A little over a year ago, I got a new job at a fantastic company. While I love the friends I have made and the stability it has brought to my life, it has kind of consumed all my energy. I wake up at 5:30 every morning to sleepily commute my way to work in an hour long train ride where I fight not to drool on the person sitting next to me. First world problems, right? But oh, do I hate waking up that early. I am not a flowers and sunshine person first thing. So after commuting to the city, working my 8 hours, and commuting home, I found myself falling into a pattern of work, sleep, repeat, with little in between.
Which sadly had its consequences: no writing, no activity, and at best, an ambivalent attitude towards being healthy/taking care of myself. I felt dazed in my life, half asleep and just meandering along without any real goals. Then, for whatever reason, last week I had my first big idea.
I am an overthinker. Give me a simple situation, and I can overcomplicate it to the extreme. A late night worrier, sometimes paralyzed by indecision. But sometimes this all bottles up inside of me to the point where I get so fed up with myself, I finally just do something. The need to act in a way outside my own comfort levels, to surprise myself.
It started with, for me, a rather dramatic change. I loved my long hair. It was swishy, and flowy, and starting to make me feel kind of like a princess. Yet, I’ve always wanted to donate it. But … the overthinking. I always regret cutting my hair short (I’ve done it before but at the time, I was blonde, and you can’t donate bleached hair). To me, I look much better with longer hair. Still, it has always been a dream of mine and a bucket item list. So, in that strange rush of decisiveness that sometimes takes hold, I decided to cut it, booked an appointment, and chopped off 10 inches to donate within a 2 day period. The result? Yes, I still miss my long hair (I’m a vain creature), but it makes me warm in my heart to think that maybe, my donated hair is making someone, who is struggling through a tough time, feel beautiful.
This week, I’m taking on a healthy eating 10 day challenge (hint: Advocare) and trying to overcome my natural habitat of slothing away on the couch. How’s it going, you ask? Well … I did just finish shot-gunning through episodes of Downton Abbey (what will I do without my new friends?), but I am happy to say I did it without a delicious bag of Cheetos by my side (oh yum …).
Then, against this backdrop of my personal challenges, my mom got into a car accident. Luckily, happily, so ever most importantly, she is alright. A bit of a stiff back and bruised pride, but my mom is safe and whole. Her car, slightly less so. But things are just things. It’s scary, to think how quickly it can be over. How easily her driving misstep could have become something much worse.
If anything, the accident woke me up more. I hope in a permanent way. It’s not easy for me, this being present in life. This pushing beyond comfort zones to carpe diem or make the world my oyster. I would much rather be sitting on the couch with some cheesy snacks, doing my part to get Anna out of prison, or trying to help Thomas be less of a nasty plotter.
Life is short. I don’t know what is ahead of me, or how long the path is. I can only make the most of my today. To be awake and fully in the moment. So that’s my new goal. I hope I can stay true to it, although I’m certain I’ll stumble along the way. I hope this means new novels and more writing achievements along the way. But for today, I’m happy with my little goals and achievements. My joy in the sunshine outside (hey, this is Seattle, you take what you can get!). And if someone out there reads this, and it sparks a little flame of energy inside their chest, then all the better. We can help each other stay awake. I promise to poke you if you start to fall asleep. Promise to do the same?