The Importance of Daily Rhythms
“Daily rhythms cut off the tyranny of the urgent.”
I first heard these words on a podcast about life’s stages and seasons. The speakers were describing the importance of living a life in constant pursuit of calling and meaning. They came to the conclusion that in order to live good lives that are not thrown around by ever-changing circumstances, we need order and stability in the areas of our lives we can control.
Since graduating in May, I’ve felt tossed around more than a few times. I know what it is to let circumstances dictate the kind of friend I’ll be and the kind of day I’ll have. Things that feel urgent constantly rise up and demand my attention, from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. For the past few months, nearly every day has looked different, and I hid behind my jobs to excuse myself from the hard work of discipline.
Because really, that’s what I was lacking. Discipline. Rhythms.
Discipline isn’t something I used to shy away from. I thrive on routines and lists and making plans. And the truth is, I knew what I needed to do, but what I needed to do seemed hard. And after letting life throw me around for a little while, I started to feel too tired to care.
But eventually, I remembered the truth: that though I can’t control everything, I can control a few things, little things. I began to take back my daily rhythms, the things I do when I wake up in the morning. I choose not to watch Netflix until I fall asleep, and read instead. I make healthy lunches and drink enough water throughout the day. I reach out to people who support me, instead of trying to do everything on my own. I’m learning and relearning how to live a stable life, even on uncertain days.
Urgency still threatens to be a tyrant in my life, and some days, it wins. Some days I am thrown around a little bit; I’ll probably always have a few bruises left over from my fights with circumstance. But the simplest of choices have started making the biggest differences in my days. They keep me grounded and sane on days when everything seems uncertain.
I spent a long time believing that by fighting change I could keep things the same, but all I did was rebel against processes of growth in my life. I’m learning now that these processes are hard and beautiful, that instead of fighting them I need to prepare for them. To look long and hard at my daily choices and rhythms, the things that earn my attention and energy. And to do what I can to create a life that cultivates growth instead of fighting it.
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