Monday, April 28, 2014

Balance and A Happiness Project

Brave new world. That phrase pops into my head a lot lately. As some of you know, I recently underwent a huge change in my life. And in addition to getting adjusted to my new life, working at least 40 hours a week, raising my son, and attending to my writing schedule, I've been trying to get serious about exercising and train my horse. Along with having a social life again. Yes, I'm totally Type-A :)

So that's the first part of this post: balance. Ignoring exercise and my horse for the most part, in the past I could usually get 1,000 words written a day. Which pumps out a first draft in about three months. And that's nice, but it's not a race. My horse is almost five and not yet under saddle, and of course my health is important. Over the last couple months it's been two steps forward, one step back trying to get a consistent schedule going to balance this all out. I'd exercise five times a week but only visit my horse once and write too little. Or I'd write more but exercise less - you get the point. I've been trying to find that sweet spot where I get a respectable amount of forward progress in all three without stressing out too much.

What I've come up with that I think will work is: M/W/F = exercise days, and T/Th = horse days in the evenings after work. I'll also write 500 words a day, including the weekends. That's a small amount, but it adds up pretty quickly. Weekends I can always add more in any of the areas as inspired, plus social time. And the good thing is that my son is twelve now, so he likes to exercise with me, and he can do homework while I write, and he likes to come to the barn with me, too. So, we get to spend time together while I'm working towards my goals.

As if all of that isn't enough, I've really been feeling a need to focus internally as well. I'm a very external goal-oriented person, and for the past many years I've let go of most focus inwardly. I'm not a religious person, but I am spiritual, and to me that simply means working towards peace and happiness so you can spread that as you go through life. So, I've been doing some simple things to work on inner me: a few positive affirmations, contemplating areas where I need to grow and learn, being more grateful for what I have.

Then today one of my coworkers mentioned that she's doing this 100-day happiness thing where you do at least one thing every day to make you happy - meditate, eat a pastry, whatever. You can post a picture every day of what you did for your happiness on Twitter, FB, Instagram and a couple other places. This really resonated with me, so I decided on my own little twist to the project: I'm going to tweet for 100 days the special things that I feel gratitude for that day. I'll leave out the standard things: being alive and healthy, my son being alive and healthy, roof over head, etc. Just extra fun stuff. It may be one thing. It could be several. I'm going to use the hashtag #dailygratitude, so hop over to Twitter if you want to join me! I'm starting tonight. I also found a cool website about a different happiness project here.

So, lots going on! Life is overflowing with opportunities to evolve. What kinds of things have you been working on lately? Here's a final fun link to a great song, and you can check out the 24-hour dance marathon that went along with it here. TTFN!