It’s almost the end of June. Where has this year gone? So much for bi-monthly blogging, a book a month, running that twenty-one kilometers or just generally being overall healthy. I wasn’t even sure if my gym membership was still active until I managed a trip yesterday. No rhythm, no routine, no consistency. Hmmm, maybe this is a routine in itself?
For months, I kept trying the same things; thinking I could pick up where I left off last year (or was it the year before?) I would go to the gym, run the kilometers, almost kill myself trying to get it into the same timing, then not visit again for another month…because a break was needed.
I read the same book for 4 months. A creative non-fiction, self-help book that most likely would be helping if I was open to that specific kind of help that the book was going on about…ironically it was something about understanding why we think the way we do. But after 4 months I completed the read, closed the book and remembered nothing. Everything that I was used to doing just felt sooo heavy. So exhausting. So mundane.
As I recognised this, I still couldn’t think of doing or trying anything other than what I’ve known and been used to. Oh, there’s that routine.
And on doing what I normally do, I entered a book store. One it appeared that thankfully, had very little self-help, non-fiction books. Or maybe I didn’t see them. My brain shut down to wanting any help on trying to better myself. I picked up two fictional books; completely at random and the furthest from what I would normally choose. I didn’t care; the writing seemed big enough and they sounded like light reading. And they were. I finished both in a month. Actually, I finished three books in a month. Another light read that I found. I enjoyed all three. With enthusiasm.
My love for reading wasn’t dead. I was just reading the wrong books for the space I was in. One small change led me to building up a momentum I hadn’t seen coming but one I had been yearning for for months. Maybe I could get to those twenty books this year.
And since I was doing that, I made another small change. I started my morning routine with light exercise instead of forcing myself to meditate. A small change but enjoyable again.
And after forcing myself to do nothing but sleep and read for two days, the next small change was getting to the gym. The aim wasn’t to run or even walk. The aim was to arrive. Since, I arrived at the gym, I stayed for 30 minutes doing light exercise.
And through these small changes and tiny adjustments, I’m learning that not everything has to be hard or difficult for me to feel like I’m getting somewhere.
A change from non-fiction to fiction led to 3 enjoyable books being read in a month versus one kind-of enjoyable non-fiction being read in 4 months. A change from a tedious once a month run on a treadmill to slowing down completely has led to more energy. A change from trying to start my mornings with meditation to starting with light exercise has made me feel more awake. Most importantly, there’s fun in what I’m doing and a relaxation that I’ve not felt in a while.
Small changes, big effects.