At the end of a day jam-packed with skype-athons, emails, far too many flat whites not enough fresh cold water (or air, or sun) and a burgeoning sharpie-on-sticky-note to-do pile, the temptation to escape to glorious medieval Italy, parallel-universe Washington DC or a mist-enveloped castle in 17th century Scotland via Netflix is both forgivable and understandable. I have totally been swayed to teleport to a fantasy world many a chilly-mid week evening.
But there is always that ‘naughty little child’ feeling isn’t there? Even if we go through a full internal monologue of all the reasons why we deserve to “treat ourselves” with a show, or a lazy hour just scrolling Pinterest. Really good reasons. Here are some I prepared earlier: I have a full-on day job which is more than full-time, I’ve worked out – hard, I have put loads of washing on and done a bunch of other non-negotiables to get here, to this point, on the couch, flanked by my favourite fluffed-up cushions, toes encased in double-thick socks.
But isn’t it funny how something “has to give” to allow for any kind of indulgence. And that thing is always that super-niggling one, that thing we’ve put off. The one thing that, when you think about it, you get that little tuggy feeling at the bottom of your tum. Or is that your heart. In fact, we’ll unstack the dishwasher, reply to a couple more emails …text that long lost relative… basically anything other than do the Important Thing. The thing that could change your trajectory, or just shift it a slight itty bit towards some of that stuff you dreamed about as a little girl or mini dude.
What is it for you? Making a phone call about that acting night course? Just sitting down for five minutes to order that piece of gym equipment that will mean you can fit in a workout between family commitments and work? Actually doing that e-course you paid all that money for more months ago than you care to count? Or spending five minutes clicking and box-ticking to set up an online shop to share your beautiful creations with the world.
Remember when you were that little girl or dude and you were told you could watch TV after your homework? That kind of discipline is important for us big kids too. Because we too should recognise the importance of long term important things – like further education, investing time in your health or actually making a plan to share your own creativity with the world.
I have set myself a 30 day challenge – every day for 30 days, 1 hour on that Important Thing. Want to join me?
One hour – so easily swallowed up scrolling through social media, prioritising non important emails or “tidying up” (until tomorrow when you have to do it again).
That stuff can wait until tomorrow. Sometimes. At least a few times a week. Have a little love for the little girl or dude inside of your conscientiously adulting heart that had those lovely, enormous, outrageous rainbow dreams for something different. If they were to appear in front of you right now, what would you have to say? Imagine: “no your dreams didn’t happen, because I had to keep the house tidy, I always worked through lunch, and actually, I never stood up for you, in my adult life, I had this commitment and that commitment to these other adults. And then, I was just really tired, so I watched my show.” Hitting hard to you? It is to me.
At the end of the day we have circumstances, yes. But as has been proved time and time again by those in much, much worse situations than us, our daily choices are far, far more powerful. We really have no excuse not to do the Important Thing.
As you power through your chores tomorrow, don’t just ‘clear a space’ for your Important Thing. Get out the damn shovel and dig a space for enormous enough to fit the dreams of that beautiful, hope-filled young you would beam brightly at.
And yep, soon to come, my picks for chilling as you power through mid-year towards those dreams. Because all little girls and dudes in their gangly adult bods to need an imagination break. Just in between chasing their dreams, not instead.
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