“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
I did not even realize I was on a journey until I was already moving full speed ahead. Perhaps it began with my new job. Perhaps it began the day one of the besties asked if I had been drinking enough water. Perhaps it began the day I decided to walk away from old habits for good. Whatever day the journey began, I committed to never look back.
There are habits I love back there. There are things I love back there. There are people I love back there…maybe that is why I plow on without remorse – hoping to get far enough away that I will not miss them so much…
I do sometimes. Miss them, I mean. Miss the old me. Miss the old times. Miss the old life I used to live including the people that lived that life with me. Yet, I have made a conscious decision to leave the past alone, and my life is better is better as a result.
I felt compelled to write because my entire lifestyle is permanently different, and I am shocked. For whatever reason, I believed at the onset that I would revert. This is not to say that my journey has been perfect. Yet, it has been months, the dust has settled, and I’m still walking in the same direction. I racked my brain to determine what in the world made this change so much more effective than in the past and reached the following conclusions:
Effective immediately. As soon as a great life changing idea came to mind, I began the transformation process. For example, I am on day five of my current workout program. If you do the math, you will recognize that makes the program start on a Wednesday. No time for second thoughts. You see, the moments that change our lives do not wait for a morning or a Monday. They do not care whether it is the first of the month or the first of the year. Most marriages take place on Saturdays. Babies are born whenever they feel like entering the world. No one waits until Monday for a first kiss or to fall in love. Even things that devastate us like breakups, divorce, disease, and death, happen all at once.
Just say no. Too many obligations sucked the life out of me. I ended each day completely exhausted with a mile long list of items not started that were more important than whatever I had actually accomplished. So I started saying I could not make it or skipping events all together. Thankfully, my home is a place of peace, solace, and tranquility even with two toddlers who live at a ten. I am ok with 10. I’m not confused about their big personalities. I understand big personalities…I prefer the big personalities within my own household to the madness everywhere else. So once I have made it home, good luck getting me back out. The people I love are here. God is here. And the people I love who are not here, they know how to get through. (Not an easy process). I stopped making myself available. I will not be there. Period. Yes, I bought a ticket. But I am not going. Yes, I purchased gifts but I will not be in attendance. Yes, everything in me wants to get up and get ready, but deep, down inside I would rather stay here. So no thank you. Maybe next time.
Modify. I found what works for me. As a modified minimalist, I decided not to give up ALL shopping and consumerism. I buy about $5 worth of pictures for my scrapbook every week. I decided on 33 items every two months instead of three, and I will buy one item every paycheck which I will integrate into those 33 items. As a “fit mom,” I want to develop a six pack and defined arms and legs with my workouts so I love maximal intensity. My sister performs the same workouts with minimal effort because she has zero desire to lose weight. She reminded me to let my practice match my purpose. Many times I got, and continue to get, caught up trying to get the results others got by following the exact plans they used. Her words hit me like bricks. That’s their plan. That’s their purpose – not yours.
…I am great at games – games and activities. I am great at them because I can look at something someone else planned or created and quickly make it my own. I change it to meet my own needs. These changes make life meaningful. Our differences make each of us uniquely beautiful, each of us ordinarily extraordinary. Embrace the differences. Embrace the changes. Embrace the modifications. Embrace the journey. Effective immediately. Find the path God set out for you. As long as you are looking forward, even if you are standing still, you are moving the the right direction. Life is not the final destination. It is instead a single step – one foot in front of the other.