I have this habit of making things more complicated than they need to be. I could give you countless examples, some much more personal than others, but I will use this one: I make the process of selecting a new journal almost torturous. To begin, I’m picky. The paper can’t be too slippery because then the pen moves too freely and my writing becomes illegible. It can’t be too heavy because I often carry it along with me in my purse. It can’t be too large for the reasoning just stated. It needs to be easy to write in, which usually rules out anything with too stiff a spine.
Mid-week last week, I wrote the last entry in my current journal. Usually I’ve got the next book lined up and ready to go, but not this time. I took a sip of my coffee, pushed back from my desk and took my completed journal upstairs where I set it in the plastic bin along with the others before it. Back at my desk, the fact that I had nothing to say didn’t stop me from feeling strange that I had nothing to write in next.
I tried to ignore the feeling, but it was stubborn. And at 2:50pm I decided I had just enough time to run to the store to pick one up before picking up my son from school.
I chose the grocery store because I knew my choices would be limited. I knew I couldn’t over-complicate the process. I knew I could take the first steps of breaking a habit that has taken over my adult life.
There’s a lot I can’t control in life, that I can’t change, but this… saying no to my own neurosis… this I can control. This I can change. And as small as it may seem to be, walking down that grocery aisle and selecting a journal in the span of five seconds feels like the beginning of something pretty great.
And it cost only $2.14.