On my birthday I started a 365 day photo project. On Feb. 5th (the very next day), I did not take a picture before midnight! This was devastating to me. I had been so frustrated with myself for not starting the project on the 1st of January. Then I thought to capture a year in the life of my baby girl, so I planned to start on her birthday (that didn't work out either). Finally I decided to start on my birthday.
In the days leading up to it, I anticipated the process, made sure the camera was ready, joyfully started the project on the forth. Then sadly scrambled for an out when I awoke in the early morning hours of the 6th after a late nap having not taken a picture on the 5th. This lapse caused me great inner turmoil. I talked with my husband, theorized that since I hadn't gone to bed for the evening, then technically it was still the same day for me (does the time stamp on a photo really matter that much?). He looked at me and said, "why don't you just start over? Whenever you miss a day just start over and eventually you'll make it a whole year."
My mind was officially blown. Why hadn't I even considered the possibility of starting over? I had invested so much energy into planning a perfect project, that I forgot the real goal, to spend a year doing something that I enjoy doing everyday.
I'm trying to carry that lesson forward. There are so many areas in my life where permitting myself to just start anew, without judgement, without condemnation, in simple pursuit of a goal I set for myself may mean all the difference. Since the 6th, I've had to restart once more, this time while disappointing, I was able to dust myself off and hop back on the horse much easier. As I try to live a healthier life, exercise more regularly, progress with immigration related stuff, actually implement some of my community oriented goals I give myself permission to start over, start again when necessary without staying weighed down by regret, instead turning my attention toward a renewed commitment to achieve my goals.