Last year, for my birthday, I wrote about how my goal for the year was “One Thing at a Time.” This is still a major struggle for me, but something I’m continuing to work on.
When my mom was here last weekend, I told her that one of the phrases I’ve found myself repeating a lot this year to myself is “it’s never going to be easier than right now.”
I find that my innate laziness makes me tell myself, “Oh, I’ll just do it later.”
I’ll be in the check-out line at the grocery store and realize I forgot something vital like eggs or milk and think, “Meh, I’ll just grab those when I’m running errands next time.”
As if parking, unloading the three girls, going in to grab eggs, and then packing everyone back in the car is going to be SO much easier than it is right now when I’m already in the store.
Or when I’m doing the dishes and leave a few things on the counter and rationalize, “I’ll just come back and put those away in a bit.” Yes, because doing three more dishes right now, while I’m standing at the sink with the dishwasher open, is SO much harder than coming back in two hours and doing the whole thing then instead.
I try to remind myself of this when I’m running errands (“I’m already out!”) or when I’m putting things away (“You already have your pajamas IN YOUR HAND. Walk twenty more steps to your closet and put them away now instead of tossing them on the bed”). I think, “It will NEVER be easier than it is right this very moment.”
And then I never think about it again because it’s done and finished, instead of becoming another task on my mental and ever-growing to-do list.
Of course this isn’t always true. When we finish a painting project, I’m always anxious to just put everything back together immediately, and Bart will remind me that I won’t be happy if all our furniture gets paint marks on it from being pushed up against a not-quite-dry wall too soon.
But in general, this little phrase has kept my life a little more orderly and easier to manage.
(And it just occurred to me that this is a variation on Gretchen Rubin’s “One Minute Rule” that says if it takes less than a minute to do something, you should do it now).
And now I’m going to go switch my laundry because I know that there is never going to a minute where it’s more convenient and easy than it is right now.