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on time, routines, and incremental change

yesterday was my first full day back at home after two weeks of being on the road. it marked the beginning of my summer work season, which (because of the absence of my part time teaching job) is ripe with possibility. the possibility of maybe actually being able to run every day. or do my asana practice every day. or learn spanish. or write music. or catch up with all things inner sense. or remember to touch base with my family. or to have time to make plans with friends. Or to connect with spirit. or do some of these things each day instead of just work and be tired and feel sad that i couldn’t get to more things.

whenever i go out of town and take an actual break from my work, i end up doing a bunch of reflecting on how i’ve been using my time and what i want to change when i get home. i usually end up feeling a weird combination of hopeful (that i will finally be able to turn things around) and worried (that i still haven’t figured out how to find the right way to use time.)

i am so thirsty for this perfect balance of work, play, rest, earn, learn, create, connect. the last time i can remember feeling at ease about the usage of my time slash the amount of time i actually have was somewhere between when i first became responsible for earning a significant amount of money (8 years ago) and when my mode of earning income (teaching music full time but really like 60+ hours a week) stopped overlapping sufficiently with “doing what i loved” (6 years ago.)

this summer i have the opportunity to readjust my schedule and recalibrate my personal relationship to time and routine. this reality made this last round of out-of-town-reflection a little lighter and more hopeful since i knew that upon my return, i had new options, less obligations (and money…) and more flexibility.

last night i wrote down all the things i’d been fantasizing about doing on a daily basis. then i created a checklist and a tracker for these ( things (astro-literate friends, is my virgo south node showing?)

so far today (i’m writing this at 7:06 pm) i’ve been going at it since 8 am and i’ve done 7 of the things, which includes writing this right now plus a lot of work-like obligations and a few personal-goal type of things but excludes some basic shit like feeding my birds and moving my body and cleaning my face and starting a load of laundry.

one way to look at this might be: i’m 30 and i still haven’t figured out how to take care of myself in some of the most essential ways am i screwed? i imagine there may be some folx out there watching me from afar thinking, “yes.” but the way i’ve come to understand and process these cycles of try, fail, reflect, adjust, repeat, is not so definitive. i’ve come to understand that this cycle of failure is my work. i am really into the word failure right now. we gotta make hella space for ourselves to fail every day!

“the thing in the way of the work is the work” - chani nicholas posted that or something like it the other day. “the obstacle is the journey,” my best friend said to me in response to me sharing that sentiment.

a wise friend said to me a while back, “all we can do is make small choices every day that are in alignment with our values and trust that this will lead us to the life we want, need, and are meant to live.” i live by this. it supports me over and over again.

today i made several small choices that were in alignment with my values that i wouldn’t have made had i not set some ridiculous goals for myself yesterday and made a ridiculous tracker for them that i looked at multiple times today. (one of the choices was to sit down and write this reflection.) i didn’t come anywhere close to having a fully balanced day according to the metrics i set, but i did make very different choices than i would have had i not set those goals.

if you aren’t a crazy virgo aries person like i am, maybe most of what i’m saying in this post sounds super unrelatable (daily tracker? 21 things? lol) but here’s the piece that i think i might maybe be trying to actually communicate:

incremental change, y’all! i think that is what it is all about.

thanks for reading if you read but really it doesn’t matter because i wrote this for myself and now i get to cross something off my checklist which is one of my very favorite things to do :)

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