Yesterday I had hoped to do laundry, write a variety of blog posts, do a DVD dance instructional, practice choreography, do a ton of computer organizing, go through emails, go to the market, ride my bike to the gym, accomplish some domestic chores and prepare for an event I am running this evening.
Instead I found myself texting this to my soul-friend, "Having a tough day"... Mind you, the whole 'having a tough day' feeling is quite foreign to me so, that was odd to text in and of itself.
When the return text asked what was going on I lamented, "I unexpectedly had to bail someone out financially TWICE today and am wiped out now... My client promised a big payment today but wasn't able to manage much after all, missed 2 soft deadlines and still not done. May have to disappoint people and cancel my plans tonight. And I am out of shape and still not getting a chance to work out. None of that really counts though. Mostly a mentally tough day aside from all that. People keep calling for help in different ways and I'm not feeling on top of my game."
I realized I had not started my day on the proper footing. You wouldn't think to show up at work and dive into your daily tasks without getting dressed and brushing your teeth and getting your business tools in proper order. Well I had not taken the few moments needed in the morning to mentally and spiritually prepare for my day. Hence the 'tough day' text as the day's demands mounted.
I got a brief one sentence text hug in return, and was soon able to write back, "Got stuff turned in 2 hours before actual deadline, celebrated by making choco chippers from scratch, pulled out the crockpot and am making soup while I work, helped more peeps, placated those I am canceling on tonight, made someone's day, made a puppy happy, had a sweet mini-epiphany about a loved one. Now I'm going in to do some spiritual stuff as I have tea and fresh baked cookies. Then back into the fray, refreshed :)"
So what had made the difference? A few accomplishments and things ticked off a To-Do list? Those were pleasant, but the shift in attitude was brought about by my making a conscious effort to do just that... to shift my attitude. Every moment we all have choices as to how we regard our circumstances, the world condition, and reality. In fact, the choices we make about how we think determine our reality.... or at least the perception of it... which feels quite the same.
I once listened to a spiritual speaker who talked about the importance of looking back at our day and being thankful for what we did right. There is no lack of data on what we either failed to do, did miserably, or at least could have done better. But dwelling on those things generally gets us nowhere. All the world is telling us in no uncertain terms, and without cessation, where we have stumbled, or fallen short... and how badly... and how we must now suffer and do damage control as a result. Then our focus is taken away from productive activity and invested in wallowing or beating ourselves up or just re-playing records that need to be shelved to make room for cool, new music!
Of course, if there is something we have totally botched up, if we have hurt another or are in need of some serious lesson-learning, then, yes, pondering what we could have done better is invaluable. But as for the minutiae of daily life, if it doesn't get done one day, it will the next. You can break out the Swiffer tomorrow. It's not like the dust is going anywhere.
So tonight, when you turn in and reflect on the day's events and plan for those of tomorrow, why not forget ruing the day's past and worrying about the morning's future, and instead be grateful for the beauty and grace of the day you just had.... especially for what you did... right!