I heard the train this morning, just like I hear it every morning.
It rumbles through the woods at the end of the street at the same time my alarm sounds ... 5 o'clock sharp. Every day.
Some days I wake before the alarm and hear the train, some days I hear it after the alarm. But they always sound within seconds of one another.
This morning it made me think of New Year resolutions ... and how I've decided I'm not going to make any.
No, instead, I'm going to make like the train and create a schedule. And stick to it.
There's a schedule when the train leaves and when it arrives. No vacillating. No saying, "Eh, I think I'll hang here for another hour or so and leave when I'm ready."
That's how it gets from one place to another.
There are places I want to go (literally and figuratively) and hobbies I want to try, and the only way to get there is to stick to the schedule and the plan. Sure, things may change and adjustments can be made, but once it's decided, the train will leave the station when it's suppose to.
Are there places you want to go? Let's get there together.
Off to a good start?
Do you make your bed? I know my mother encouraged it when I was growing up, but it was my grandmother who found a way to make it happen ... and I think of her still when I change the sheets.
There was no pestering or pleading, she simply set the scene ... with new bedding. It was the best after-school treat I never imagined I might crave.
It was mid-afternoon when I arrived home from school and found the mismatched jumble of pillows, sheets, and blankets I'd left on the bed earlier in the day replaced with perfectly plump pillows and coordinated sheets tucked under a matching comforter.
I was spellbound.
Nothing but the bedding had changed, but there was new order to my small room, and I was all in.
The 11th of this month is Make Your Bed Day (get your calendar of days through the link below). Some do, some don't ... some only when company's coming. But there's evidence that suggests it might be a good idea. It was also a key point in Admiral William H. McRaven's popular commencement address delivered to the 2014 graduating class at the University of Texas.
"If you make you bed every morning," McRaven says, "you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another and another."
He goes on to say that even if you have a miserable day, when it's time for bed, you will be reminded that you did in fact accomplish something that day ... you made your bed.
I made mine. Did you? (Tucked or untucked?)
p.s. The same could be said for any project or goal you're working on. Try to work on it early in the morning, at the same time of day, or the same day every week. The routine/scheduling can help you move forward. Try it and let me know how it goes.
A different way to connect
We won't be visiting in person this Thanksgiving, so I'm serving up a side of snail mail.
I've decided to make a small batch of handmade collage cards to send and give thanks (there's still plenty to be thankful for, even if we're apart). Now that I have the design figured out, it's a matter of cut and paste.
The process is a meditation of sorts. Cutting and arranging, cutting and arranging some more. It's the mindless act of doing that's relaxing. I sometimes work with no background sound, other times there's the television in the background, or music, and sometimes there's a conversation happening.
These patterns happened by chance. Well, at least the first set. I was trying to keep count of how many pomegranates I'd cut, so I started lining them up. I liked the pattern and took a photo.
The first image was so compelling, I decided to do it with the next batch. The green leaves were all a jumble until I thought to arrange them in a sunburst pattern. Much better.
This is interesting ... creating parallel designs as I work. It's also a good way to visualize my progress.
Are you a pattern maker? Do you have ways to track your progress on projects?