The more I looked around the house the more overwhelming the littlest things began to feel. Some Christmas still lingered in various corners, ready to be put away. Laundry had piled up, as I was washing all things winter to be stored away again until our next northern visit. The dust fairies had come while we were away for 2-weeks, so the need for a thorough cleaning and vacuuming was apparent. I had sorted through 2-weeks of mail already, but still had a stack of various news periodicals and magazines to go through. My desk called to me, whispering of projects both in process and wanting to be started. Bills had to be paid, and, and, and...
I kept circling around my house feeling like everything was impossible, and ever more inclined to crawl back into bed. Then, I remembered the words of Arthur Ashe, " Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." This shifted something.
I started asking myself, "What CAN I do?"
I looked at the Advent Calendar and elves on a side table, imagined hauling down the "December 1st" bin in the garage and thought, "Nope. Can't do that." Then, I looked at some Christmas gift bags on the dining room table, waiting to be put away, and thought, "I CAN do THAT." And put them away. Passing through the laundry room I saw a mountain of clean laundry and thought, 'Nope, Can't do that." Then, noticing some towels, I thought, "I CAN do THAT." So I folded them and put them away. This continued for a few hours and by the end of the afternoon, I had cleaned the entire house, packed away Christmas, done the laundry, and created several things for work.
I didn't judge the nopes, or try to shame myself into doing them (they were all relatively easy things), I just kept looking around to find something I could do (was willing to do), in that moment, that didn't seem insurmountable (even if it was something as small as putting the cap back on a tube of toothpaste, or wiping down the counters!). After completing each new thing, I would look around until I found something new to put my energy into. Things began to loosen, I felt more spacious, more became possible and things began to flow.
The day started with everything feeling impossible and like I couldn't possibly do anything. And yet, by allowing myself to say, "Nope, not that," and then asking myself what I COULD do, I ended up building enough momentum to complete even the nopes by the end of the afternoon.
I tend to look for straight paths and how to make things more efficient. This particular day was not at all linear and yet, ultimately, I felt fulfilled by all the things I accomplished by the end of the day, despite my circular and somewhat random approach. Had I continued to insist on a linear path, or judged myself for the nopes, I may never have started anywhere with anything (other than getting back into bed!).
This day reminded me that some days are meant to be lived in straight lines and others may require a little more space for grace and a circuitous route. That's OK.
So, if you find yourself stuck, remember, you can nope until you find a yup. After a bunch of yups, no matter how small, you are likely to find even the impossible becoming possible.
Could you use some support with this? I am here.