Zen Calendar


My wife and kids bought me a “Zen A Day” calendar for Christmas. The kind with a different phrase every day.

I’m sure you’ve been to The Calendar Store at Christmas time and dismissed the rack of similar calendars. I know I have.

There are ones with trivia, ones with cats, ones with movie details based on genre, one with franchise details, all marketed to give you something to think about first thing in the morning.

My morning ritual involves tearing off the previous day’s message, pouring steaming (not boiling) water into a French press, scooping four heaping tablespoons of Cardinal Press Espresso roast (or whatever I got Omar or Ashley to grind for me the week before), grasping the carafe gently and using my thumbs to slowly and gently press the plunger down to begin the five minute and thirty second brewing process. While I wait for the gentle wind chime sound from my phone’s timer to tell me time is up, I muse over the “Zen” phrase for the day.

I think little rituals like this are important. It’s a comforting signpost that show my day is progressing. Sure, my day might go to hell within the thirty seconds after my first sip and it will be stone cold by the time I get around to finish it, but it started with the coffee. And, in idle moments through the inevitable chaos of the day, I can take time and close my eyes to remind me of my Zen.

If a particular phrase doesn’t strike a chord with me, the next morning it will gently drift down into the garbage bin under my desk. If I like the phrase for the day, I will take a snapshot of it and save it in my ‘Motivational Images’ folder on Google Drive.

Like this one here.

It reminds me of a scene from one of my favourite, non-Star Wars movie, “Castaway”, where Tom Hanks tells how he knew on that deserted island, no matter what,  tomorrow morning the sun will rise. He’s telling us that tomorrow is another day for us to rise to the challenge, the same way the sun climbs the sky. This phrase reminds me that it’s up to me what to do with the day, and no one else. When I wake up, it’s a choice to get things done or do nothing or find something in between.

Yes, it sounds corny, but it’s true. And what is corny sometimes contains a kernel of truth (see what I did there?).

So, what are you going to do with today’s light?

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