Something about being up in the sky in a metal tube of death (sort of always my thought, but I learned that it’s what pilots call them too!) makes me want to write. I’ve often thought it was because I am literally suspended between my life and whatever adventure or destination I’m experiencing. Somehow, I get perspective that I don’t quite get on the ground.
All that said, and my sudden diversion to Seattle and interviewing over, I can get back to the business of making 2019, well… more full of the good parts of 2018. (I know, I could say “the best year yet” “better than 2018” “everything 2018 wasn’t” etc… and there is something to be said for positive thoughts, self-talk, affirmations and all… but there is also something to be said for setting yourself up for failure, or lying to yourself.) Truth is, I can only see what 2018 was in the rearview mirror… and the same will be true of 2019. But something concrete that I can do is take the parts that worked last year, made me happy, gave me energy, or just plain felt good and make the space and the opportunity to have more of these things this year.
So, what am I doing to facilitate more of these things in my life? On the scale of the truly simple, I renewed my museum membership. I have a dual membership so I can always invite someone to go with me… I have company, get to spend time with a friend, do something nice for someone, and share the discovery of new exhibits and art… a win-win, feel-good situation all the way around. In the last year this was one of my favorite things. I saw the Big Bambu, Treasures of India, Michelangelo works, and Industrial design works as well. Not only did I get all of the aforementioned benefits, but it also gave me the opportunity to learn, spark creativity, and inspire new ideas. Yes, the museum membership and trips are keepers. I’m even contemplating other museum memberships to broaden the experience.
Related to that and again, in the vein of spending quality time with friends/being social… I’ve already started planning trips to the museum with friends. So, we are getting them in the books and marking off the space for them. Likewise, making plans for concerts. Right now, this is a little bit more abstract than concrete because many shows (except for the big tours) for the year haven’t even been announced yet. But I and “we” are making our wish lists at least for the next few months as current time and financial limits allow. In this same vein, when the opportunity to buy pre-sale Eddie Izzard tickets came up, I jumped at them! Now I know that at least once this year I will be laughing myself silly for an evening! But not everything fun or social requires spending money…
So, that’s the “fun stuff” … what about the everyday kind of stuff? How will I improve the day-to-day goings on? Well, for me, I know that when I work out and take care of myself I physically feel better. I know that the stressful stuff bothers me less, I sleep better, feel more hopeful in general, and that I am taking pro-active steps to really care for myself. (Self-care isn’t just indulging in massages or lazy days on the couch eating bon-bons and watching Netflix.) And when I know that I can really carefor myself, I stay more in touch with my intuition about what is best for me and the less overwhelmed I tend to get about life, or change, or much of anything really. It’s that, “if I can swim a mile and a half in 59-degree water then taking to these people about this job (project, or whatever) is nothing!” thing… and it serves me well. In 2019 I have decided to look into some new types of workouts… just for fun, to stir things up, keep it from getting dull, and for the purely learning/exploration of it all. Some of the things I am thinking about are dance, martial arts, and boxing, for starters. I have some experience with all of them and have enjoyed these in the past, but it’s been a while so maybe it’s time again. I’m also open to other new ideas, so if you have some please drop them in the comments or send me an email!
This all segues into one of my biggest values and favorite things to get more of this year… I love creating and surprising myself along the way. This is all about that learning and exploring thing too. It is one of the things I value most in life… and I am happy to say that I live a life in line with that. But of course, there’s always more to learn, see, and do. Some of the directions on-deck for this year are spending more time doing my videos/photography, writing, building new things (like furniture and maybe a shed), new recipes are always fun, new ways of thinking about and doing work, and I really want to have some more fun and learn new skills on the trapeze.
And finally, getting down to the very practical of it all… I know that in 2018, those periods where I wrote in a gratitude journal at night and did some form of meditation both in the morning and at night… I had better days, felt more energized, had more focus, and generally just enjoyed life more. These are incredibly simple things to do… and no, I don’t want to hear about all of the reasons why-not, or it’s too hard, etc.… none of them need to take more than five minutes (if that). And if you can’t give yourself five minutes to have a better day, then you have a lot of other work to do first. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but being able to do simple things to improve the quality of your own life is the same as being able to put on your own oxygen mask first, before assisting others in a plane crash… you passing out is going to leave completely incapable of helping anyone that you love. Yes, I am saying it… love yourself first! Because you are indeed worth it!
And that is my plan for this year… love myself by giving myself those simple things that bring me joy. The interesting thing that I realized in the process of figuring this out is that there really are very few things on the list, and many of them check several of the boxes at once. Even more interesting is how all of these things seem to dovetail together around common themes that are directly in line with my highest values. (If you don’t know what yours are, I’ll share an exercise on how to find out very soon!) How has your 2019 been so far? We’re just about a month in, so it’s still not too late to figure out what you want more of this year, and how you’re going to make sure you get it. Tell me some of your realizations, ideas, and plans in the comments.