Yesterday, I told my husband, “I’m going to do less, today.”
A funny thing to say, it might seem, since every day now is kind of a day off. Maybe though, it’s a change of heart rather than habit.
You see, for two days, Sunday and Monday, I kept a time log of everything I did. I want to spend my time more intentionally —to limit the time I watch television or read emails or whatever else I fall into that isn’t nourishing or necessary or productive in my mind’s eye. When 8:00 in the evening rolled around, I was spent and needed to sit a spell.
So, that is why I said that yesterday was going to be a day to “do” less. As I look back on the day of letting go of expectations, an odd thing did happen.
It started first thing in the morning. I read a book instead of my usual morning routine of Lectio and centering prayer. Okay, so the book was Putting on the Mind of Christ, but I just wanted to get back to this book that I laid aside a few weeks ago. I didn’t write down any significant revelations in my dandy notebook, I just stood fast in the few pages I read at that moment.
At 9:15, my usual zoom yoga class began without me. I thought I might catch an online offering later on, but I didn’t. Sitting in a meditative pose to read and later a restorative child’s pose to rest was enough for the day.
I kept reading—short pieces—and watched video lectures for the first week of an online class my friend and I are “visiting.” I say that because we are participating, but at our own pace and assignments are optional. Since I don’t have to adhere to the have-to’s, I stopped when my interest had peaked.
I did wash a load of towels. I seem to be doing that more frequently these days. The glorious part was that I leisurely hung them to dry on my makeshift clothesline. The warm sunshine and gentle breeze did the work of drying and infusing them with that smell and crunchy texture that make me happy. And I experienced that warmth and freshness all over again when I reached for a towel this morning.
I continued to clean the microwave that I moved to a table on the deck. Hopefully, the fresh air and boiling vinegar will work to dissipate some of the odour—I burned rice on one of those days I was keeping track. Hopefully, this microwave, too, just needs some time to heal itself.
As the evening rolled around, I made a familiar supper. I know my mother’s directions by heart. She wrote them down for me before she died in 1993. I can’t properly say I follow her “recipe,” since there is no “amount” of any ingredient. It fits in with doing less today—no need for measurements.
And then I remembered my capacious heart that I wrote about in my journal and found the William Maxwell book to savour that one short story again, and posted a blog, inspired again by that last line of the story.
Today, I did join my zoom yoga class, a restorative one and guess what my guide read? Mary Oliver’s poem from A Thousand Mornings.
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
Ahhhh, it is another day to fly low, my friend.