Someone shared this recently and I decided I would try to do it every day, though first thing in the morning because that works better, and in full paragraphs rather than just a few sentences.
The idea is to choose one thing from your day that you could turn into a 5-minute story. I already journal, so it’s a natural fit, and I’m finding the practice feels more focused and generates less whine.
The speaker compares the practice to meditation and promises it will change our lives and I’m a little excited because it may already be working.
Yesterday I forced myself out for a walk during lunch break, even though it had been over a week and my fitness level is so low I don’t even want to exercise. I forgot that could happen, but it can. Sad.
Speaking of sad, I was walking along a razed cornfield and saw all the trash that blew in and got trapped, ugly like scars. The path followed between trees no longer a bustling canopy but naked and silent. The birds will come back, as will the leaves and corn, but it isn’t the same without them. I wondered why I’d want to keep coming in winter with nothing to look at or listen to.
This will sound nutty, but sometimes I feel myself pulled in a certain direction. It’s not exactly physical, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Yesterday something pulled me down a grassy path I’d never noticed before. That’s when I saw a pond I’d never noticed before.
On the way to the pond, I passed a cluster of trees and a smaller pond and saw out of the corner of my eye a charming wooden statue that I first mistook for Smokey the Bear or a murderer. Relieved it was not the latter, I stopped to take pictures and never made it to the big pond, but thought to myself no rush. I have all winter.
Truth is, I didn’t think there were any more suprises in this park. I thought I’d seen just about every nook and cranny, and then I felt that pull again and followed the new path around and found fun new graffiti I never would have seen otherwise.
This Homework for Life might really work. Knowing that I get to pick one thing from each day to write about – a mini story – might sharpen my ability to see. It might propel me to take new paths. I’m not sure, but by yesterday afternoon I already knew what I would write about. I already have my story for today too.
One of the things the homework for life guy promises is if you do it consistently, time will slow down. This is the part I want the most and don’t believe will happen.
Fall flew by and the holiday season is almost over and I still feel like I’m hovering somewhere off screen. It’s not entirely unpleasant and memories tell me we lived a full Fall and will be able to say the same at Christmas. But still, if I could just slow it all down, even just by a noticeable increment, I think I would like to do that.
A coworker shared an interesting theory about why time seems to fly more by the year. She said think back to a summer when you were a little kid and how that one season was such a big chunk of your overall short life. Then jump ahead 40 years, and one summer is just a blip. The older you get, the faster it goes until one season seems a blur.
Maybe this building momentum of the passage of time is inevitable, like getting older in general. We can’t fight gravity, but a minute always lasts the same amount of time. So the blur must be perception and there’s got to be a way to feel more present inside it.
I feel like when I wake up soon, the kids will be grown and we’ll have new cats and will have forgotten the names of the ones we have now. Rip Van Winkle meets Homework for Life. This is what I’m playing with at the moment and it beats stressing out over Christmas, which I am also doing, so maybe it’s more of a break.
If you have tips for slowing down the passage of time that doesn’t involve plastic surgery or meditation (none for me, but thanks anyway!), I’m all ears.