Making Practice a Habit

Why is it when I most desperately need to make my practices a priority (for my sanity if for no other reason), that’s when they almost always fall off the list and I backslide into old habits?  So, I took a new job; still with the same company, but I’m now working on a project with a WAY different pace and tasks than what I’ve been accustomed to over the last 2+ years.  I walked in with my eyes wide open and I was (and still am) super excited about the possibilities and the urgency.  But holy crap have I got some work ahead of me to build up my stamina for working a gazillion things at high speed.  You know what would be really helpful?  Those practices, you know the whole “mindfulness, motion, curiosity” thing.  Even though seeking fulfillment is low on the to-do list at the moment, those practices also ensure I have balance and can function without getting into a stressed-out tizzy.

In addition to all of the above, I will be starting my last graduate course this fall.  I think it’s kind of fitting to start this new professional chapter and end my graduate studies studies with a re-dedication to “live big and sparkle,” and to make it happen by consciously and HABITUALLY engaging with the practices I’ve learned over the last two years of this journey.  I’ve done the busy/busy/stress/stress thing the hard way before, but I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience since then.

Here’s the not gonna do it list:  I’m not going to mindlessly stress snack on chips, or cookies, or Pop Tarts (okay, I did kinda do that last week, but only because my husband brought home the brand spanking new Orange Crush and A&W Root Beer flavors for me — damn him!).  I’m not going to come home every night to rush upstairs for my sweats and flop onto the couch.  My running shoes will not sit unused in my closet every night while I shuffle around in my sparkly skull Uggs slippers. I’m not going to be too tired to be mindful.  I’m not going to be too tired to explore and try new things.

Instead, I AM going to take the time for walks, for running, for keeping things organized at home, for working on my blog and my book.  I AM going to take the time to be mindful, to meditate (whether it’s for a few minutes or an hour), to be aware of others and the world around me.  I AM going to take the time to explore vegetarian and vegan cooking, to learn some new arts and crafts skills (many will involved ModPodge!), to check out new activities and new places.  Because regardless of how much is on my to-do list, the reality is my time is precious and I deserve to be top priority on that to-do list.

Tonight’s a great test of my resolve and re-dedication.  My day at work completely blew up.  Everything I thought I was going to do, I didn’t do.  I was running all over the place and when I wasn’t running I was trying to figure out how to tackle a task that felt like one of those crappy, impossible word problems from high school algebra (uuuugggghhhhh!!!).  Today was … challenging.  To top it all off, I didn’t get lunch (a Clif bar had to suffice), I got home late, husband is getting home late, and the dogs are being way needy (rightly so, but still … ).  I have every reason in the world to kick it in, put on my PJs, and vedge out on the couch tonight.  Did I mention I’ve been wearing Spanx for 10+ hours????  Love ’em, but puh-leeze!

I put together a reasonably healthy dinner that’s cooking as I type.  I had a healthy snack.  After dinner, I’m putting on my running shoes and hitting the pavement. Stretches and arms when I get back.   I’ve got my deep sleep meditation queued up so I get some good zzzz’s in tonight.  And I’m making time, while I wait for those tostadas to bake off, to write this blog entry.

I got this (probably).



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