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What a day.
What a week.
Year so far.

After a subpar and underwhelming year of personal growth in 2017, I decided to try and make this year about resolutions, routines and rituals. I’ve already written about the effects that my broken ankle, the Trump debacle, and my absence from social media, had on my life last year. I have also mentioned my newly found love of Podcast. (Done with Dirty John and S-Town by the way and loving The Moth)So in this post I wanted to highlight my new habits.

Since the start of the year and the entirety of January, I…

…wake up every Monday and Wednesday morning at 5:10am to go for a thirty minute 4km run. I am hoping to get up 5km, but my body is still out of shape and my ankle feels sore. I listen to my podcasts and enjoy the quite solitude of the early morning darkness. There is no one around. I know that I will be too tired in the afternoons, so I pull myself from bed and erase the choice from this act. No matter what my fatigue level or mood, I am up and dressed and hitting the pavement by 5:15.

…alternately I write every Tuesday and Thursday night. I’ve been dedicating time to write 1000-1500 words at each session. I am hoping to finally get my YA novel to 50,000 so I can start to think about re-writes and a plan forward. (I reached 48,000 words tonight, but I have started writing in the first person from the POV of secondary characters, and now I realize I have more to say, so I might hold off on the plotting and re-writes for a while longer.) I’m also hoping to churn out a few poems and extended posts like this one every month. hawaiian wedding dresses

…with guidance from Cindy at school, I am tying to revitalize my mindfulness practice. I started off great for the first few days, but when work got crazy, it was the first thing to go. February will be about stabilizing this practice and easing it into my routines and making it part of my life-flow. Been trying to eat more mindfully and spending time throughout the day to stop and breath. But the body scans and 20 mins meditations put me to sleep. Do you meditate? How? When? Where?

…have been involved with Ari 's push-up plan for me. In November he started me on a regiment he swears by. Simply do 5 push ups a day. The idea was to make it so easy that I wanted to do more. The next month I doubled to 10 a day. January had me at 20 a day and today I did my first round of 40. The idea is that, it doesn’t even feel like exercise. It is simply something I do and am aware of. Along with the writing and the running it has become a sustainable routine of my life. I am trying to bring mindfulness to these push-ups.

Now let’s move from routine to ritual. I feel a bit embarrassed to admit to this one, but I can’t express how much I enjoy my beard grooming ritual. Every morning, after my shower, I rub Dear Barber beard oil into my recently dried beard and use my wooden comb to brush out any tangles and direct the hairs where to grow. But more importantly, I repeat this act as soon as I get home from school. There is something inexpressible about the scent of the oil that helps me relax after a long day.

I’m not sure how long I can maintain these routines, but the shift in the way I see myself when I look in the mirror has been spectacular. 2018 is off to a great start. I feel more focused, productive and like myself.

What resolutions did you make? How are they going? How do you transform resolutions into rituals?

Side note, I am on my second glass of wine listening to Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd thinking about how sad I am that I haven’t see my dad ( Mehran ) in six years...

And if you sit,
Don't make a sound.
Pick your feet up off the ground.
And if you hear as the warm night falls
The silver sound from a time so strange,
Sing to me, sing to me.
When that fat old sun in the sky is falling,
Summer evening birds are calling.
Children's laughter in my ears,
The last sunlight disappears.