Even when life doesn’t work out exactly as you planned, there is tremendous joy to be found.
My daughter and I discovered it today on a road trip through Northern California. She says it’s not a road trip because we flew from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Having driven more than 150 miles today, though, it’s a road trip in my book.
We’re visiting the two colleges she’ll choose between this month. There have certainly been twists and turns of unexpected developments. And surely there will be several more before the May 1 deadline to decide.
In the meantime, today was near perfect. There were several hours of talking, laughing and exploring with my daughter. There was a college visit, complete with surprises of its own. There was an alternate route to our home away from home, exploring some surprisingly desolate areas of the California coast.
And it’s a full circle and a homecoming of sorts for me, since my life began in the San Francisco Bay area. My mom’s side of the family came here well over 100 years ago.
Back to the present, it’s day 7 of my April adventure. Even in that short time I can feel the perfectionist tendencies giving way to the stronger desire to achieve this month’s goals. There’s more of a willingness to lean into the messiness of life, if it means I can hit my goal to do my daily dozen.
It happened last night with a civic committee I serve on in my town. A few minutes before the meeting began, I was asked if I’d mind chairing it.
Of course I could do that. Why? Because these last few days I’ve found I can get highly creative and do anything necessary to accomplish my most important goals.
By the end of the month, my hypothesis is two-fold. First, that I’ll have established a half-dozen new habits. Second, that a “most days” approach will work better than an “every day” approach for my daily dozen. Some days I have work commitments that run well into the evening, or a community meeting at night or a family member who wants to spend more time together.
Underlying all of this, though, is an undeniable truth. The power of small steps is starting to create bigger changes.