The Heroic Minute

Yesterday I didn’t keep my promise to myself to write everyday. I was very busy, but still….ok, water under the bridge, move on….it doesn’t mean that now I can give up on the whole thing just because I didn’t do one day (this happens to me a lot, I miss ‘one time’ and it’s downhill from there).

State of affairs:

–          Woke up at 5.45 on the first ring of the alarm, this was not for pleasure nor sport, I just had to get somewhere.

–          Work has been happening consistently but I’ve hit a mental roadblock.

–          Went for a swim in the evening, did 1K in about 30 mins (forgot to check the watch on the way out).

The heroic minute:

This is the minute when you hear the alarm in the morning and get up and out of bed without hesitation (and don’t crawl back into bed afterwards). It’s a term that was taught to me at my borderline fanatical catholic high school. I have a long history with this, but the short story is that they were ultra religious and that caused me, in the years after high school, to reject everything they taught. I hated them with their ‘heroic minutes’…staying in bed was a small rebellion on my part. I’m starting to realize through this writing that this was an unconscious block in my mind to getting up on time. Wow, this is a special moment, I like it when I discover things like this about myself and find out that it’s really not so hard to overcome them.

 The numeraries had it right, though, getting up without hesitation is the best way to do it. It takes some force of will, but in the end I suffer much less that way. What I was doing the past few months is I would set the alarm to a certain ‘goal’ hour, say 8 am, then I would hear the alarm, press snooze, and go back to bed miserable because I knew I had to get up. This would then go on for about an hour or an hour and a half, by 9.30 when I was finally up I was already late to start my day, and feeling bad disappointed in myself yet again. This way, I was neither resting nor taking advantage of time to move on with my day.

Now, for the past week, I’ve been living the ‘heroic minute’ and I have to admit that it’s much better.  I feel like I’ve given myself the gift of time, yes it’s a tough minute, but then we’re off to a good start, and it’s really just a minute. This also automatically forces me to be more disciplined and go to bed earlier (if anything out of sheer exhaustion).  I know it’s only been a few days, but I really feel like I’ve conquered the snooze button. Now I can plan my mornings and have more time to myself for sports, work,  or even to simply enjoy a good cup of coffee.  Getting to work earlier also means that I leave work earlier in the evenings and I have more time to myself. It’s a win win situation.

The next step is to stop cursing the alarm when it rings… I think it an interesting experiment to see what happens if I manage to start my day with a more peaceful type of thought.

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