Attempting / by Christina Rosalie

I make lunch the night before; do yoga first thing; then come home from work and play with my boys. The three of us take a long walk down the melting muddied road. It is pock marked with potholes: perfect circles of mud and splashy water, just right for jumping, which Bean does in his black and yellow rain boots. I love the way he pauses before each jump, placing his feet together, crouching down, getting the most out of his small muscled legs. The water goes everywhere in satisfying droplets. I love too the way he pauses to fish around in the muddy, icy cold water, then stands up triumphant: “I found a beautiful rock!” he yells. I make lunch the night before, circling the counter unaccustomed to thinking about food at 9:38p.m. Especially not a chicken & arugula wrap, fresh berries and yogurt, walnuts and raisins. In the morning I slip from my bed and turn the shower on before thinking. I stand bleary, rubbing my eyes, my feet on the looped lavender bath mat. Then I turn the water off, circle the house, find my yoga mat and breathe. After the fourth or fifth sun salute I realize that the entire right side of my body aches: my ear, throat, hamstrings, ankle bones. I apologize to my body for just living in it so often, without thinking. I take my vitamins. I turn the shower on again. I exfoliate. I let hot water pound on my back until I know it’s made my skin lobster red. I linger. Then I plunge towards the day.

I am trying to live this month as intentionally as I can. Taking care of myself. Making the whirling chaos of my day to day life less chaotic. It’s all about the small things, that I’ve given too little thought to. The things that ultimately bear the Morse code of self discipline. Food. Exercise. Laundry. Dishes. Creativity.

I loved reading your lists about the things you’d do if living “perfectly” for a month. Now I’m wondering: what stops you from doing them? What stops us all, really?