I was up and moving by quarter after seven this morning.
Considering how much I’ve been struggling to get up before nine the last few days because of fatigue, 7:15 was an accomplishment. It’s not that I didn’t want to stay in bed. I did.
I however did have things I wanted to get done this morning before I headed for an interview and headed to the store for the day. It was either get up and get them done, or start off the day dragging ass.
Everybody makes hundreds of little decisions everyday.
I guarantee that just about everyone choses the path of least resistance when making decisions. I know I’m guilty of it, regularly. Cook vs eat out? Eat something healthy vs something quick and easy? Elevator or stairs?
Little decisions can have a huge impact on how we live our lives. We like our comforts in modern society. Comfort foods. Warmth. We follow the path of least resistance. It’s an inherent trait in people.
Retired Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven gave the motivational speech at a university graduation in Texas in 2014. In his speech, which was video taped and I had occasion to watch recently, he begins almost jokingly “If you want to change the world, make your bed.”
After the laughter died down he continued, “start the day with a small accomplishment. That accomplishment will lead to another, to another to another.”
With the stress, anxiety, and fatigue I have been feeling lately, even that small accomplishment has been a challenge. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve done it. Even if that was all I accomplished in the day I accomplished that.
But that’s not all I accomplished though. As fatigued and as emotional as I was I got up, I got dressed, and I walked the dogs, I ate breakfast, and I even managed to get back into my cycle of weights every other day, and two miles every other day. I made an effort to get to sleep at a decent time. Small accomplishments got me through this last rough patch. Small accomplishments that stemmed from small decisions. Do something or don’t do something. Accomplish something, or let my mind persist in telling me I can’t accomplish anything.
I know what works for me won’t work for everyone. Hell what works this time won’t even necessarily work the next. That’s the lovely curse of dealing with mental illness. I cannot begin to describe the emptiness, the soul sucking numbness or the mental pain I feel when I am at my worst. I’m doing much better than I used to, but I’m not cured.
The small decisions, the small accomplishments help get me through when I am at my darkest. Sometimes I need help to navigate the darkness, sometimes I can navigate the darkness myself. The thing I’m finding is it’s getting easier to navigate the darkness on my own. This little habits, little decisions, help carry me through until the light shines again.
Now all of that being said, I’m going to bed. 7 a.m. comes early.