It's a brand new Monday. Which means a new chance to start a new week on the right foot. Many of you know that 5am comes earlier on the first day of the week, and that every day, especially every Monday, begins with a choice. No matter what else is happening in my life, I know I have to make the right choice--to do what needs to be done, when I need to do it, rather I want to or not. And I have just come off of a hard weekend.
Last week my grandmother, my last grandparent, passed away after several weeks in the hospital. She lived a good, full life and we were all expecting the announcement, but the death of a loved one is always a time of reflection, change, and a brief upheaval of the normal, everyday schedule we all call "life." She passed away late Tuesday night, the announcement was made Wednesday morning, and the viewing was scheduled for Friday night in a hard-to-reach part of Colorado.
Of course, that day, Wednesday, I had a final meeting scheduled to close a $4m account, so I didn't even start thinking about arrangements until Thursday morning. I called my three brothers and found out their plans to arrive from different parts of the country--Florida, Georgia, and Washington, DC--to determine where our plans overlapped and I booked a rental house and flight for that very night.
I left work about 7, ate dinner, packed a carry-on bag, and my wife dropped me at the airport about 9pm. Flight left SLC at 10:30, landed in ABQ at midnight, then I met my brother and his wife and we made the three-hour-plus drive to Alamosa, CO. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow about 4am and didn't budge until after 9, a mere 5 hours later. In the flurry of activities and reunions with family I hadn't seen in several years, I went to sleep after midnight again that night. Saturday was a similar schedule, funeral at 10, cemetery at noon--I was a pallbearer--and a long afternoon of potluck lunch, family photos, and some therapeutic storytelling of great family memories. At 1am Sunday morning, I said my goodbyes and with a different brother and his wife, made the 3+ hour drive back to Albuquerque to catch a 6am flight to Salt Lake City.
Needless to say after the three paragraph whirlwind-weekend spelled out above, I felt very...unprepared to face life when my alarm blared at 5am this morning. But, as I've done for nearly 10 months now, I reminded myself that I'm happier when I'm proactively choosing how I'll live my life, and made the herculean effort to haul myself out of bed and into my morning routine.
I don't know how it is for anyone else, but for me, every day is full of the same conversations with myself where I reaffirm my commitments to do more, to work harder, to be better. It gets exhausting. It feels so repetitive. It seems like I'm holding still, but I remind myself that all forward motion can be interpreted as progress and my only goal is to be better than I was yesterday. Which means that every time I'm asked to re-make a decision that I've already made correctly before, I need to make the right one. Every time. Even on Monday.