First of all, where the heck did February go? I woke up last week and realized baseball spring training was in full swing. I should be commiserating about the lack of powerhouse trades in the offseason, watching for hot new prospects and bonding with fellow baseball strategists who were strangers until we sat next to each other with a dog and a beer.
I woke up yesterday and wondered What day is it? In fact, I wake up every morning and ask What day is it??? I hope this isn’t early dementia. I prefer to think it’s Pandemic Brain.
I think we’re all feeling this way. There’s a glimmer of hope with the vaccine rollout but we need to stay vigilant. How do I bolster myself during these next few months? To gain perspective, I turned to Mary Oliver, my go-to inspirational poet. You may be familiar with her classic poem, Summer Day, where she poses the BIG question at the end;
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
While that’s deeply thought provoking in the long term, what I need in the short term is help getting through today. Now, the line that stands out for me comes after she describes her day; a day spent quietly feeding a grasshopper and being fully present in her world.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
As the days drag on and Covid fatigue grinds me down, I reflect on that question. What else should I have done today? Did I do the “right” things? Have I done enough? What is “enough” anyway? The circular thoughts can drive me crazy. So, with apologies to Mary, I’m choosing to revise her poem to fit the moment and focus on planning my wild and precious day. That seems more achievable at the moment. But how to do that? I’ve settled on a practice I’m calling “Today is the day …”
In the morning, it’s a way to set my intention and awareness:
Today is the day I sit quietly with my morning cup of tea and reflect back on a year ago. Today is the day I hear garbage trucks rumbling down the street, knowing Oliver will hide under the bed when they arrive. Today is the day I am cautiously optimistic about the future; hoping for a day of new normalcy.
In the evening, it’s a way to reflect with gratitude and acceptance:
Today is the day I watched squirrels run vertically up and down a towering palm tree and wondered how the heck they don’t fall off. Today is the day I met three new beautiful souls in my coaching practice. Today is the day I tried my best and gave myself grace for the imperfections that make me human.
It’s a practice that is helping me stay present but I’ll be honest, the days still drag on. I’m all for gratitude but sometimes I just need more whimsy in my life!
So, I went in search of further diversion and inspiration on how to honor each day. Here’s what I found; a website called National Today, dedicated to celebrating each day of the year – from the traditional St. Patrick’s Day to the obscure World Compliment Day. It’s a treasure trove of celebrations that lighten my heart and make me laugh.
My favorite one this week? National Get Over It Day.
Yes! I’m over it; the whole pandemic, stay-at-home, live with anxiety and pray for herd immunity thing. But, until we are released back into the wild, I have a few more tools to help me get through the next few months. And today, I’m celebrating tulips and travel websites and long conversations with my son . . . and finally finishing this blog post!
Tell me, what will you celebrate today?
~ ~ ~
Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?