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The Habits of Very Successful People

"there are choices to be made"

Published onNov 26, 2023
The Habits of Very Successful People

Photo by Jessica Lewis creative:

The first thing to go is always sleeping late and befriending
the snooze button, that insidious invitation to cradle the covers

just a little longer. But what if staying in bed isn’t always about
delaying the day’s drudgery so much as soaking in the silence

of the dog’s curls cuddled up to your chin? Sure, that might make the morning
routine a bit more rushed, might make breakfast a feature of the commute

during which I should be meditating, apparently, or setting goals for the day
to set myself up for efficiency. Sometimes, after parking the car, I sit there

for a minute, close my eyes and do some deep breathing to recover the calm
before movement took over. That counts, right? Of course, there isn’t always

time for that pause, and when there isn’t, it could be late morning
before I’ve made a list of too ambitious priorities for the day’s remaining

hours. But that’s a form of positive thinking that checks some box handed
down by the gurus of greatness who graze in the pastures of adulthood.

Reframing has got to be one of those coveted skills, and if it’s not yet,
it should be, dammit! I am prone to relinquishing the priorities, though,

when someone in need lands in my inbox or knocks on my door. How can you be
focused while also building meaningful relationships and staying

Because now, it might be 3 p.m., and that yellow post-it on my desk
has started to glare at me. I’ve handled dozens of emails and pop-up

but no distinct tasks. And, since I have gotten way better at not taking work
home after hours, there are choices to be made. That’s a common pitfall
right there:

playing passive rather than being proactive. I have choices to make,
just as I have made choices all day. They say we make over 35,000 decisions

in a day. I would have guessed maybe 300, but decision-making is not a practice
makes perfect kind of thing. It all just slowly goes downhill until I get home

to those rambunctious curls greeting me at the door. Would getting up
as the alarm sounds really make things better? And when the dog has

living his way too short life—in ten years or so, assuming we both succeed in making it
to the long-end of our life expectancies—will any part of me wish I’d gotten
up earlier?

Genevieve Creedon is a scholar, poet, and essayist. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. Her writing across genres focuses on the wonders and mysteries of earthly life. She has lived in Connecticut, New York, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and most recently, Indiana, and strives to explore the worlds around her with her canine companions. Her work has appeared in About Place, Cider Press Review, Frigg Magazine, Kelp Journal, Narrative Northeast, Plainsongs, Still: the Journal, and Whale Road Review, among others. 

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