There’s this post on reddit about “no zero days”. I don’t know if it’s anywhere else – maybe it’s a thing. But this post is literally how I live my life.
The concept of no zero days is simple: there are no zero days. If you’re depressed, or anxious, or intimidated by a big project, or shy, or or or…you can get so scared that you don’t start anything at all. Scared you’re going to fail, scared you’re going to start and never finish, scared that the project is too big for one person. Or maybe you’re not scared, you’re just really depressed or anxious and it’s hard to start anything.
…at least, this has been my experience, and apparently the experience of whomever wrote the reddit post. I’ve felt zero days. I’ve felt them in regards to cleaning my house, making artwork, coding a project, going to school or work. I’ve felt them in regards to getting out of bed!
It can be hard to get out of bed, get clean and dressed, eat healthy and enough, go to school, go to work, tidy the house, take care of the litterboxes… It can be hard to do anything, when starting a day or a project means seeing everything that’s laid out waiting.
No zero days means that you don’t have to do everything. You just have to do something.
There used to be days, for me, where getting out of bed was an accomplishment. But it didn’t matter that that was the only thing I did that day – because just getting out of bed made that day not a zero day.
Now, since I’m happier and healthier, my standards are higher, but I still use the concept with almost everything. Don’t feel like cleaning the house? At least make it a no zero day. Don’t feel like socializing? At least make it a no zero day.
(I really should find the post and link it, because this person wrote the most eloquent, inspiring and inspired post about zero days, and I’m just rambling trying to express how much no zero days means to me.)
Of course I use this concept with Robbye too. On days I don’t feel like riding, I longe. If I don’t feel like longeing, I do groundwork. If I don’t feel like doing groundwork, I do an intense groom, or clean out my box, or teach tricks, or whatever. As long as it’s not a zero day.
The no zero day thing is really important to me.
That said, my second goal for 2015 is:
Have zero days.
This is going to take a lot of effort for me; I can already feel anxiety rising from it. But that’s the whole reason I need this goal! I’ve been taking riding way too seriously for the past year. I’m getting too intellectually involved and not having enough fun. I’m expecting way too much from myself and especially from Robbye.
I’m going to try to be okay with days where all we do is walk around with no tack on. We don’t have to work on roundness with no tack on. We don’t have to work on conditioning, we don’t have to work on transitions, and I don’t have to work on my bravery. We don’t have to work on anything. We can just fiddle fart around and enjoy being together. It’s a zero day.