In the past few years I’ve been on a conscious and sub-conscious journey to live life deliberately. This deliberate living has become my norm in the nine months since I moved on from my last, demanding full-time job. This means:
- Quitting a job with nothing waiting in the wings for the first time in my life.
- Sitting down and eating a home-cooked dinner with my husband most evenings of the week
- Going for long walks that help me discover and rediscover parts of Boston (I do live here, I ought to know it a little better.)
- Letting the phone ring instead of automatically answering it. (They’ll leave a message or not, call back or not.)
- Focusing on what the other person is saying on the other end when I do answer (Turn away from the screen, look out the window, listen to what they’re saying.)
- Leaving early for appointments and allowing myself meandering time.
- Rediscovering spontaneity as in spontaneously going to movies mid-afternoon after a meeting ends or a chore is finished.
- Finding joy in being by myself and with myself.
- Finding joy in being with others as well.
- Rediscovering the pleasure of checking books out of and visiting the library.
- Breaking bread with friends one-on-one and in small groupings.
- Noticing the plants and paint colors and trimmings on the cottages, colonials, triple deckers and Victorian houses in my neighborhood.
- Keeping small things, small.
- Treasuring simple pleasures.
- Listening to music.
- Opening my existence to what life brings next.
- Saying no with almost no guilt.
- Making time for writing and re-writing.
- Using the best dishes for myself.
- Dancing alone because I like to.
Living deliberately is helping me catch up to myself. For so many years I just kept putting one foot in front of the other because that was what was required at the time. There was no time for reflection. Reflection may have made me stop and think I couldn’t get through the challenges. Now, I walk deliberately, so grateful to be able to walk, so trusting that a way is being made for me, so peaceful without unnecessary conflicts and drama.
My decision to live deliberately was precipitated by a negative event. I must say thank you that she did what she did that made me have to take a lookt at my life and say, “Oh, hell, no. I don’t have to put up with this.” Even though she was wrong, it was the right thing for me. I found that I can work through pain and uncertainty accepting the bruises to my skin and ego while preventing bruises to my heart.
I urge everyone, to live as deliberately as you can right here, right now. You won’t regret it.