It was difficult to get out of bed this morning. Lots of reasons. The nausea came back last night. My back hurts. My feet really hurt. Nothing on my schedule. I’m not making a lot of progress on my task list. It was difficult to get out of bed.
But I did. I did not linger. I did not check Facebook. I did not check Twitter. I got out of bed. That is a really good thing.
There is a fine line between freelance writer/author/entrepreneur and unemployable depressive misanthropic recluse and that line is where I live, every day. I don’t have a schedule. I don’t get excited because it is Friday. I don’t get depressed because it is Monday. Every day is the same. It is interesting, living outside the regular, outside the normal. It is a different perspective.
But left on my own, to my own devices, living in my own head, loses its charm after awhile. I need to shake things up or everything slides into a benign entropy. Like my refrigerator, right now. Entropy all over the place in my refrigerator. Or apathy, which is what happens whenever I get in a comfortable chair and good wi-fi.
I am skeptical on the subject of positive psychology. It is tainted with some bad science and lives in too close proximity to prosperity gospel, a subject about which I get very arm wavy, very quickly. Most of the piles and piles of self-help literature I have read come down to the notion of small changes can bring big results and ‘happying’ you way through things. The former is almost Newtonian and I can get behind. The latter is bullshit and makes me want to burn everything down. But I can’t deny neuroscience is coming up with some extraordinary data on the connections between the physical brain and the experiential mind.
I operate now on the idea that tiny wins add up to make big wins. No writer sits down and writes a New York Times best seller. A writer sits down and writes a sentence. And then another sentence and then another, until one day, there are paragraphs and paragraphs make a chapter and a chapter makes a book. Every world-class chef started out peeling potatoes and chopping onions. No one emerged from a year-long depression in a day. It doesn’t happen. Tiny changes, stacked on top of another, turn into big ones.
I have the same brain I went to bed with last night. I woke up with the same set of problems I had yesterday. But this morning, I got out of bed. If you got out of bed this morning, that’s a win, especially if you couldn’t get out of bed yesterday. Tomorrow, maybe you get out of bed and you brush your teeth. That’s two wins. Or maybe today, you don’t want to drink. That’s a win. You didn’t drink today. Whatever your struggle is right now, whatever thing you are trying to learn, to improve, look for the small changes. Start by getting out of bed.