Look, it’s been a rough 2020 for the world as a whole, and for many of us personally. I’m not here to tell you what you should or should not do. Except for this: you need to make room in your life for things you enjoy. Some of you are probably doing an excellent job of this already, while others may feel guilty about failing yourself on this as well as other things.
Well, first of all, stop feeling guilty about fun. It IS a luxury, no matter what people these days say. If you don’t find room for fun, well, that was life for millions of people all through the ages.
But . . . it is a delicious feeling to have a little fun when you’ve already got a lot going on. There’s no failing this quest – but there is winning this quest.
So, go ahead and read through my advice – and I’m going to tell you, making plans is really, really fun for me! I love giving advice, particularly if I think it’s good advice. But if it’s not for you, no hard feelings. You can comment about what does work for you, or go research a little deeper into methods that look more interesting. But I hope this will work for some of you (and I hope it will work for me, too).
The whole Fabulous Five Weeks of New Year Plan hinges on second chances and redemption. Maybe you don’t keep resolutions well for a whole year. This is a shorter-range plan than that. You only have to try for five weeks at a time. Then, the beauty of 2021 is that February 12 is almost
After weeks of sheltering-at-home (84 days, but who’s counting), working remotely has taken on a relatively normal work-like feel. Although I don’t have a broad expanse of industrial desk to spread my work things out on, an ergonomically adjustable chair to sit in, or a lakeside view to gaze out upon, I have the basic necessities: a computer, a box of files and reference books, a ledger-sized calendar, and on-demand access to a kitchen with all the coffee I can drink (which is a lot).
The calendar spent the first few weeks . . okay, months . . . in the box with the files and reference books, but when I started losing track of days and booting up the work computer on weekends, I decided it was time to pull out the calendar and put it back to use.
Around the same time, I started rummaging around in the box of files and reference books and pulled out a file folder that had all of the random scraps of paper, notes, and post-its that I had packed up from my desk before leaving back in early March, along with pages from notebooks that (theoretically) had something on them that I either needed to do or to remember.
I figured I should do something with those too. The shredder was my first thought, but it was full. Continue reading →
That headlong rush toward the end of the year, which seemed so far away back in January, is well underway. The turkey hasn’t even been carved yet, but I’ve already seen folks posting that they have finished their Christmas shopping. My house is still boasting its fall decorations, though I will admit I put the outdoor winter decorations up on Saturday. Normally, decorations don’t go up until the turkey is in the oven, but this year I made an exception since rain was in the forecast. I felt very pleased with my decision when I heard rain pelting the windows this afternoon. Glad I decided to skip washing the car too. 🙂
Whatever you may or may not be celebrating, it’s always nice to take a moment to pause for a bit of gratitude.
I’m grateful to be a part of a great community of writers and to have the chance to reach out to other writers via this blog; it’s something that has certainly made me joyful.
I’m grateful for my recent day job promotion, which came with a fancy new title and will give me the opportunity to do some truly meaningful work; it’s something that makes me joyful (and maybe a little apprehensive).
Mostly, I’m grateful for family and friends who, when they don’t drive me crazy, make me joyful indeed.
This past weekend, I got to do one of my favorite things, which is visiting my daughter. One of the things we do when we visit is attend classes at the excellent yoga studio near her apartment. While attending a class Saturday morning, the yoga teacher gave us one of his many definitions of yoga, which is joy plus hard work. Because he told us this more than an hour into a very intense practice in an 85° F room, at a point where our muscles felt like spaghetti and some of us were questioning the wisdom of the way we’d chosen to spend our Saturday morning, it was easy to understand the part about hard work. The joy, that wasn’t quite so obvious at the time. And that’s the way it sometimes is with something else that can be defined as joy plus hard work: writing.
Writing is hard work, and some days are harder than others. On those days, we might see the joy after the writing is done, just as it can be easier to see the joy of having survived yoga class hour after class is over. Continue reading →