I had just licked a glob of peanut butter off a spoon.
Washing it by hand at my kitchen sink, I realized how good it felt to do something right away instead of putting it off until later.
“If not now, when?” is a saying by a Hebrew elder I remembered from Sunday School as I sat down with these thoughts. There was more to it than that, and I’m as certain he was not referring to a spoonful of peanut butter as I am certain he’s not the only person who ever said it – but there it is anyhow, in this context, a few thousand years later.
The New Year is funny, because we all start starting over. I like it a lot … but to be fair, you can start over any day, any hour, any moment.
(Sometimes, when we have a hard day in our family, I like to cook breakfast for dinner, starting over with heaping plates of eggs and bacon, right then and there.)
I’ve walked three miles every day this week. I’ve noticed lots of other walkers and runners and cyclists out there, too, kick-starting their year with a sudden interest in health and wellbeing.
There is power in now.
I bought a bunch of canvas bags for groceries. I ordered three identical baskets to carry clean laundry to every corner of my house, hopeful I might stop letting it pile up on the stairs, making its way up maybe once a week, and sitting another week before perhaps being put away. Perhaps.
I’m cleaning out closets and drawers (and spaces in my heart and in my mind) where clutter has gathered since the last time I made room – quite probably last New Year, when everything felt fresh and full of possibility.
It’s a lot easier to put things off than it is just to do them. There are so many ways we get in our own way every day, holding us back from doing what we might get done by piddling around doing things that won’t ever make a difference to anyone.
It makes a difference in my family when my head and my house are organized. It makes a difference in the world when we walk outside as our best selves, carrying talents and treasures within us and setting them free in the morning light.
There is power in now. Whether you’re quitting the Royal Family or quitting your day job to chase a dream or chase children around, imagine how much you could accomplish if you started right now.
I, for one, will be putting my phone down and making the most of my moments as I endeavor upon this most precious task of parenting while seeking to reach more mamas (and their babies) with my words on this page – and in the books I’ve kept inside my heart and on my desktop since my first baby was born.
I also might put some laundry away.
Hey … if not now, when?