I only have 2 goals this year, be healthier and be happier. I talked about the health side here. Today is all about being happier. This goal has been much harder to define, much harder to come up with a list of concrete steps.
It is not like I have been completely miserable lately. I think much of my restlessness and discontent is “the change”. Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if all my feelings and physical woes are being driven by peri-menopause. Hormones going haywire, living in such a hot climate (which is not my first choice) and still figuring out how to be a stay at home mom now that my child is in school all day. Full blown menopause can’t come soon enough, but even though I am 51 I am not even in the twelve month count down yet. I tell myself to be patient but I am so ready for the hormones to settle, the weight gain to abate, to move into the next phase of my life with renewed energy and focus.
For two weeks I tried to come up with a word that would summarize my goals for this year to no avail. And then last week (in the shower) it hit me: “UNHURRIED”. I am happiest when I can ignore the clock, when I am not rushing to get things done or be somewhere. I like being able to focus on a task, any task and not have to worry about time. This insight has been huge and I suspect will be very helpful in my quest to be happier. And maybe it will help with being patient for menopause.
“Unhurried” applies to both my goals. I am not looking for quick fixes but permanent changes that I expect to take some time, maybe even the whole year.
Here are some other ideas that I am hoping will be helpful. As the year goes along I am sure I will learn new things about myself and tweak as necessary.
- I need to listen to myself more. Pay attention to my needs. Acknowledge them even if I can’t do anything about them right away. I need to spend more time doing what I want to do, whatever that may be. Taking photos, coloring, taking a nap, skipping the laundry and going for a hike. Not always doing what is easiest but doing something that fills a need.
- Embrace my introvertedness. Or at least accepting it without guilt. It feels odd to admit my favorite days are when I am home alone and have a balance of housework and time for myself. I like my solitude. I like my free time. I like being ‘unhurried’!
- Of course I will keep the house clean and do laundry and cook dinner but I won’t sweat it if something doesn’t get done right away or if I decide to do yoga before dinner prep. I am going to be more flexible in my routine. Try and let go of that “all the work needs to be done before play” mentality because, let’s face it, the work is never all done.
- Get outside more. I love taking walks and hikes and being out in nature. I love bodies of water, the sound of a rapidly moving stream, the sun glinting off a lake. Trees. I will forever be baffled about why people think the desert southwest is a great place to get outdoors. Stickery bushes, blazing sun, rattlesnakes. I’ll take a slow walk around the neighborhood in gently falling snow any day. But I have made choices and I need to find the best way to live with them. It is time to begin exploring the area more fully. I am sure I will be able to find hidden pockets of wonderful nature.
- Less time on the computer. Last fall I took a break from blogging and I was happier. So I really had to think about doing the blog at all. Right now the plan is two posts a week (The week in review and Photo Friday) and a monthly summary post for my be healthier goal. And if that is too much I can always go to one post a week alternating between Photo Friday and The Week in Review. We’ll see.
I am not sure how well I explained my be happier aspiration. The bottom line? I believe listening to my own needs and acting on them is going to wrought the changes I need. Oh yeah, and reaching full blown menopause. Time will tell.
“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson