the Opportunity Clock
I don’t know about you but I’ve been highly motivated since the calendar year hopped a digit. I said this approximately one year ago in a post called “Driving Miss Makie” that not only is it a new year in the astrological sense but I also recently celebrated the anniversary of my birth. It’s a day to express my gratitude to my parents and to God for bringing me into this world (I’m not sure if I did the first part appropriately or not – so Mom, Dad – thank you!) a day to eat pancakes (my favorite meal on earth) made by my amazing sister, Brianna (I love you!) a day to play with her beautiful children, and a day to contemplate my existence in a more profound and perhaps more microscopic way. Sometimes this microscopic contemplation can be a little judgmental, i.e. “you’re how old and you haven’t…?” had children, earned a masters, published a book, starred on a television series, purchased a home, blah blah blah blah BLAH! I entertain these thoughts for a brief ten seconds and then I’m done. That’s an eternity with those types of thoughts which are more like noises – very LOUD noises. I like quiet, peaceful things so I try to be nice to myself. You should too if you start feeling like it’s too loud in there, meaning your inside world (your head, your heart, your self.) I love the book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” One lesson we learned in Kindegarten is to be nice to others. So…be nice to yourself too!
In case you are wondering I’ll state now that I turned twenty nine for the very first time. I haven’t decided if next year I’ll be thirty or just twenty nine for the second time. [Ha!]
With all of my “new year” motivation I decided it would be great to start getting up early and dedicating my mornings to the things that matter most. That way the rest of my day can run away with me on occasion with no detriment to my inner most needs and wishes for my life.
I’ll forever remember this lesson I learned in Primary (Sunday School) years ago. The teacher took out this big jar and showed the class all of these wonderful things to fill it with. There were marbles, sand and great big rocks. I’m sure you know where I’m going, but if not hold on! There are two ways you can attempt to fill the jar. The first ‘recipe’ will not allow all of the ingredients to fit into the jar, the second will. The lesson is used to illustrate that you can fit much of what you desire to accomplish into your life if you take care of the big things or the important things first. For example, if you place the large rocks into the jar first, followed by the medium sized marbles which fall into the cracks and small places between the rocks, followed last by the tiny specs of sand that fill up the even smaller spaces – you’ll fill that jar with no problem! Try to do it in reverse and you’ll never get those large rocks into the jar or those important things that matter most into your day.
So I’m making a commitment to the big, beautiful rocks that ground me, give my life meaning and center my every move. To do this I’ve decided I need to start my day a wee bit earlier. I usually have no problem getting up early but when it’s cold and dark – woah boy! Big problems! I told Jason last week that I was setting my phone alarm for a time significantly earlier than our standard alarm clock. “Don’t worry,” I said, “I’m excited to get up in the morning. There’s a lot I want to do.”
I must confess I didn’t get up the next morning. To which Jason teased, “your opportunity clock didn’t work so well!” (Thanks Jay for the support – I really appreciate it.) Actually I do. He’s a big Zig Ziglar fan. (Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker who coined the phrase “opportunity clock.”) I like that analogy; each new day is an opportunity. Even if we don’t get up earlier it’s still just that.
So what are those big beautiful grounding rocks in your life? Make sure you give yourself the ‘opportunity’ to attend to those things and place them in your jar first. Whether that means setting the clock 20 minutes or 40 minutes earlier (maybe even an hour – to which I say “woah boy!” ) or if it means rearranging your schedule to make sure you do those things first rather than coming to the close of your day with little energy left for those things that were top of your mind but last on your list. Make it first. If you do – you’ll be sure to fit the rest into your day (because I’m guessing the rest is non-negotiable – things that have to be done.)
I’m going to try this and report back! Let me know how it goes for you and remember, be kind to yourself – and of course, be kind to others
- If you don’t like the sound of your abrupt and annoying alarm clock, try to find a peaceful ringer on your cell phone and use that as an alarm. Or, you can add this to your wish list (it’s been on mine for a while) – a zen alarm clock! There’s a company in Colorado that makes alarm clocks out of beautiful wood that are designed to wake you up gradually. It is so nice and peaceful to fall asleep gradually I imagine it would be the same experience waking up that way. The bell tone or soft gong sounds on timed intervals that gradually shorten together. They are a bit pricey but it sounds like a wonderful way to wake up! Now and Zen time pieces.
- Speaking of sounds, if you like indie folk music Abigail Washburn has some tunes on the banjo you may just love.
- More into indie films than indie folk? Stuck Between Stations stars some ambitious MN talent.