I will try again tomorrow.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed the past few days (weeks, months, years), tired and weak.  There is so much I have to do, so much I want to do, and so little time.  Being someone who is not good at self-care, who doesn’t respect her own limits, aggravates the situation.  I push, I don’t rest enough, I rely on unhealthy and unsustainable boosts to my energy, and I get run down or sick or neurotic, none of which are states in which anything of worth is accomplished.

Today, in an attempt to be more mindful of what I truly needed, or rather what I didn’t need, I did things on my to-don’t list.  I didn’t eat lunch because I’d eaten a big breakfast and wasn’t hungry for it.  I didn’t skip the second dog walk of the day or the two hour nap afterwards.  I didn’t catch up on my Ordinary Courage class homework.  I didn’t answer emails, I didn’t even read some of them.  I didn’t do laundry, didn’t clean.  I didn’t go to yoga so that I could go to dinner with Eric instead.  I didn’t ignore the dogs because I was too busy working.  I didn’t feel guilty for all the things on the to-do list that didn’t get done–wait, yes I did, but not as much as I typically would, and I certainly didn’t spend as much time beating myself up about it.

I feel really good about where I am at in my life, in my life-rehab.  I am learning so much, feeling joy and creating, being brave and vulnerable.  But sometimes, regret sneaks up on me.  There is so much good happening–“Why wasn’t I doing this sooner?  I have wasted so much time!”  This way of thinking has the capacity to freeze me where I am, to stop me completely.  “With all the time I have already wasted, how little I might have left, what’s the point of trying?  I’ll only be disappointed by how little I am able to do, how much opportunity has been lost. Why bother?”

But then I remember the time I spent wasn’t wasted.  I had to live through that, be so stuck and numb and confused.  I had to understand that way of being from the inside. “Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it need to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now, and now is right on time.” ~Asha Tyson

A few things that helped me today:

Instead of losing yourself in the climb, make it your practice to shine like the beacon you are. Guide. Illuminate. Cheer. Teach. Love. But leave the pushing behind. Begin walking with love in your heart. Compassion filling each step. Feel the lightness, the levity that comes when all you are responsible for is your own blessed experience. Know with each step forward, you inspire others to drop their Sisyphean task and glide, with grace and ease, toward the peak.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

  • I’m going to try again tomorrow.  What about you?

3 thoughts on “I will try again tomorrow.

  1. Laura Thomas

    I’m really enjoying your blog, Jill, and am particularly needed to hear this today. I woke up a little grumpy because I have fallen behind with my work and was convinced I couldn’t take today off like I usually do. I was kind of sulking on the couch, procrastinating and listening to the radio when Tim came in the room and turned it off. “I have to tell you something,” he said. Then tearfully broke the news that our dear friend Adam died yesterday. I’ve spent the day paralyzed by sadness and regret. Since Adam moved back to Telluride a couple of years ago, we’ve only seen him once, maybe twice a year. I said I was going to head down there after the holidays to ski with him a couple of years running and was determined to make this year the one when it finally happens. I can’t help thinking about the times that I got annoyed or frustrated with him, when I was less than generous, or judgmental. But now, sad as I am, I can only think about the best of him. And that was that he lived the life he wanted to live. He told the truth. He wasn’t afraid to be himself. He went to college at age 40, got a history degree at CU, applied to PhD programs, and when he didn’t get into one of the top tier programs, gave that up and moved back to the town he loved. He worked a menial job as a desk clerk at a hotel, making just enough to get by, so he could live in a beautiful place and ski as much as he wanted. He didn’t wait till he saved enough money. He didn’t care if his car hadn’t run in a year and there wasn’t much chance he could fix it or get a new one. He didn’t let someone else’s notion of what a guy in his late 40’s should be doing run his life. He loved the outdoors, bluegrass, his friends and family, and living in that beautiful valley. I’ll go to sleep tonight with a shitload of unfinished work and no hope of getting it all done tomorrow. But I hope I wake up tomorrow determined to live my life my way and to love the life I live. Just like my friend Adam did.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I have been thinking about Adam too, even though I didn’t know him. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing more about him. It is inspiring. In that spirit, I offer two things in Adam’s memory. From a poem, “In Memoriam” by John O’Donohue:

      May you continue to inspire us:

      To enter each day with a generous heart.
      To serve the call of courage and love”

      And from Thich Nhat Hanh: “An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue beautifully, in us.
      Love you.

  2. Pingback: Shadow Comforts and Time Monsters « A Thousand Shades of Gray

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