The "turned-up corner of the rug" theory. Are you familiar with it? The rug that has a corner that's gone AWOL and it isn't that big of a deal (the rug still serves its purpose), but every damn day we trip over it's unruly edges. The rug needs to go, but we put it off for just one more day or more commonly we get used to tripping over its edges every time we walk through the living room. Is this post really about rugs? Yes, yes it is...
Today I had this moment of clarity where I noticed a turned-up corner in my life. It's needed attention for like friggin' forever, but every day I said I'd do it when I had time or on my busiest days its inconvenience was just something I expected to be there. It was my inbox.
I've come to sort of loathe checking my email because I know that it will be inundated with junk mail. And yes an inbox that is filled with subject lines like HURRY! and LAST DAY! and GOING, GOING... makes my blood pressure rise. Because I don't wanna miss out on all those big sales! 10% off???! That's like a $5 savings!! Oh! Sale at World Market?! I think I was looking for a new rug... I think...? Hashtag FOMO for real. It's ridiculous, I know. Tripping over it every damn day.
But today... [I have to enter the disclaimer that my beloved mother had my children so the chunk of my brain that they typically inhabit was freed up for me to actually think and go pee all by myself] I had this moment of clarity where I was all, "You inbox don't win. You're just a little turned up corner, but you effect my every day. Sayonara newsletters!"
The next 30-minutes involved me going on an "unsubscribe" rampage and oh my gosh... what have I been waiting on??! It was quite liberating!
Here's the deal: For most of us it's not the really big things that take our energy (because the big things we usually notice and we change)... it's those little things that we fall victim to. Turned-up corners of meal planning or feeling guilty about unimportant things or an unorganized space or areas of our lives where we've over-committed or our waist lines that have grown a little too round or or or. These things don't have to always be significant, to be significant energy zappers. They're turned up corners on a rug we once loved that we subconsciously hope will fix itself or we promise we'll fix as soon as time allows.
But those lazy rugs NEVER bust out the iron themselves and life NEVER slows down.
Are you picking up what I'm laying down?
In November my mom and I went out to California to visit my sister. My sister seriously talked to me three different times about her new dinner plan and how much stress it had removed from her life. She said she thought dinner was just something, as a mom, that is supposed to always be a time suck. But then, she had this giant ah-ha moment one day that expecting dinner every night to be a meat and two sides was a total American thing and rather unnecessary. So she did a little research and found a local CSA that made meals she could pick up once a week. Most of the meals were soups, but she reasoned if the soup was loaded with meat and veggies then soup for dinner was sufficient. It was a little change that made a HUGE difference in her post-work responsibilities.
A turned-up corner.
Whether it needs an ironing out, a partial amputation or a full-blown tossing in the trash, giving a turned-up corner a bit of intentional attention can give you some serious life back.
Here's the deal (round 2): We have the option to wake up every day feeling 100%. If we're giving our energy away to things we're not called to give our energy to that may take a good 10%. What if we're carrying on with an unhealthy friendship? There goes another 10%. What if we're carrying around some extra weight that's making us tired and sluggish? There goes another 15%. What if every time we walk into our closets in the morning we can't find anything we want to wear because our closet is busting at the seams with clothes that have shrunk in the dryer, don't fit us or are of an era that ended 10 years ago? There goes another 5%. What if we open our inbox and there's 37 emails from companies with titles that are screaming at us telling us we're missing out? There goes another 5%. Now, we're operating at 55%. And this is before our kids cry their brains out on the way home from the zoo because we won't let them play with our phone. Awesome.
Deacon on the show Nashville (and yes, you read that right) said it best last season when he said, "There's thinking about doing it and then there's just doing it."
And why it always takes me so long to just do it I'll never know because the latter almost always requires a lot less energy.