Day 1 - Letting Go and Living
“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” – Anne De Lenclos
Day 1 didn't start off as planned. Posting Day 1 nearing the end of Day 2 might be an indication. Up at 1:15 am to help a 5 year old to the potty and still awake at 4 when the second little one decided to get up for the day. To vomit, mind you, and all over me, so there's that.
And all of this in the wake of a significant, emotional evening prior when my husband's grandmother chose to die.
I could go into this in more depth - how she was an incredibly powerful presence in the world, inspirationally devoted to her causes, open to possibilities, encouraging engagement and passion and love in others - but I won't. There's too much to say, and others who knew her longer and deeper said it much better than me (thank you Dan Quinn for your eloquent words). Suffice it to say that I loved and admired her, and her passing was a reminder of the fragile beauty of life.
So my approach to Day 1 was to discover just what I want to get out of this experiment. And with the challenges it brought, I did, and then some. What began as an initial intention to lose weight, or get healthy, or shed that feeling of staleness and excess that comes from a long winter, turned into a different kind of commitment - a commitment to going with the flow.
Seems a bit strange, maybe, to challenge myself to something that seems so simple. Relax. Let go. Sit still. Be present. Savour. Bask. Sleep...
But as the day began so off kilter, I set myself up for an entirely different headspace than intended. Goals and intentions went out the window. And by the afternoon, when I myself was puking into a garbage can, I realized how perfectly designed the day was for me. Moment by moment I was forced to let go of all expectations. To let things flow in whatever way they could. To find the path of least resistance. And to mine the nuggets of joy out of seemingly dire circumstances.
And those nuggets were all over the place when I put in the effort to look for them. For the first time in days, the ear-piercing squeal of Lucy's laughter sounded like music after two days of lethargy and nausea, instead of irritating clamour. The heat cooked up the scent of decomposing garbage, but also the sweetness of pine needles and soil and flower blossoms. And though it wasn't the smartest decision to go for a run, my burning lungs were a blessing in light of G.G.'s passing - a reminder of the gratitude I have for every breath I get to take.
In short, Day 1 went off without a hitch, and yet without any resemblance to the picture I had planned. It was an opportunity to find real clarity as to the general aim of this activity. I want to learn how to live better, and for me, more than anything, that means slowing down and letting things be more. It means being ok with vomit getting in the way of work. It means appreciating that the things in life that seem like inconveniences are opportunities to look at the world in a different way. Vomit, as it turns out, is the flavour of life.