Growing up, any time I had an unpleasant task to do, my grandma always told me to just get going on it, and she’d inevitably advise “there’s no time like the present.”
(She was also someone who ripped band-aids off with ruthless abandon because “you might as well get it done with all at once.”)
But her philosophy served her well.
She wanted to be done with her house work before lunchtime–having the afternoon free to “watch her stories” and quilt until it was time to go outside and do the chores.
So, first thing in the morning she got to it.
I thought about Grandma’s “no time like the present” advice a while back, when I talked with someone who wanted to embark on a #ThisDaysJoy journey.
My friend felt hesitant to begin saying, “I’m afraid if I get started, I’ll end up failing — missing a day,” she said.
I hate false starts — probably because I understand them all too well.
Starting something, falling down on my personal commitment, starting over again. Ghrr. Hiss.
But my grandma was on to something, especially when it comes to finding #ThisDaysJoy.
There’s no time like the present.
This life is a one way rocket ride, and we’re all getting off at the same destination.
Want to know the kicker?
None of us — no one! — knows just how long our trip will be.
That’s why when it comes to finding #ThisDaysJoy, the time to start is now! Start ferreting out all the joy you can possibly find because you’re racing against the clock.
Do you know people who are happy only when they’re complaining? I do, and I absolutely do not want to be one of them. I want to find all the joy. I want to grab it with both hands and stuff my pockets full to overflowing.
But what if — as my friend worried — you fall down on the joy hunt?
My husband, Rich, is an award-winning writer (mystery/thrillers & westerns), and he routinely sets writing challenges for himself. He loves short stories as a literary form, so several years ago, he decided he’d write a short story every single day for the entire month of August.
When I told a friend what he was doing, she cautioned against it.
She said it wasn’t good to set such lofty goals because if you don’t make it will turn you off setting goals.
I shared this with Rich, and he laughed. His reasoning for setting such a high goal was simple: even if he didn’t make the thirty-one stories in thirty-one days, he’d still end up with twenty or twenty-five stories…and twenty stories would still be lots better than then infinitely more “attainable” goal of a single short story each week.
In the end, he made the goal and almost all the short stories have been published.
I share that same philosophy with my clients who worry about false starts. In a nutshell: who cares!
If you get a copy of Finding This Day’s Joy, and you fill up a week’s worth of pages, but the next week, you get busy and end up skipping a few days, or you’re out of town for the weekend…who cares?
During a two week span of 14 days, if you manage to fill in only 10 pages, that’s still 10 days of joy.
Ten days you’ve recorded good thoughts on paper!
Are you going to beat yourself up for what you didn’t do? Or are you going to pat yourself on the back for what you did do?
On 10 totally irreplaceable days, days that are gone for forever…You. Found. Joy.
Your overall trajectory is JOY!
Why wouldn’t you want to get going?
When it comes to getting started there’s no time like the present.