Measure the Magic

Lately I’ve been trying to fit my life into a list, and the measure of my success is directly related to how many items I’ve checked off at the end of the day. The list, by the way, never grows smaller because for every item I cross off, several more are waiting to be added. Don’t get me wrong, being productive is satisfying in a “job-well-done-good-going” sort of way. But something’s been missing.

You need a little magic

Last July I posted a blog, Motivation and Magic, about my morning ritual of reading through my inspiration notebook. Unfortunately, it’s been months since I opened that notebook. Publishing my first book caused me to morph from laid back to list lady. Now I juggle multiple to do lists—writing, promotion, social media, marketing, force-feeding myself new information, and keeping up with my email and FB friends.

Today I’m measuring the magic instead of the productivity, and so far it’s been, well, magical.

In my gym workout this morning, we’d completed fifty sweaty minutes of exercises when the coach sent us to the parking lot to do front lunges and mummy kicks. We were dragging, but two of the women faced each other and clapped hands after each lunge, making it a partner workout. We all laughed and picked up the pace. I looked at the blue sky, and back at the women of all ages and sizes enjoying the moment. As we headed out to jobs, kids, or other plans for the day, no one grumbled about getting another workout under our belts; we commented on the fresh air, the great day. We were all feeling the magic.

Wait, there’s more magic to come

My routine after the gym is to sit at my laptop and work on my book until noon, but today I set up my ironing board near the back sliding door, lit a pineapple and sage candle and ironed as a cool breeze moved across my arms. By the time I finished, I’d mentally written a chapter that had eluded me for days.

For the rest of the week I’m going to lose the lists, “measure the magic” and see how that plays out. Do you measure your days? What’s your process?

I recommend reading Brain Pickings The Art of Looking: How to Live with Presence, Break the Tyranny of Productivity, and Learn to See Our Everyday Wonderland by Maria Popova

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8 thoughts on “Measure the Magic

  1. Good blog, Linda! After my debut novel was published, I had no idea of the number of “to do” things that were not yet done related to marketing, speaking tours and publicity. Going to my desk in the morning became “work”. I began to feel guilty if I wasn’t doing something to promote my book, work on my website, my blog, my FB posts. It took months (and a long one-month vacation) to get past the compulsion to be constantly focused on “self promotion”. Finally, after a year, I am able to balance other writing, marketing and, what I call “normal living” back into my life. The joy is in writing, and I did not want to lose that. It’s a good balance now, and I’m back to enjoying other author’s books (FOCUSED ON MURDER)!

    • Thanks, Sherry! You’re so right, there’s a neverending cycle. I like connecting with new people and reading blogs and newsletters and all of it. That’s the issue, not enough hours in a day to digest it all. I’m reading your Dordogne Deception now!

  2. Great post. Wonderful way to start the day! I’m not too sure about the ironing… perhaps the candle did the trick! I also struggle sometimes with making (and following) to do lists, and playing it by ear… decisions, decisions… but you made a good decision today!

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