I don’t know if it’s helping, but I don’t want to stop.
This is something I said recently regarding some habits I’d built.
Since February I’ve quit hitting snooze and sprung out of bed at the first few notes of my alarm (except that time I took Tylenol PM and my husband had to lovingly shove me a few times before I realized that soothing music wasn’t a part of my very elaborate dream and then I basically stumbled around like a sleepwalker for an hour).
Since February I’ve also parked myself at the kitchen table each morning with a cup of coffee and my journal. Three pages was the original intention set by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. But then I had to start a new notebook and the pages were bigger, and I could only eke out 2.5 before I absolutely had to get the kids up for school. Then I finished that notebook and moved on to WHEW, A SMALLER ONE, but alas that smaller notebook has ridiculously tiny lines, and I can only fit in two pages before I get ready for work (it’s summer now and I try to leave the house before the kids get up because it’s 200x harder to leave once they are awake – both because I love them and because, well, they want breakfast and “can I watch TV?” and “what are we doing today?”). Also I have completely abandoned The Artist’s Way altogether.
Anyway, all of that is way too much detail, but the point is this. I don’t know if any of this is helping me. There are no measurements to make. No numbers to analyze.
But I do know that I don’t want to stop.
For the first several weeks of my no snooze experiment, not a single day went by that I didn’t think about hitting snooze and putting my head back down. I still think about it sometimes.
But in those early days I reminded myself that I made a promise to myself. And I’m the only one who can keep promises to myself. Hand-paint that on a piece of stained wood, because that is deep.
Now I don’t really think about it when my alarm goes off (unless I’m coming off a Tylenol PM bender). It’s just something I do. I don’t agonize over my daily drawing like I did in last year’s project. I don’t look for measurable proof that writing morning pages is magically turning me into a more creative person. I just don’t want to break the chain. I don’t want to stop this train. I don’t wanna fall off the wagon. I may be heading in the wrong direction with my metaphors here.
(Also, hi! It’s been a while since I wrote here – literally no one noticed – and that’s one of the chains I didn’t want to break, but I did because I stopped being intentional about it. Intention and habits go hand in hand, and dammit, I got lazy.)