Every Day is Day One
It came to me about two miles into my walk on treadmill #4 at the YWCA on French Broad Avenue today. As I watched people in varying degrees of undress walk back and forth from cars to the Y through two panes of glass, I realized Something Big, Something Extraordinary, Something Life Altering, Something That Oddly Made Me Hungry for a Black and White Cookie from Staten Island.
It isn't that I'm on Day 8 of Day 1 of this challenge not to complain or whine or gossip or gripe, though I am. That's defeatist--that makes me feel like I'm failing, and feeling like I'm failing makes me want to whine even more (not fair! not fair!), an infinite regress of The Whinester. Plus, I'd like to differ with some of the assessments of My Family about Whether or Not I'm Whining, but perhaps that would be seen as Complaining. I ask you--is using the word "evil" to describe someone a complaint, a whine, or a gossip, when it is certifiably true? I think not.
But honestly, I have come to realize that when I have to preface my sentence with the phrase, "I'm not complaining, but..." it's pretty certain that I'm back to Square One.
All that failing has come to a screeching halt. At 3.8 miles per hour and an incline of 8 at 2:11pm today, I realized that Every Day is Day One.
Every single, stinkin' day.
Today. Tomorrow. The next day. January 13. March 25. All of 'em. Not as punishment or failure, but as gift.
Day One, Day One, Day One.
And that, my friends, is how it feels to be mindful. Not mindful on days ending in "day" on which it rains more than 2/10 of an inch, or days that are cloudless, or days on which the Pope makes a pronouncement, or days on which Billy Collins writes a new poem (you thought I had forgotten him, didn't you?), but Every Single Day.
As Michelle Burford has said, "Mindfulness can be summed up in two words: pay attention. Once you notice what you're doing, you have the power to change it." Not as punishment or failure, but as gift.
I really should work out more often. These insights come from sweat and that slightly light-headed feeling that comes from a combination of exertion and hubris at actually making it to the gym, the kind of working out that makes you want to jump off the treadmill, stop clinking cartoon-large weights together over your head, certainly stop doing walking lunges with a twist while hauling a 25 pound medicine ball (okay, a 4 pound medicine ball), and go straight out and eat a black and white cookie from Alfonso's Pastry Shoppe on Victory Boulevard in Staten Island. I dream about those cookies, but I'm not complaining that I don't have any, and I digress.
I'm just sayin.'
Every day, a new day, new possibilities, new mindfulness. Not failure, but gift.
[image of Seinfeld and black and white cookie from here]