So I’m going to be 40. In 31 days. To celebrate this phenomenon (yes it is!) I decided to do a little less of something each day leading up to March 21st. You see, I live my life in one speed – fast. I needed a very clear and focused reason to slow the hell down and enjoy myself, give myself a gift each day and do a little less. You know what? I’m freaking loving it!
When this idea first occurred to me, I thought it was a little lame. I have to be honest. As I wrote and talked about it, it became a tad more exciting. When I actually started it, is when I became addicted. I know, me? Addicted? Weird.
So here are the rules: I picked one word at random for each day. I made a list with just a number for each day, not knowing if the day was a weekday or weekend. I don’t look at the word until my little peepers open at 5am. I like to be surprised and I want to focus on just one word per day, and not get ahead of myself. Live in the present and all that.
Day One, Monday Feb 9 – COMPLAINING
Right off the bat this was a very challenging word of the day. It was snowing again, my kids had no school, I couldn’t run outside or go to the gym and my husband was supposed to leave on a business trip for four days. My first thought was “what the hell have I done?” But, as the day progressed and I kept thinking about not complaining, it really changed my mindset. Was I annoyed at times? Of course, but I had a little reminder and I knew (much to everyone’s dismay) that it was just for one day, and I could do anything for one day!
By the end of the day, the kids didn’t drive me completely insane, my husband’s trip was cancelled and I made it to the gym. Presto.
Day Two, Tuesday Feb 10 – WORRY
I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out that I actually don’t worry all that much. It was unexpected and this is what this little experiment is all about. I didn’t think about all my deadlines, timelines or any “what ifs,” and tried to stay in the present, knowing everything would work out.
You know what? It did.
Day Three, Wednesday Feb 11 – WORK
I don’t have a 9-5 job. I have a 24-hour a day job. I actually have two jobs. Three if you count teaching spin at the gym, even though I haven’t in almost a month because of the snow, but whatever. I obviously still had to take care of the kids, house, meals and writing assignments but I didn’t do anything unless I absolutely had to. In my notes for that day I wrote “I’m loving this because it’s like a free pass each day to take some weight off my shoulders.” I believe that’s what the great Oprah would call an ‘A-ha!’ moment.
Day Four, Thursday Feb 12 – STRESS
As soon as I saw this word in the morning I was immediately stressed. And then I took a deep breathe and mentally accepted the challenge.
From my notes: “I thought this would be harder but it was a great focus for me and helped me remember to breathe, even when I had both boys in the grocery store, 3 x1 mile repeats (on the TM) and it helped me say YES to a burger bar night out on a Thursday! What? Unheard of.” I’m living on the edge people. Watch out.
Day Five, Friday Feb 13 – MOVEMENT
So this is laughable when you have a six mile run and hour bike on your training schedule but, I made the most of it for the remainder of the day. And, when I was running and biking I tried to be lighter and to move with more freedom. It really, honestly helped. Later in the day I sat on my ass and read a book while the boys had soccer practice. It was magical.
Day Six, Saturday Feb 14 – RESTRICTION (I honestly had no idea this would fall on Valentine’s Day!)
I did as I was told! I ran 14 miles on the treadmill with reckless abandon and then braved a snowstorm (otherwise you won’t go anywhere!!) to make it to dinner with my husband and another couple. We almost got a divorce on the drive because I thought we would be killed at any moment (and was very vocal about it), but we made it one piece to the restaurant. The Caymus, filet and dark chocolate velvet cake helped us get back together in the best way possible.
Day Seven, Sunday Feb 15 – YELLING
Another mishap on this one because my dad and stepmom had the boys almost all day. It was glorious. It also dawned on me that normal people do not yell all day. When did this become a thing I needed to do less of? Oh right, when my kids started talking.
I can’t tell you how much I’m loving this. I highly recommend doing this on your own, in whatever way makes sense to you. Not only is it great mentally, it has also given me some insight as to what makes me tick, how much time I waste and how grateful I am for each and every day no matter what my age!
Now get out there and do less of something today in my honor! I insist.
What would you do less of in your day if you could?
I still need more words so have at it…