did feel good to not pump my body full of sugar and diet Coke for two days.
Doing Whole30 was too extreme for me. But I think there’s merit to the boot camp approach to changing habits. It’s time for change, now.
I want to change my eating habits so I can stop feeling crappy and tired.
I want to change my TV habits so I can stop stuffing my days with mindless filler and make space for creativity, mindfulness, and joy. Tomorrow is the day. I’m doing it cold turkey – no sugar, no headphones at bedtime, no TV unless I am cleaning.
I have no plan. Just an intention and a radical commitment to making this happen.
Tee and I went birding with The Naturalist in Rock Creek Park a few weekends ago.
I’ve missed Rock Creek Park! It’s one of my faves. I love how you can be in the middle of the park and forget that you’re even in DC.
However, when looking forward to this outing, I wrongly expected to have an experience similar to my previous RCP adventures – usually a long hike while talking with friends about everyday life.
This is not how it works when you are with birders.
We drove down and met the Naturalist in the parking lot, and she and Tee instantly began identifying bird calls, bird songs, and birds themselves. I awkwardly had to get REAL direct about my need to find a place to pop a squat, because I know these two well; a chitchat about the birds within a thirty-yard radius of where they’re standing can last twenty minutes.
Additionally, each time one of us started to tell a story about something non-bird-related, we would experience three to five interruptions due to one of the others spotting a pair of Carolina wrens or a red-breasted woodpecker or a dove sitting on its nest. (All true stories.)
This happens on my evening walks with Tee as well. We like to take a walk on the NCR Trail after dinner every evening, but we have to stop every five steps to peer through her binoculars at chickadees and woodpeckers. This prompted our new hashtag – #NeverNotBirding – meant to encompass all the avian discoveries made while doing all the other things we enjoy doing outdoors.
Anyway – I’m still totally hooked on this birding thing. Tee, the Naturalist, and I all got to perch and watching a dozen frolicking goldfinches flitting around in a cluster of trees in RCP. I love that this whole birding endeavor is such a balanced activity – being physically active, learning something new, communing with nature, and being with friends. Love, love, love. Such good balance!
At our old house, I used to see a bluebird frequently as I entered our driveway. Now that I’ve started joining in on Tee’s birding excursions, I’ve been dying to see a bluebird again. The adoption wait has been really overwhelming and stressful lately, and I think I associate bluebirds with hope. (See my bluebird post here!)
I finally saw a bluebird (an Eastern Bluebird, to be exact) on one of my runs last weekend. Fingers crossed that bluebirds really are a symbol of happiness and cheer to come!