Last week I finally made a couple decisions.
One of them was cutting my hair. Silly, really. I continually go through the same cycle of growing out my hair and then eventually cutting it only to grow it again (and cut it again). Not a serious decision at all. Not one with lasting ramifications (it always grows back). And I'm glad I did it. I feel lighter and ready for spring now.
I hoped that the other decision would bring just such an immediate change, but it didn't. Although it was my decision, the outcome was out of my hands. I had to wait and wait and wait for an answer (I still won't know for sure until later today). Over the weekend the waiting was driving me batty. I had trouble focusing on any task. I was too distracted to work on my art or the other projects I'd planned for the weekend.
And then I realized something. I was wasting time with impatience and distraction when I could have been enjoying the day. The weather was amazing. Sunny, warm, springlike. I had ample time for projects and a sunny studio in which to work on them.
And then I realized something else. Not only had my impatience been undermining my ability to savor the moment, but so had my indecision. Being in my head worrying, thinking about "what ifs", weighing (again and again) pros and cons -- all of that goes against being present in the moment. It keeps me from noticing the beauty and joy of the day.
I'm not saying that all decisions should be made flippantly or without any thought, but dwelling on something that I've already considered steals my joy and wastes my time.
Making those realizations helped me to take a time out. I scolded myself and then made a quick mental gratitude list. I stood for a moment soaking up the sunshine. Then I tackled one of my projects. I went for a walk. I made tacos. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend.
Often we don't have control over the situation, but we certainly have control over our reaction to the situation. It's so easy to forget that. To get carried away by emotions or worry.
Being grateful is a perfect way to pause the worry. Writing a Joy List can always help.
Joy List Monday:
a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day
Are you with me?
Here's my list:
- more and more flowers showing up on my houseplants
- a string of sunshiny days and the promise of spring
- happy dogs
- having my parents over for tacos
- thinking about life at this time last year and being grateful for Matthias' recovery
- a steaming mug of tea
- rhubarb coffee cake
- my studio
- 28 people (so far) who have signed up for the Handmade Joy Exchange (there's still time to join us; I'd love to have you!!)
- being gentle with myself
- a slow Sunday filled with laundry, organizing, cooking and little projects
- taking time -- for reflection, for quiet, for gratitude and for just being in the moment
Wishing you joy and time to savor it.