That’s what they say. If you want to commit to something, you have to do it every day.
Really want to see health improvement? Workout and eat well every day.
Want to keep your house clean? Pick up a little bit every day.
Shooting for the Olympics? Practice every day.
Developing a skill? Do it every day.
Want to write? Been told that you must write? Encouraged to become a writer? Trying to find your place in the writing world? Called to write?
You guessed it… Every. Single. Day.
Unfortunately that simple answer is always harder than it seems.
This morning I woke up at 5:45 thinking I would get some time to sit and drink my coffee and write. But first….
5:50 But first I had to put my husband’s work clothes in the dryer so they’d be ready for him by the time he left for work.
5:55 But first I had to put the dry dishes away because I’m gonna be gone all day and needed room to put more dishes in the drain rack.
6:00 But first I had to clean out the filter so I could make my coffee.
6:05 But first I had to gather up the trash for my husband to take on his way to the car.
6:10 But first I kindly took the bags that didn’t fit in the trash can out to the road.
6:15 Finally sat down to drink my coffee and get out my computer. Husband jokes about me going to get his car (it’s a very long story… but it’s about a 7 minute process and a nice refreshing morning walk)
6:16 Stare at computer. Think it would be nice of me to surprise him with his car when he got out of the shower
6:25 But first I took the trash out to the road on my way to get his car… excited to surprise him.
6:26 Return from outside. Sit in my chair with my computer. Read one email.
6:27 The boy cries. The girl wakes. All is lost.
Now I’m sitting here on my computer with Mickey Mouse blaring in my ear and if you know me at all, you know that this doesn’t work. I cannot think if there’s noise. Some people like white noise. Some people sleep to music. Some people can talk in a crowd full of people.
I can’t string two words together with my mouth if there is background noise. Let alone my fingers.
And suddenly the discouragement sets in and the thought of finding a QUIET peaceful time to write every day becomes less and less possible. Because of all of the “But firsts…”
As I walked to get the car I pondered this. That no matter how important I know something is, I simply cannot get myself to commit to doing it every day. I mean, I’m lucky to brush my teeth every day. The ONLY thing I manage to do daily is drink coffee and check Facebook (embarrassing confession). But seriously, checking Facebook on my phone doesn’t require anything. It takes a moment here. Three minutes there. Five minutes to read an interesting article. People say “If you have time to check Facebook you have time to ________” But that’s not really true. Facebook is a totally different animal. Facebook is easy. Commitment is hard.
Writing? Working out? Cleaning?
Those are commitments that require focus and attention and effort. And the more I write these thoughts, I feel more and more like a sloth.
Cleaning is the easiest, really. I’m smacking my own mouth for saying that. But really, I can wash those five dishes in the sink in 5 minutes or less… if I would just do it. And I like to clean the bathroom while the kids are in the tub (multi-tasking for the win!). And the living room can be picked up and vacuumed in the 10 minutes before my husband walks in the door… I’ve tested this one many a time!
Working out is the second hardest. It’s not the “22 minutes” or the “only 30 minutes to a great body!” It’s not that. You know what eludes me about working out Every. Single. Day????
I hate it. I hate that I can’t just pop in a video, get my muscle on, and go about my day. Instead I sweat like I’m in Thailand again, soil ANOTHER outfit (throw that in the pile of things to do daily), and have to take a shower with an up and coming toddler on the loose. It’s never 30 minutes. It’s always more.
But writing? My soul? My heart? My FAVORITE thing in the world to do? It’s the hardest of all. Because it takes time. And peace. And quiet. And focus. And inspiration. And nine times out of ten, the moment that I’m inspired to write some wonderful thought, there is no way for me to put life on hold and get it out. If I get up early, maybe. But just like this morning, the “ButFirst” monster took control. If I wait til naptime, I still have a little shadow needing juice and snacks and help and “Mommy, play with me.” If I put it off til evening? Well… you can pretty much cross that day’s writing off completely. Because when the kids are finally asleep and the house is finally still…
I just want to sleep.
I guess that is one other commitment I can keep every day.