Your non-negotiables

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I read a memoir once about a high-level executive who lost her job, sending her into a downward spiral. Her recovery involved a lot of therapy and soul searching from which she learned a great deal about herself. As she went through the process of putting herself back together, she developed a list of things she needed to do on a daily basis to support not just being whole that day but stronger than before going forward. One thing on the list really stood out to me:
  • I will immerse myself in water every single day
While I have experienced many, many occasions in which I have gone into the shower emotionally bankrupt and emerged like I’d been handed a million dollars, I’d never seen total immersion make it on one of those standard lists of things we need to do every day to keep it together and function well. However, since I’d had the million dollar shower experience many, many times, it resonated with me enough to formalize this practice into my own daily functionality plan. I have to say, since reading that memoir a decade ago, many has been the hectic weekend day when I have calculated what else I might do with that 15 minutes, but in this one, possibly rare, instance of wisdom, I have maintained a near absolute position on not leaving an easy million on the table unclaimed. And then when I have seriously toyed with the idea of making an exception just this once because it probably won’t matter all that much? I have always emerged from the shower once again blown away by what even 2 tiny minutes under a stream of water can do, saying, “Man, that was close.”
You might think I’m advocating for mandatory daily showers, but plenty of clean, well-adjusted and happy people don’t take a daily shower, so that’s not it. It’s that there are probably totally individual, possibly quirky things we each should be doing every single day to support our  grip on the world and we should ardently protect these things as being non-negotiable.
That being said, of course I want to know yours. I want to know two things, actually*: the one, most important thing you can do on a daily basis to support functioning and feeling well and the one most individual, possibly quirky thing you do to feel and function well, whether you actually do either of these on a daily basis or not.
I’ll share the results next week because, who knows, someone might find their million dollar non-negotiable on this list.