Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, Something done, Has earned a night’s repose. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to
accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. – Helen Keller
In late 2009, a book came out called The Happiness Project, based on the blog of the same name. Excerpts and interviews popped up in magazines and on websites wherever I turned. And, in more than one instance I read that the author, Gretchen Rubin, found that making your bed was one small way to make the day brighter.
I hadn’t given it too much thought before. Most days I made the bed; but some days I didn’t. And yet, I started to do it each day with this new sort of mindfulness, and she was right.
With the bed made, regardless of how the rest of my day shaped up, this little corner of my universe was looking good.
Rubin was on to something. (Check out Rubin’s Happiness Project Toolbox, too. There’s some good stuff there, including a whole catergory just on lists…a site after my own heart.)
Sometimes it’s all in the little details, the daily rituals that give us a moment to contemplate and consider – like a cigarette break without the health hazards.
I wish I were a bit more exciting (read: athletic) and my rituals involved an hour’s yoga or a hike in the canyons, but truth be told, I work from home and, well, I tend to make the bed, go right down the hall to the office, and get started on the daily to-do’s.
When you find yourself at the computer most of the day, like I do, it’s kind of nice to have a some online rituals that give me a few moments to get out of my head a bit.
They’re like my own virtual coffee-cigarette-union breaks.
Every morning I go to the Greater Good’s Hunger Site, and from there I can click across their seven tabs to fight hunger, fund breast cancer prevention, feed shelter animals, provide children health care, give meals to veterans, share books with children in need, and protect the rainforest. It’s crazy what such collective mouse clicking can do in a single day. (FYI, 418,903 clicks on the Animal Rescue Site yesterday gave 251,342 cups of food to animals in shelters across the US.)
Most nights, before shutting down the computer, I head over to Pinterest to wind down with a bit of creative inspiration from friends and followers in the great big inspiration corkboard in the sky. (Hurry up, Pinterest app!)
Then, in something more akin to passing notes in class, I tweet.
Twitter feels like all the other work from home, social media, creative, blogger, fill-in-the-blank-types are in adjoining cubicles but we just can’t see each other. Like The Office, and the fail whale is our very own Michael Scott. Or was.
It takes willpower to not spend great chunks of the day reading blog posts and newspapers and magazines online. Willpower that is stronger on some days than others. But, even on those days where a quick blog read turns into an hour of links and newfound sites to love (and re-pin), and the to-do list is far from done, I can smile because at least the bed is made. xo a.