I was shuffling through some old magazines when my eyes met with an old Elle Decoration magazine. The title of the cover story was "42 New ways with flowers".
42? I knew that number was familiar. If you’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, you’ll recall that 42 is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. I re-read the title. "42 New..." It was the beginning of December, less than a month from the start of the New Year. So what was I going to do that was new? What would I change? The answer: Nothing really. Resolutions never really worked for me. The things we do daily and the routines we get into never really change, so long as we're comfortable with them. However, developing and learning equal progress. So, I thought of the things we do daily and the hidden lessons in seemingly meaningless tasks. This is what I came up with. The tasks are not specifically ordered although they are divided into three parts of the day.
1. Wake up – There’s no use sleeping through life. Live.
2. Open your eyes – Keep alive. See what’s in front of you.
3. Put on your shoes – Prepare yourself. It’s going to be a long day, I mean, year. You’ll need tough soles.
4. Walk – Take the first steps. Use those legs. Go for strolls. Dare to explore.
5. Brush your teeth – Nobody likes a bad mouth. If you have nothing good or thoughtful to say then there’s no reason to spread a bad odour.
6. Take out the trash – Never start the day with yesterday’s rubbish. Be clean and recycle. Find new uses for old “junk” or just get rid of it.
7. Feed the pets – Never neglect your responsibilities.
8. Make your bed – Tidy up after yourself. Nobody else will. Well, not unless you pay them.
9. Have a fresh cup of tea/coffee/drink of your choice – Intoxicate yourself with life and happy moments. Enjoy.
10. Buy bread at the bakery, milk at the dairy and vegetables at the farmer’s market –Keep things simple and don’t neglect the basics. Support local producers.
11. Water the plants – Water is life. Nature is our foundation. Stay natural and true to yourself.
12. Take a shower – Freshen up and prepare to take on the world.
13. Get dressed – Look the part. Look happy and good. Fake it until you make it.
14. Brush your hair – Each new grey hair is a sign of wisdom. Keep learning.
15. Have breakfast/Cook up a plan – Make goals and plan ahead.
16. Get to work! Plans don’t realise themselves.
17. Drive – Without it, where are you going? Know when to brake and accelerate.
18. Take the easiest, shortest and quickest route. If it’s close enough, walk or take the bus. Save money and interact with others.
19. Smile – You look better that way and you make others feel better around you.
20. Laugh – It feels good and it exercises the stomach muscles.
21. Sing – Why else do you have such a lovely voice?
22. Make new friends. Shake hands with Westerners. Bow to Asians. Accept other cultures and be open to everyone.
23. Make a call – Tell somebody you haven’t seen in a while that you love them. It’s always a refreshing reminder.
24. Pay the bills – Pay your dues.
25. Go shopping – Stock up on Earth supplies. Reward yourself from time to time but don’t overindulge.
26. Visit friends or family – Don’t sever the ties you need the most.
27. Hug – You need it.
28. Kiss – Simply because it feels good.
29. Keep walking no matter what. Remember when you woke up this morning and took those first steps. Allow yourself to stumble now and again. Tripping over your own feet is okay. Just get back up again.
30. Switch on the lights – Keep searching for new ways to enlighten yourself.
31. Do the washing – There’s no need to air your dirty laundry.
32. Clear and dust the surfaces. Remove your own dust. Discover the true self that lies underneath.
33. Make a note. Use those yellow Post-Its. “If you think it, ink it”, else you’ll forget.
34. Read – Literacy shouldn’t be wasted on the literate. Learn.
35. Write – Even when you think you have nothing to say, you have something to say.
36. Listen to the music and dance – Move your body. Exercise.
37. Eat. Enjoy the food when your outcome is achieved.
38. Wash the dishes – Show some appreciation to the cook.
39. Watch a movie – Remember your movie. Put on a show. Rewind to learn. Fast-forward to remember the plot.
40. Take a bath – Enjoy some alone time to reflect and cleanse.
41. Say your prayers/meditate – Congratulations! You just survived another day. Be grateful.
42. Switch off the lights. Lie down and go to sleep. Rest well and rejuvenate. Don’t be afraid of the dark. The light always comes.
Of course not every day will be the same and your days will differ from mine. We can nevertheless learn from every little thing. Time is our most important commodity. We have a choice of how to spend our days, which eventually results in the way our lives are spent. Choose wisely. Have a good day, week, month, year and life!