The simple things.
These are the easiest ones not to do. To forget about.
The glass of water I would drink before each meal. The morning meditation that I skipped that one day- and never went back to. The “granola bar meal” eaten in the car that becomes the norm, not the exception to the rule. The occasional glass of wine that has become my daily way to unwind after a long day.
I realize there are other simple things no longer there, too. The hug when you first walk in the door. The “I’m sorry” for no other reason than one of us is hurting. The making of a hot cup of tea for me before bed. The turning down of your covers before I retire for the evening.
My favorite thoughts come in the morning, right after that first cup of coffee, when I am quite sure I can conquer the world. I promise myself to never eat another carb again and to remain calm in every moment. It’s a high that comes with a price. When the power wears off and I am without my caffeinated cape, the ground seems far below. I fall hard. It is in this lowest of places that my determination and commitment to remember to do the simple things starts to waiver. It’s easier to look outside myself. What magic pill, program, or quick-fix book might help fix my life? It’s difficult to focus on the daily commitment needed to live the life I want.
Recently I woke early in the morning, before the creak of the wooden steps would cause anyone to stir, before the birds had realized it was time to add their voices to the day, before the sun was ready to make an appearance. I sat on the porch, engulfed in more darkness than light and woke to the realization that I had literally stuffed my life with big, noisy, flashy activities and events, and what I wanted back was the small, insignificant in the moment, simple things. I realized I left no room in my life for those simple things to happen. I was too busy filling it up. I longed for the time when we would just sit on the couch, with my legs across your lap, listening to music. There were other things too that didn’t seem to be happening any longer: a good book from cover to cover in one evening, a spontaneous dance party in the kitchen, a stroll at night just to check on the shape of the moon and to feel secure under the blanket of stars. Not quantifiable in any way. Not worthy of a social media post. Just deeply fulfilling, nourishing.
I made a list of all the simple things I had let go of- and wanted back. I gave myself permission to only focus on the one thing I wanted to do today that would affect my tomorrow. For me, it was cultivating gratitude for what was already present in my life. I then restarted my morning with a mug full of hot tea and a simple text, “How can I make your day great?” I sent it to my husband. Then I realized I needed to send it to someone else, too. I sent the same text to myself as a reminder to start with the simple things first.