Sunday, January 09, 2011

Day by day

My approach to the new year has been to take things day by day. There was a lot on my plate for the first week of work, and the same extends to the rest of the month. Rather than get inordinately stressed about it all, I decided that I just needed to keep my focus on the matters at hand. Do what is possible instead of worrying about everything I'm incapable of addressing in the limits of one day.

Such a mindset really helped me plow through a lot last week. Oh, there's plenty still to be done--and plenty I wish I'd already put behind me--but I found myself less burdened because I could tell that chipping away at the pile was slowly making a difference.

What I didn't have during that week was a lot of time for myself, so I resolved to keep the list from encroaching on the weekend. Initially I was going to give up Sunday, but once it got here, I realized that I needed to hold onto it. A long nap and TV watching were the orders of the day. While I've done nothing productive, such lounging has restored me for what's sure to be another wearying week.

I don't know if this is some kind of a breakthrough, but it is has allowed me to be more at peace with the daily stresses. Maybe the effect will be temporary, maybe it will become a regular thing. To be sure, the aggravations of noisy neighbors and job uncertainty have faded for the time being and provide relief as well. Yet as I also embark on renewing healthier eating habits, I wonder if all of these things can be reduced to a matter of perspective and routine. Replace what isn't working--a worrisome attitude or bad diet--with better alternatives and make them the new normal. It isn't easy, especially at the start, but once such habits become more or less automatic, the effort proves its worth. We'll see how it goes.

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