I was going to call this post “Ten Things” but feared the assumption would be it’s one of those annoying list posts, like “Ten Decrepit Places in the Midwest to Die Posting Selfies From” or something. No, this is something different that I’m a few days into trying to make happen.
It was Julia’s idea. I don’t know if she read about it somewhere, or if it’s just something she decided to start doing, but she gets the credit. Basically, the goal is to try and do ten things for yourself every day that are worthwhile, and make note of them. I thought it was a great idea, because if you are like us, you tend to focus on how worthless and shitty your use of time can be, and in the aftermath of self loathing devour a quart of ice cream to compensate. Making the effort to do better, or at least even the practice of reflecting on it every day, is surprisingly beneficial.
The list I made is 25 items long so far. Some of it is stuff I try and do every day, some are things I want to do more of. For example, I want to quit drinking soda, so every day I don’t drink any I get to count that as one of my ten things. Others are things like yoga, meditation, etc. I set a benchmark of how much reading I need to do every day and the days I meet that mark, I count as a ten thing item for that day. The goal of the tasks very from being about “filling the pipeline” when it comes to freelance work, overall wellness, or just trying not to treat people shittily. I’m enjoying the experiment.
About a week into it has already been eye-opening. When one pays close attention, it’s easy to see how much time is wasted. So far I think the practice has actually improved my day to day life. The only thing that has suffered, so far, is the time I’ve spent on social media. That in itself should probably be listed as a win. “Hmm, should I read two more essays in this collection now so I don’t have to later, or should I scroll Instagram for 30 minutes?” When mindlessly approaching the day minute to minute, it’s easy to make the wrong choice. At least it is for me. What I’ve found the exercise has done has made me mindful of every moment of the day. And mindfulness . . . man, that’s important stuff.
I’m curious if anyone else does anything like this. If not, and you were to do so, I’m also curious to know what any of your “Ten Things” items might be, should you care to share.