zen week, tasks 52-59

Last week was full of canning, a day at the beach (beach days in October??), a county fair and a big furniture rearranging day. Whew!

Here are days 52-59 from the 72 Ideas in 72 Days that I worked on.

Assignment 52: Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day.

Somewhere, in the back of my brain?, I’ve got a to-do list that would make dear old Santa shudder. With this ‘master list’ hanging out in the background I am prone to feeling as though I came up short on any given day’s to-do list. An MIT list allows me to focus my energies for a day, not feel overwhelmed, and to actually finish my list before midnight. Love it!

Assignment 53: Create morning and evening routines.

I don’t rise at 4:30am like the author of the 72 ideas does, no 6-6:30am is more my style, and some mornings I sleep in. At present I have two bad habits in my morning routine that I’d like to phase out: 1.) checking the smartphone first thing in the morning, 2.) procrastinating getting into the shower. The first bad habit started not that long ago, I mean smartphones haven’t even been around that long! I hate that I am addicted to checking it the moment I come downstairs – I’d like to not check it until I get to the office but that’s impractical. The second bad habit leads me to believe I was a cat in a former life – it is possibly the strangest thing in the world to hate getting into a shower, but it is my quirk. Not that I don’t want to be clean, I just don’t like the assault on all of my senses first thing in the morning. If I have to be up very early in the morning (catch an early flight) I will shower the night before so I don’t have to suffer the whole day long. I’ve tried showering only at nights but my hair looks wicked oily by 2pm. I’ve tried showering every other day but then I smell and my hair looks like I’ve just come from a shirodhara treatment at the spa. Every once in a while I can coax myself into the shower, earlier than usual, with some lovely essential oils smeared on the shower wall or an aromatherapy shower tablet. Clearly I’m a work in progress. 🙂

As for evening routines I think I’ve got a pretty good thing going on most nights. It feels really nice to have a clean kitchen first thing in the morning so we make an effort to run the dishwasher before we go to bed and wipe down the sink and counters. We try to make late-night television watching a rare event and get ourselves to bed anywhere from 10-40 minutes before we want our eyes closed. Reading in bed is nice, as is listening to classical music on the alarm clock radio. If we’re going to the gym in the morning I like to pack my gym bag and lay out my clothes before I slip into bed.

Assignment 54: Create a morning writing ritual.

As a teenager, and even into my early 20s, I kept a journal and wrote in it most mornings. It was a great way to process any dreams or thoughts I’d had overnight as well as make plans for the day and beyond. At this stage in my life I don’t have an interest in carving out morning time for journaling so I’ll stick to my other creative hobbies (like knitting and coloring mandalas).

Assignment 55: Learn to do nothing.

Every couple of weeks I have a huge craving for a ‘do nothing’ kind of event. For me doing nothing out in nature seems to be the way to go – I take myself over to the pond, park or other outdoor setting and blend into the surroundings. If it is warm and dry I’ll lay out on a big rock, or spread a blanket on the grass and just be. When it is cold or wet I walk, slowly, meditatively. If my mind is trying to take me back to the chaos I will get up close and personal with Mother Nature – inspecting bugs, plants, wonder aloud how many miles it is to horizon from here. My other favorite ‘do nothing’ activity is drawing a bath and counting water droplets.

Assignment 56: Read Walden, by Thoreau.

Hmm, I thought I had read this book in high school or something but I don’t think I actually have. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a physical copy of the book at the used bookstore and I don’t want to print out the entire thing. This is backlogged for now until I find a copy…

Assignment 57: Go for quality, not quantity.

From time to time I get sucked into the vortex of disposable consumables. Cheap junk destined for a land-fill, with the tell-tale tag Made in China. I ran across this website called Slavery Footprint that might be helpful to look at the products we buy not from a greed perspective, not from a save the planet bend but about the very real problem of human trafficking. The next day I was out running errands and found myself wondering, “will this increase my slave count?” Heh.

Assignment 58: Read Simplify Your Life, by Elaine St. James.

This guy and his books! lol. I’m sorry but if it isn’t a cookbook, or the novel on my nightstand that I’ve been working on for the last 7 weeks, erm, not gonna’ get to it for a while.

Assignment 59: Fill your day with simple pleasures.

🙂 Yes. I love his list too.

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