That little chest cold I was fighting off on Sunday pretty much knocked me off my feet yesterday. So last night, I made up a pot of chicken soup with lots of noodles, loaded up on cough medicine, and then climbed into bed before 10pm. That’s probably the first time I’ve done that in many, many months. When 6am rolled around, I was feeling much better, though still on the mend. It would have been wonderful to stay in bed the rest of the day, but there were at least two or three things I really needed to do today, and if I didn’t get to them, it would create bigger complications for me further down the line.
So: I got to thinking–what if today I only did what was really important?
I tend to run a little late to things. It’s not because I don’t want to be on time–it’s because I am always trying to squeeze in just one or two more things in that last fifteen minutes. In effect, I end every day with a whole bunch of accomplishments…plus an equally long list of things that I was trying to get to, but just couldn’t seem to find the time.
Being sick is a drag, no doubt about it. But it is forcing me to pace myself today. After thinking about it for a little while, I decided that there were really only six things I absolutely had to do today:
- Attend a candidate’s “vision” talk
- Meet with my program coordinators
- Pick up banh mi sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch with my staff
- Pick up my son
- Make dinner
- Write this blog post
Anything else just can’t be on my plate today.
The hard part isn’t going to be getting these six things done–the challenge will be in resisting the urge to insert an ever-expanding list of activities between each task. And that’s today’s real experiment in living simply: instead of doing what I normally would do (“just one more thing….”) can I say to myself “just this is enough for today”?
I’ve already taken care of #1 & #2 (and obviously I am in the midst of #6 right now). The Vietnamese takeout place is very close to my son’s school, so in about an hour I will take care of #3 & #4 (and yes, if you have ever had a good banh mi sandwich, you would agree that #3 is something I absolutely must do today.) I could push the dinner duty on to my wife, but I have something simple planned already, so no big deal there.
Six things in one day. That seems like the proper pace, for today.
And when 10pm rolls around, I think I may try for a record and get 8hrs of sleep two nights in a row!