As I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner with my kids tonight, my mind had time to wander (which in my case can be rather dangerous!) until it landed with a thump on a startling realization. While I’ve been focusing my attention on consciously establishing better habits, in this case, writing every day, it occurred to me that I had also established some other habits without even realizing it!
The first one won’t make much sense unless you understand first that I’m the child of an OCD mother who was beyond neat, beyond clean, she was SCARY clean! A child can go two ways when subjected to this behaviour at an early age, either they become as compulsively neat as their parent or, as in my case, they become something of a slob. I know that my college roommates despaired of my side of the room every being fit for company, and were all heaving sighs of relief when I finally decided to just live alone. Granted, I didn’t sink as low as someone I once shared space with, who left moldy disgusting, bug ridden things laying around the house. I have always drawn the line at mold, fungus, bugs and rotting flesh, or, as I used to tell my kids, there were to be no science experiments left laying about. But clothes strewn willy nilly, books piled in stacks resembling the famous Leaning Tower, dust you could write the Gettysburg Address in…that didn’t bother me.
Now that I have the explanation out of the way, I suppose the suspense as to the first habit I’ve lately formed is driving my readers nuts. So here it is. I don’t go to bed until my kitchen is completely clean every night. I told you it would seem like nothing, but until recently, I had no problem leaving stacks of dishes on the counter, rinsed and ready to load in the dishwasher, but stacked, nonetheless. More often than not, those dishes spilled over into the sink where I might have left pots soaking for a couple of days before finally washing them and putting them in the dish rack. And speaking of the dish rack, that piece of apparatus was often stacked to the ceiling. These days, counters are not only empty but wiped down, even the ones which simply store my utensils. The dish rack is emptied regularly, in fact, it irritates me when things sit there too long. I even get twitchy when the refrigerator doors I worked so hard to clean not long ago get spots on them. Am I becoming my mother??? I certainly hope not! But in my defense, I haven’t vacuumed in a couple of weeks! 🙂
The second habit I’ve established (you’ll start to see a pattern here in a minute) has to do with my breakfasts and lunches. Every morning, I like to have a veggie scramble and fresh fruit for breakfast, but I learned that trying to get this all put together before I leave in the morning always made me late. I realized tonight that I don’t even think about how tired I might be any more. Before I wander to the back of the house to write and then go to bed, I pack up fruit for 2 days and my veggie scramble for the next day. I’ve even started adding a small container of cut veggies to snack on in the afternoon. But I don’t stop there! I also make sure that the coffee pot is ready to go and the kettle is filled with water and on the burner ready to be switched on when I get up in the morning. Thus, it’s only a matter of a few seconds to gather all of my containers, my salad, soybeans and such for the days healthy eating.
The part that amazes me is that I set an intention to get healthier and the habits formed themselves out of necessity. I didn’t even have to try! And now that I’ve been writing religiously for over 30 days, I find that, even if I was falling asleep on the sofa, I can’t even begin to consider sleep until I’ve sent out the day’s post.
What this tells me is that it’s time to set another intention. Granted, it’s still part of the getting healthy goal, but it involves daily workouts. I’m cheating on this one a little bit because the kids just moved back to this end of town, in fact, literally at the end of my street, so Heather and I will be walking Gwennie in the evenings. But I also need to make use of the mat, resistance balls and weights I bought to work on that upper body strength. I could do more at the gym, but if I can get myself into a routine, I know the gym visits will follow, just as the healthy eating habits fell into place.
So my gratitudes for today are:
1. I’m grateful that my kids have moved closer (even though they were really less than 10 minutes away! I got spoiled having them here!)
2. I’m grateful that establishing new habits is proving much easier than I expected.
3. I’m grateful for my job and more, and opportunities to increase my skills.
4. I’m grateful that I will be getting my knee fixed in a few days.
5. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to continue dancing despite a knee that doesn’t always remain in it’s proper slot.
Love and light.