Touch of Grey

I know it’s cliché to have a New Year’s resolution, and most of them tend to be forgotten within a month or two. But I do like the idea of taking a moment to reflect on my life and whether I am making decisions which reflect my values. That’s what I’ve been doing lately and I’ve decided that my resolution this year is to operate under the influence of a new guiding value.

It’s easy for me to get caught up automatic pilot and habits which are driven by tangible, visible rewards and achievements. I have a “to-do” list every day and I want to accomplish it and check things off. I want to run more miles, add more cycling and strength training to my routine, get better at x-country skiing, make some big changes and advances in my business, write more (even start a book), participate in leadership volunteer roles within my community, make sure my kids are well rounded in their after school activities and make it to all of their programs, coach my personal group of runners with thought and care, create healthy, nourishing meals every day for my family, sleep more, read more, … I’m sure this list looks familiar to many people. In fact I see a lot of my friends and acquaintances actually doing it all! But I’ve decided to add one guiding value to it: do it all with grace.

Grace – from the Collins online dictionary:

  1. If someone behaves with grace, they behave in a pleasant, polite, and dignified way, even when they are upset or being treated unfairly.
  2. If someone moves with grace, they move in a smooth, controlled, and attractive way.

I want to do both of these things. For me maintaining grace means remaining composed and mindful and thinking of those around me instead of pursuing my own single-minded goals whatever the cost. I would also like to visualize myself moving a little more like a dancer than a headless chicken if at all possible.

How I would like to visualize myself going about my daily tasks

 

What I unfortunately sometimes more likely resemble

 

This has come to my mind often over the last little while as I see myself and those around me hurrying around wildly, showing up to pick up or drop off kids in a disheveled frenzy, getting irritated by everyone and everything because we’ve left ourselves no margin of error in our schedules. No time for a pause or a spontaneous conversation with an acquaintance, no compassion for someone’s car accident which is making us late, no time or desire to humour or our kids’ whims to dawdle or stop and investigate an interesting new path. Sure, we can get it all done. We’ve shown we can keep up and achieve in this competitive environment. But can we do it with grace? I don’t want to cram more in, I want to do it all more elegantly. And that will likely mean letting some things go.

So maybe this year we’ll have a few less well thought-out nutritionally balanced dinners, I won’t get all of my planned weights workouts in, we won’t all get to bed right on time, some long runs might suffer, and I won’t finish my book by the summer. But what I do accomplish I hope to manage it with a smile, calm confidence, kindness and compassion, and hopefully a few spontaneous, interesting side conversations along the way 🙂

 

“The ABC’s we all must face. Try to keep a little grace.” – The Grateful Dead

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