I wake up in the morning to a stream of sunshine coming through my bedroom window. As I stir in bed, our freshly bathed dog snuggles in closer. I turn on the radio to listen to the news on my favorite show – NPR’s “All Good News, All The Time.”
Relaxing against the pillows, I smile when I hear that ISIS has fled to the planet Mars, that Syria is now a paragon of democracy in the Middle East and that the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate are best buddies.
I rise from bed, shrugging on my cashmere robe, take a quick trip to our recently remodeled master bathroom with its steam shower and head downstairs. A mug of freshly brewed coffee, made from the finest just-ground beans, is waiting for me, along with a bowl of home-made granola, fresh berries and fruit.
As I sip my organic orange juice, I contemplate the day ahead. Soon my personal trainer will arrive and lead me through Pilates exercises in my fully equipped exercise studio. Then I will shower, change into my size six pants and top, and head out to my spacious back deck, laptop in hand, where I will spend the rest of the sunny morning writing my blog and drafting the free-lance articles from which I earn a substantial income. After a productive morning of writing, I will…
Oh, wait, that was my fantasy life, not my real life. Can we try this again from the top?
Waking up, cloudy day, inhale the aroma of our odiferous terrier who is barking loudly at the sound of the departing school bus outside. Listen to the “All Bad News, All The Time” radio show. Could never afford much less keep clean a cashmere robe. Master bathroom does not have a steam shower. No fresh granola either and if I have berries, they are often well past their sell-by date.
(the fresh coffee part is true, however, courtesy of my husband. thanks, JP.)
After breakfast I think – very briefly – about exercising. Maybe I should take a walk? My excellent internist (who weighs maybe 120 lbs and wears sleeveless tops to show off her Michelle Obama-Toned-Upper-Arms) has recently urged me to do something more “cardio” than my usual Pilates class once or twice a week.
But the old exercise bicycle in our basement is rusty from disuse. My sneakers are upstairs, I am just too comfortable in my sweat pants and old beach hoodie to change into walking clothes – and besides, doesn’t it look like it will rain soon? Better not risk going outside. I’d rather sit and write. So I do.
If you spend much time on social or any other media these days, you are hereby forgiven for thinking that your own lifestyle does not measure up.
The latest trends, the blogs I follow, the tweets I see are all shouting the same messages:
- Get up Early!
- Eat Healthy!
- Exercise Often!
- Sit Less!
- Live in the Moment!
But my idea of living in the moment is to put 24/7 CNN on mute – which I don’t think is what the mindfulness gurus intended. (and if you’ve been paying attention to the world news as much as I have lately, why would we want to be living in the moment when that moment is just terribly awful?)
Also I hate kale, too chewy, too fibrous, though I love greek salads; does feta cheese qualify as “eating healthy”?
That recent admonition that we should limit our sitting time? – well, that comes a little late. I sat at my law firm desk holding a phone to my ear on one endless conference call for thirty plus years. Now that I am writing, here I am right back in front of a computer. Sitting.
I’ve never been a fan of mandated exercise either. In college, where we had to take P.E. for two years, I did poorly at badminton (those balls are so tiny, who could see them?) and nearly failed dodge ball.
While I am still contemplating getting out of bed, some of the people I follow on social media have already written 800 words of powerful prose or are returning home from their early morning spinning class.
But while I admire those with such self-discipline, I have and will always resist being told what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
In my kindergarten report card (kept with others in the lower bottom drawer of my Mom’s bedside table), my teacher commented that while I always followed directions, I always questioned them too. That hasn’t changed.
So while I know I should be getting up earlier, eating healthier, exercising more, sitting less – and yes, living in the moment, even if the moment is dreadful, I have to find my own motivation to do these things.
Be assured that I will continue reading all of the “you should be doing this” articles, blogs and tweets – perhaps for the same reason I enjoy looking in the lit-up windows of homes at night as I drive by them, imagining what the lives are like of the people who live there.
And while my fantasy life does sound great (if my newly remodeled bathroom comes attached to a contemporary, shingled-house with decks overlooking the ocean, even better.), right now – in the moment! see? – I am completely comfortable with my kale-free, often-seated and 100% imperfect real one.