We moved a couple months ago. I've hung things on the walls. We're in. Settled. Of coarse the basement is still full of boxes. But it feels like home. Coffee is on. Music is playing. Kids are arguing and wrestling and I'm telling them not to throw the football in the house, yet again. It's a normal day.
Whenever some kind of change heralds a new phase of life (like a move, new job, new school year, etc.)... I feel a rush of momentum to start "seizing the day" with fresh routines. This time I'm going to be disciplined! This is going to stick!
I buy planners and dry erase boards and check out cook books from the library. I've got all these good intentions. About a week or so into it (I know! So short lived!)... the well organized life begins to fray at the edges.
But I've noticed some things.
Some things stick. And it ain't because of the daily planner or the dry erase board.
It's because it's life to me.
I get myself to a yoga class two times a week. It's not just any yoga class... it's powerful and healing and restoring and challenging. And sometimes I wanna cry after. It's hot in there and the sweat pours down my skin... and the stress and fear I've held in my body and mind pours out too.
I sit down at the dinner table with my boys. And we eat a meal I've made with my hands, and I want it to nourish our bodies. Because I LOVE them. I love US. Sometimes all we talk about is football cards and how little johnny on the bus said the word shit. Sometimes I'm yelling at them to stay at the table until we are all finished. AND PUT THE DANG FOOTBALL AWAY!! But sometimes we get to heart stuff. And regardless, they know Mom is listening to their lives.
I read to them... not every night. But many nights. I feel their little bodies nuzzled against mine. Our breaths and the rise and fall of our chests seem to sync up as we squeeze into the love seat in the living room. And no matter how far away the day took us apart from each other, we are near now... it just feels right. It's what we need.
I sit to meditate daily. Sometimes I never get to a place of stillness... but I've tried. When I've quieted my mind... fears subside, and clarity comes... and I hear God's voice. My intentions and prayers feel like they are imbued with more power. If I do get to that blessed place of stillness... I am completely at rest and peace. And my day is just SO MUCH BETTER. There is grace and a softness to my edges and an ease to all I touch and bump up against.
Now, Sometimes it felt like just discipline at first. But I wanted it badly enough... felt it in my bones that this "thing"... this "discipline" ... this "routine" was good and true... I practiced it... knew it... it began to feel so life giving that I couldn't and wouldn't dare venture without it.
I am not going to lie... when I take my vitamins... I am not blissfully thinking to myself in a state of rapture... "this is life!!! This IS LIFE!!!!" . Nope. They are just vitamins. Yes I can see and feel the difference when I don't take them. And yes... I appreciate them. But taking vitamins feels to me, still, like discipline.
Sometimes, I've shut the book and go to sleep ticked off that the boys weren't listening to me read The Adventures in Narnia. I was reading the voice of Aslan with such depth and compassion and they didn't even LISTEN!! . Sometimes we eat frozen Trader Joe's pizza. Sometimes I take a bath while eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream and I've skipped Yoga class for the day.
But I tell ya... I come back to those things that are life to me. Discipline has become love.
"The search is the meaning, the search for beauty, love, kindness and restoration in this difficult, wired and often alien modern world. The miracle is that we are here, that no matter how undone we've been the night before, we wake up every morning and are still here. It is phenomenal just to be. This idea overwhelms some people. I have found that the wonder of life is often most easily recognizable through habits and routines." -Anne Lamott