I just got home from a wonderful few days spent in Little Compton, Rhode Island. I have been there every summer, and it has become my favorite place in the world. As I grow up a little bit each year, I find a new appreciation for that beautiful, simple place.
Little Compton is a tiny little town with zero traffic lights and a lot of sandy beaches. My parents have this beautiful pond in their yard and I sat by it for over an hour every morning and just watched it be. I had an opportunity to be still. In that stillness, I found peace about a lot of things that I cannot control. I wasn’t so anxious.
I also found that I didn’t feel such a sense of urgency. When I’m in the daily hustle and bustle of my life, I look at my to-do list and I get it done. I take about an hour in the morning to write, be grateful, drink coffee, and meditate, and then I set off like a rocket through my day. My morning routine helps me with stress and perspective, but lately I have been leaving my morning routine in the morning and forgetting it for the rest of the day.
I’m always in a hurry to get a task done so that I can move on to the next one. I get frustrated with people who slow me down or get me off track and I have no time for small talk. Little Compton is the opposite of those two sentences.
In Little Compton, I would drink a cup of coffee and then ask myself, “Okay, what do you feel like doing next?” and most of the time the answer would be, “I want to sit and look at the pond for a while and then make another cup of coffee and keep looking at the pond.” When I was done with my coffee I would think, “okay, now I just want to relax and see what happens today.”
I have a hard time imagining playing every day by ear when I am in the full swing of things at home, but I think I could transfer that attitude to my daily life. I’m going to try it today (I leave for a three day conference tomorrow) as I go about my to-do list. I’m going to try not to be so urgent and serious about getting everything done. Instead, I am going to focus on each piece of my to-do list one thing at a time, because in that moment, that’s the only thing that really exists. I’m going to try to do each task without already thinking about the next one.
I know that’s going to be tough for me because I like to make all of my pieces fit together like a puzzle of my day, so I base each task off the other tasks – the order they’re in, the amount of time spent on each task, and setting aside things for later.
I’m just going to try to the best of my ability to only be in one moment at a time today.
Here’s a picture of that pond I was talking about: