Longtime readers know that this year I’ve instituted what I call my “rituals.” Each day, I read a chapter in War and Peace (with the goal of getting through the 360-some chapters in a year). I write at least 100 words in my free writing file. And I do some strength training.
I have done this every day since January 1st, which was 215 days ago. I did do some push-ups yesterday. But I did not do the reading or writing.
I have spent quite a while today pondering why that was. There was no real time reason. I had time; it only takes a few minutes in any case. I was at my desk — fewer hours than on a “typical” Tuesday, but still there, with my copy of War and Peace next to me and my laptop available, and indeed, in use.
The honest truth is that I forgot. There was a brain blip of some sort, influenced by slight changes in schedule and work on other things. On weekdays, I often do my rituals in the morning as kids are getting ready for school or camp. But yesterday my husband left early for something, and I was driving a kid downtown. Our nanny gets to work at 8:00 a.m. I needed to finish getting ready, and we left at 8:20, but there was a lot of traffic and I didn’t get back to my desk until around 9:30. At that point, I decided to dive right into book writing, rather than doing my rituals. I think I figured I’d do them during a break. Then I got really into the writing, and kept at it without much of a break until I wound up with the baby for a while as other camp runs were happening. Those camp runs were delayed with other traffic, and I had to race out as soon as a kid got back to go to a planned afternoon adventure. This involved the Cousins Maine Lobster truck (see picture), which was parked at a nearby mall for the day, and then this indoor trampoline thing a handful of children had been begging to do.
This all took longer than expected (there was a wait for the trampoline) and we got home around 6:15 p.m. We ate dinner, there was a showdown over fruit eating, I put the baby to bed and then didn’t make it back into my home office until late. At that point I wasn’t even thinking about the rituals, because I have almost universally done them in the morning. I had more or less forgotten that I hadn’t done them.
Until this morning when I walked into my office, picked up War and Peace and said…wait. I didn’t read this yesterday! It’s somewhat amazing to me that I could do something for 215 days in a row and then forget, but there we go. At least it was easy enough to pick back up. I read two chapters and wrote two separate 100-word bits in the free writing file. We’ll see if I forget again before the end of the year!