one small adjustment

So, while watching the Sing-Off a couple weeks ago, I saw a trailer for the new Reese Witherspoon movie, How Do You Know. In the clip, Paul Rudd’s character says, “We’re all just one small adjustment away from making  our lives work.” 

We’re all just one small adjustment from making our lives work. 

I love that thought.  Not just because it’s pithy and cute, but because it’s true.  It is in fact the concept that guides Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.  Make one small adjustment every day for a year, and you achieve more self-acceptance than you could have ever imagined.  And Beautiful You is nothing special, it just voices what you already know to be true in a lot of cases.  That is the thing.  We so often know what the adjustment we need to make is.  We just don’t do it.  We’re stuck in our inertia.  Inertia of our creation, often times.  

And so, since I’ve heard that thought, I’ve been thinking about my small adjustment.   

The thing is I think I have several small adjustments to make in order to make my life work the way that I envision it, but I want 2011 to be the year where I get all those adjustments figured out and made.  I know that one adjustment I want to make is related to health.  What I’ve realized in the last three months of seeing my dad grapple with his health is that the best possible situation you can put yourself in is to be at your personal healthiest– and what healthy looks like for me is not necessarily the same as what healthy looks like for you– when life hands you a curveball. My dad was and so he was able to deal with a few harrowing health crisis- two that almost killed him and another that almost left him incapacitated- in the span of two months.  I want to face my life and the curveballs I am given with the most personal, emotional, and physical strength and grace that I can muster.  And some of the adjustments I want to make are about being even more conscientious about getting myself there which involves sleeping enough, eating the right things, moving more, being still, reflecting.  I also want to use my voice in ways that are more in tune with the way I want to be in the world.  And I need to pay some attention and do some ordering and focusing in my professional world.  Those are the notions that will order my adjustments and now I need to think through what’s actionable about those notions so that I can put them into place in the new year and beyond so that it is movement and not inertia that is guiding me.   

What do you think?  Are you small one adjustment away from making your life work?  What’s your small (or not) adjustment?

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3 responses to “one small adjustment”

  1. Maggie

    Good topic!

    Oh, so many large and small adjustments to make! I am facing down the double-barrel of major external change – moving away from England and the transition that will bring; moving (possibly) to Michigan, to a very depressed area and into the house my husband grew up in, with its forty years of ghosts; and working on starting a family (with health issues to tackle first, including minor-ish surgery). AND the transition of my husband into either reserves or retirement, and us both (maybe) into graduate school! Whew!

    So I think the most important adjustment I can make in all of this is to learn to roll with the punches a little better, and as part of that learning process to maybe look into treatment for anxiety and change-related depression. You know – because there’s so much happening at once, and the biggest “small” adjustment I can make is to acknowledge that I can’t do it on my own.

  2. Discipline Means Freedom | Rosie Molinary

    […] Fast forward to Tuesday when I had breakfast with a dear friend who was in town for just a couple days.  We squeezed in the visit right before she got back on the road.  We were talking about the things that were to come in the new year, and I shared with her that it was time for me to settle back into my vocation, to do the work I was meant to do more deliberately and regularly.  For years, for example, I have taught community writing classes that I just love.  I hadn’t this year.  And there are other things that I used to do regularly- for me- that I just hadn’t brought myself to do lately.  And it wasn’t until I was talking to Erin that it dawned on me why that was.  My scheduleable time is limited to when Happy is at preschool.  I chair a non-profit, teach a women’s studies class, freelance write for magazines, author and promote books, guest speak all while Happy is at preschool, napping, or sleeping.  And I have resisted adding anything else to the fray, like teaching these community classes, because there is a physical, visceral reaction I get when I see my calendar booked back to back to back.  Mothering so tethers me to a calendar, to responsibilities, to a regimen, that I am reluctant to add any more of that to the fray.  But it is more than that, too.  I’ve also been reluctant to do those things that I used to just for myself- to just write for writing’s sake, to just paint for painting sake because, I imagine, those things need time made for them and I am reluctant to add the structure needed to create that time and to add more things that need to get done to my list.  My list.  My never ending list that BF says exhausts him by just looking at it.  The truth has been that I have such little unscheduled time left that I have been reluctant to concretely schedule things like teaching community classes or creating for creativity’s purpose during those preschool hours because every other non-preschool hour is taken.  I am scared to confine, to schedule, to commit any more because I feel so confined, so scheduled, and committed.  And, yet, am I living the life I thought I’d be living at this point?  Not entirely.  And part of it is that some of what I thought I’d be doing needs to be thrown out the window.  But the other part of it is that I just need to claim what I want, even if it means it gets scheduled.  Adding back in things that I love, that fill my well, and allow me to fill the wells of others would be good, would be life-affirming, would be exactly what I need at this point.  These, I believe, are those small adjustments that I need to make in order to make my life work.  […]

  3. You’re your problem, but… | Rosie Molinary

    […] even seen like the movie How Do You Know where Paul Rudd’s character insightfully says, “we’re all just one small adjustment from making our lives work.”   I’ve always been this way.  I’m the same way with lines from a book or lyrics in a […]

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