(I’ve been taking some time to write with pen and paper, which I believe are relics of the 19th century? Quite enjoyable though. Thus the lack of blog posts.)
Whether I like it or not (and I don’t like it), the quality of my days are inexorably linked to how they start.
If my day starts in calm, purposeful fashion the rest follows suit.
If my day starts with chaos (slept until 5 minutes before a meeting) the rest follows in chaotic suit.
Perhaps most nefarious of all, though, is the lazy start.
The start where, after clicking my phone alarm off, I rationalize taking a brief spin around the internet. On better days the surfing will only last only a few minutes but on bad days this will find me an hour later watching fight videos on the r/PublicFreakout sub-Reddit.
There’s nothing that so assuredly damns the happiness, productivity and equanimity of my day than the lazy start.
There’s just something about capitulating to bad habits early in the day that signals to the brain that it officially has the day off. No willpower will be necessary for the remainder of these waking hours because Chris has already thrown in the towel.
Focusing on work becomes nearly impossible. The day becomes one large internet surf fest. Workouts will frequently get skipped. Meetings pushed.
And the worst part is that through it all, I feel terrible about myself. I mean, the negative self-talk gets fed rocket fuel on these days. My shitty day begins convincing me that I have a bad life. I start getting very existential, wondering if I’ve made the right life choices leading up to that point.
It’s an ugly spiral.
I fortunately have good people in my life who remind me otherwise. See my post Don’t Burn It Down.
But the crazy thing is that even knowing these ‘lazy starts’ lead to awful days, I still let them happen.
Granted, not as much as in past years (so I guess there’s progress). But they still happen.
The reason I’m writing this post is that I actually had one yesterday. It was really bad. The negativity in my head was so fierce that it was almost comical. There was nothing I could do to get away from it.
A lazy start quickly began sucking me into a quicksand from which there was no escape.
Despite forcing myself on the bike for an afternoon workout and even working on a little personal project I’d been putting off for months, I still pretty much just had to baton down the hatches and submit. There was very little I was going to do against this inner maelstrom.
But the bright spot is that, having capitulated for the day, I used my little remaining energy in the evening to set myself up for a good day today. I laid out everything I wanted to do in my Bullet Journal.
I knew that my day was forfeit, but that tomorrow held the promise of a new start. And I was damned if this was going to take two days in a row from me.
And so that’s where you find me right now.
I woke up after a great sleep. I meditated, made coffee and have been pecking away at this here keyboard for 45 minutes.
So while my bad starts may guarantee rough days, it works the other way around too. And I look forward to riding this early morning wave until I crawl under the covers tonight.
And then do it again tomorrow.