Five things I don’t do anymore:
- Wipe little people’s noses, bottoms, sticky fingers… All my children can vote at this point; they don’t need me in that way now. They still need me once in awhile, but it never involves anything gooey.
- Watch TV. Okay, I still DVR Glee, Modern family and Jon Stewart, and sometimes remember to watch them, but the TV here is off 95% of the time. I just decided I had better things to do than watch crime dramas so I quit.
- Drink. Drinking booze gave me a lot over the years (social confidence, relaxation, something to do at boring parties) but in the end I discovered that it took away a lot as well. Too much. So I quit.
- Sunbathe. I’m 49 years old. I own a mirror.
- Beat myself up. I’m still a work in progress in this area, but I’m learning to be kinder to myself. I’ve decided to ban the thought “I suck at this” in every instance except if I ever try to go snow skiing again. Because, I really, really do suck at that.
Five things I do now that I didn’t used to do:
- Get up early. The world is nice and quiet at 6:30. There are usually a couple joggers out when I go get the paper on the front walk. Last week I saw a woman jog past, slowly, but rather than holding her arms bent at her sides, she was waving them over her head, frantically, like her hair was on fire. She ran that way the entire length of the street. If I’d slept until 7:00 I wouldn’t have gotten to see that.
- Work on my writing every day. I don’t necessarily “write” something every day, but I touch base with my book every day. Even if it’s just to read though some notes and put the characters in my mind so I can noodle around with dialog or some plot point that’s been bugging me. Even while I’m letting my first draft rest, I’m organizing notes etc…to get ready for the next draft.
- Make my bed every morning. It’s nice to have a room in the house that never looks like a bomb just went off.
- Start slowing when the light turns yellow. I’m not sure when I began lifting my foot at yellow lights rather than punching the gas, but it’s been going on for at least a year or two. Maybe it’s genetic; I remember my father doing this. In fact, when he was in his sixties it got to where he slowed down as he approached green lights, waiting for them to turn yellow. I don’t know how he ever got anywhere.
- Honor time. I’m getting better at saying “no” without feeling guilty. Lately, I think hard before I agree to give away my time, because in the end, it’s all I really have.