But I think I was right about the fact that if we change small things we can create an environment in which we are better poised to tackle the big things: loving, giving and enjoying life. I truly believe that if we take care of ourselves in the small things -- i.e. getting up earlier; exercising; spending more time reading (rather than, say, watching TV); spending some small amount of time assisting others rather than consuming things for ourselves; etc. -- we will approach the bigger and heavier things we encounter with more grace and peace than if we didn't.
The important lesson to be learned, however, is that whether it's taking care of ourselves in the small things or tackling the bigger, heavier things, we are required to take life one day at a time. (Sometimes, as Laura Munson says, moment by moment.) If we focus on what we have to or can do at this moment instead of what we need to do tomorrow or what we can't control at all, we will become easily overwhelmed. For instance, I find getting in shape daunting, and I find dealing with the day-to-day issues facing me (and He Who Is In Personal Crisis) utterly overwhelming. I don't know what comes next. But I know that I can break this journey down piece by piece and focus on what I can do right now.
So, from now on, every day when I get up I'm going to set two goals to achieve by day's end. Because how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
With that, here are today's reasons to take stock and give thanks:
86 -- The article referenced above, which made me (a) realize the importance of setting smaller goals on a daily basis rather than larger goals for a month, year or decade; and (b) remember that life is not a destination but a journey.
87 -- This quote from this week's Sugar (at The Rumpus): "We like to pretend that our generous impulses come naturally. But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first."
88 -- An hour-long conversation last night with He Who Is In Personal Crisis. He asked my input on a number of very heavy subjects and generally has begun to let me back in to his everyday world. My hope is that this will continue.
89 -- The opportunity to spend time with a friend tonight who is very pregnant and due next month. She has miscarried early on so many times that, at 41, this birth will be a blessed and welcome miracle.
90 -- The much cooler weather, which provides much-needed respite after a summer in which I got heat exhaustion.