After doing the year-end review that I talked about [Here] instead of the typical resolutions thing, I’m pretty pleased with where I have landed… so far anyway!
I am very pleased to say that as I went through my calendar and the weeks of 2018, even though it felt like such a rough one, I quickly had many more items on my positive, to-do-more list. And even though there was a large variety, I was able to boil them down to six main areas.
- Doing stuff with friends
- Surprising myself
Now obviously, there are a few more details to each of these and how exactly they showed up in my life last year. And even more ideas about how I create the space to have more of them in my life this year! But without creating an article that’s ten pages long, I’ll try to expound on these themes a bit…
Doing stuff with friends
This past year this has meant trips to the museum (several times), concerts, lunches, dinners, road trips, workouts, coffees, movies, etc.. You may not think of this as much of a big deal, or even out of the ordinary… But I am pretty much an introvert. Not of the anti-social, Unabomber type that so many mistakenly imagine an introvert to be. Rather, I prefer quality over quantity. A conversation with an individual or small group of friends over dinner instead of a cocktail party of 50! Too many people drain me… meaningful connection or alone time energizes me.
This is perhaps the biggest area… and it takes a multitude of forms for me. Some of which directly overlap with the other areas mentioned, which makes for an easy two-fer win! This can mean anything from a massage to making (and keeping) my regular doctor (dentist, etc.) appointments to my regular swims, to meditating every morning and flossing every night. It really means taking good care of me… every single day. Not just in the name of a day to flake out on everything, lay on the couch. watching Netflix. and eating ice cream. No, it means the actual care and feeding of me on a regular basis.
Well, I’ve already mentioned the swimming. But when I get in well-rounded workouts (think weight-lifting, yoga, and running) often, I feel better in general. I’m more optimistic, less stressed, have more energy, sleep better, and the list goes on and on. Plus, I can do it with friends, and it’s part of taking care of me… see the double-win here?
We are all trying to un-learn the programming and wrong decisions we made about the world as children. In fact, my decades long striving to free myself from being the most me I can be is why and how this blog came into being. This is where my writing, reading, working with others, NET, and therapy work come in. The more I peel back the layers, the more open I become, and the freer I feel in the world and in my own skin.
Many years ago now, a very dear friend of mine told me that I have a need to create. He was absolutely right, but I wasn’t consciously aware of it until that moment. Since then I’ve kept an eye out and have come to learn that the periods of my life when I feel the most stagnant or stuck is when I haven’t been creating regularly. Luckily, I’ve moved into work that has a regular element of that… not always in a free form or anything, but it is there so I don’t get stagnant as often. But when I am doing photography, video, editing, writing, building something, gardening, fixing something, or even exploring new subjects, this need is satisfied and I feel full, happy, and energized.
I was surprised (ha!) that this made the list on it’s own… but it was too obvious to ignore. Interestingly, this is a bit of a culmination of all the other areas, but somehow different. I am happiest and most excited about my life, and life in general, when I am doing things I’ve never done before, or didn’t know I could. When I am learning, about both me and the world around me. When I am thinking critically about something, or trying to figure something out that I never thought I could… I become more. More me, more in touch with others, more in sync with the Universe, something. But it is the thing that most turns me on in life, and even in others. Everyone should surprise themselves a little more.
I promised this wouldn’t turn into a novel, so I will stop here for now. But don’t worry, next time I will share how I plan (hope, wish, dream) to have more of all of these things in my life in 2019. Until then, are any of these ringing true for you? What are the areas of your life that brought the most positive feelings in 2018? What do you want more of this year? How are you going to make it happen? Please, feel free to share it with me in the comments or email me if your shy.