I used to whine and bemoan the ‘dailiness’ of life. How it was all so painfully relentless. Went on and on and on. One predictable day after the other. Blurring homogeneously into each other. Like a bland whirling blender drink. Each day began with a heartbeat of optimism that grew weaker as the hours ticked by. Then repeat. This malaise was amplified by the nine to five, Monday to Friday shift. Same old same old for the working folk.
Paradoxically, I didn’t think I was leading a boring life per se. Contrary to what all that sounds like. Nor did I hate my job, my relationships, my circumstances. But I was living for the weekends. Only on the weekends, holidays, special occasions and Christmas break did I feel the disruption of this never-ending pattern.
But the good news is, I don’t feel that way anymore.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, hour, day or week that my thinking shifted. Because there isn’t a singular pivotal point that I can lay my finger on and say, that’s it. That’s when it happened. I only know that there was a gradual altering of my thinking that began the day I no longer had to do it. The contractual obligation was over. I could walk away. Recall my services. End it. Retire.
About a year into what could, or should have been, my retirement, I realized I was no longer showing up because I had to. But because I wanted to. And that my friends, was and is, liberating. I do all this same daily stuff because I choose to. No one has a gun to my head. Truth is, they never did. I was the one holding the self-annihilating weapon all along. The joke was on me.
I look back now at all the things I thought I had to do to keep myself and my family off the streets, begging for nickels, and I laugh at my foolishness. The truth is, I loved doing things on the daily, just as much then as I do now. I’m not a masochist. Melancholic, yes. Living for years with fear, anxiety and stress, absolutely.
But doing things on the daily wasn’t a grind. Just the opposite. These everyday rituals, routines and practices were a lifesaver, an anchor, a source of stability and the centerpiece of my mental health and well-being.
All these small day-to-day acts; morning yoga, prayers and meditation, journaling, dog walking, eating a healthy breakfast, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, putting on my makeup, dressing, commuting to work, working, sharing ideas, chatting, laughing, crying, walking at lunch, leaving for the day, waving goodbye in the parking lot, commuting home, making dinner, talking, listening, eating, watching television, snuggling, getting ready for bed, reading, sleeping and waking to a brand new day with the opportunity and blessing to do it all over again. Thank God.
Yes, now I see all this dailiness in its true beautiful glory, and not some dutiful habitual performance. And I am grateful for these sacred gifts of the everyday.