The Pinch

Tomorrow is the Day of Darkness. With less than eight hours of light in these parts, the natural animal instinct is to burrow. Hibernate. Cover up, duck down. Create a womblike space, and wait for the water to break…..

Fewer babies are born on December 21 than any other day. It's not that the day is actually shorter, of course; there's just less light.  Suicides peak on the 21st. Depression, anxiety – the narrower window of daylight changes the perspective of everyone.

Consider this, though: on December 21, you have a unique opportunity to evaluate and act. Less daylight? Prioritize your activities. Do only the things that are MOST important (hint: that list doesn't include shopping. IMPORTANT does not equal stuff that you've left until the last minute.) Push everything else to the margins.

Important: protein at every meal.

Not important: A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Important: Train hard. 60 minutes, including your drive to and from the Park.

Not important: finding the perfect wrapping paper.

Important: interacting with the right people.

Not important: Uncle Billy's NogFest 2010.

When attempting to isolate dietary allergies, it's common practice to cut back to the basics: the most hypoallergenic foods available. Eat those only for two weeks. Slowly add more foods back into your diet. Identify friction when it happens. Avoid the foods that cause discord.

December 21st – the Solstice – is the perfect opportunity to apply that same philosophy in a broader sense. Cut out everything but the pure. Strip away the glossy paper. Succeed today? Add more tomorrow, or not. Maintain the core. Practice makes permanent. Let the smaller frame bring your life into sharper focus.

If you can do it today, you can do it tomorrow. If you can do it tomorrow, you can do it forever.

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