Baby Steps and Sprints: Mindful Monday for #JusJoJan Day 11

Welcome to Day Ten of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill. 

Today’s prompt, “effortless” comes to us courtesy of Dan Antion at No Facilities.

I’ve combined prompts today with Silver Threading’s Mindful Monday 

For some strange, or maybe not so strange, reason, I’ve been resisting writing this post all day.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s Monday, and, for me, Monday is the last of four days of intensive blogging, capped off by a Sunday night write-in at a local restaurant, where we alternate between 20 minute sprints and 20 minutes of chatting (more or less). Or that Monday is the beginning of my Accomplices’s weekend (he’s a chef, and works through what most people think of as the weekend).

So, often, on Monday, my mind is ready to just take things easy – answering blog comments and making visits, hanging out with my beloveds, and puttering both around the house and with my writing and blogging.

But, although it’s not effortless, I do have some things I want to say today, and now I’ve got less than three hours in which to say them (and I intended to write character sketches for a short story before midnight, as well…).

As some of you may remember, I’ve decided to join Silver Threading in her Healthy Living  quest. I’m not as structured as she is (hence the name Lovely Chaos, which sums up my nature and my life very well), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have health and fitness goals in mind, or that I’m not willing to exert myself to achieve them (exert, yes; deprive, no. I don’t believe in deprivation, because it tends to set up a dynamic focused on that which is being denied, and that can have a nasty backlash that explains, in part, why most diets ultimately fail).

I’m still working out what my overall goals are, and this is something I want to do in an organic way. I’m perimenopausal, and losing weight is less a simple matter than it might have been a few years back, or will be a few years hence…and I know that my personal goals have more to do with how I feel in my body than what a scale or the size listed on the tags of my clothes. I’m looking for a deeper, more sustainable shift – a paradigm shift. 

I don’t think language is particularly useful at this point, to express what I’m seeking within myself; but I can use it to share some of what I’m doing to move closer to that point where the changes have become effortless and as natural as drawing breath, or journaling in the mornings, or coming to my laptop to write, or living peacefully – all things that were, at some point, not at all natural to me.

I’m a huge believer in baby steps and sprints – those brief but intense times of concentration. I use the timer on my phone more than any other feature, by a large margin (I’m not much into calling or texting, and the Internet sucks the battery quickly; I’d rather use my laptop and/or Kindle, unless they aren’t an option). My family laughs, because I’ll tuck the phone into my bra with the timer set for a predetermined but variable amount of time (seriously, they should make pockets in bras to hold phones!). And then I’ll whizz around, either focused on something specific, or just doing whatever hometending duties catch my attention, until it chimes (my daughter didn’t like the default beep, so we went through all the options, and this chime with birdsong was the gentle, pretty winner).

Then I settle back in at the keyboard, and write until the timer sends me off on another sprint.

It might seem silly, but writing is a sedentary kind of occupation. In general, I get up and move around briskly several times an hour, which oxygenates my blood, gives me a low-impact workout, and stirs up the ideas in my brain.

Better yet, it’s reasonably effortless, now that I’ve adjusted, and it turns those once-dreaded household tasks into something of a game (you’d be surprised how many clothes I can fold in 1:11 flat!). It also focuses my writing time, because I know that timer is going to chime, and I’ll be getting up.

All those hoppings-up, sprintings-around, and settlings-in add up to more activity by far than I used to get throughout the course of a day – and, as a bonus, our home is cleaner, too. It’s not effortless, but there’s a certain flow to it, so that, more and more, I move through my cleaning and writing cycles with less need for setting a specific intention to do so.

Who knows? Maybe someday, I won’t need the timer, either! =)

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then I’m several steps in, now, and gaining ground…and I leave you with a question for your consideration:

What little changes can you make, or have you made, to create a life more in keeping with your vision?

That’s it for me..find more jottings right here!

Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, California, fall 1997. How’d we climb it? Step by step by step…


  1. I love your chaos! That is what makes you so enjoyable and different. I always try to tell everyone that my journey is mine, and yours is yours. If we can meet in the middle and be there to encourage each other that is the true “gain.” We unknowingly may have helped someone through a rough patch. This whole thing must be done your way. My journey is weight loss and exercise. For some, it is eating more veggies. 😀 No matter what your goals, just the fact that this is in your mind and you want to undertake a healthy living lifestyle is a great goal. I love how you write in sprints. I too, get tiny periods of brilliance! Always do what is right for you! We are all right here, cheering you on! ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Exactly! Each of us is unique – even with the same goal it’s a different person and a different set of circumstances.

      I’m rather fond of that Vulcan expression – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

      Writing and hometending sprints have had a visible effect upon my home, and my catalogue of drafted projects…which leads to another goal for my 2016 – learning to revise efficiently, and with something that might one day be considered alacrity! I can do it for blogposts; now I want to be able to do it for Everything Else, too!

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