The feeling of hopelessness has started to creep into the corners of my sunny disposition. It’s probably because of the weather. Ugh. Cold, damp, sloppy. I know what’s coming after that – Winter. I’m not prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder but that doesn’t mean darkness at 5pm doesn’t get me down every once in a while. Maybe that’s why I leave the Christmas lights up just a little bit too long. I like to pretend that I’m Orthodox and my Christmas is later than normal. Yeah, I know that’s not the real reason…
I want to be impatient, but that doesn’t do any good. Time waits for no man and it certainly doesn’t speed up because I have a week in the tropics scheduled. Instead, I think I’ll take advantage of this gift of time and use it to my advantage.
Let’s break out the “Work on Myself” list and see what can be improved upon during this lull…
Improve (always room to improve) my:
Activities to enjoy:
- Read more. It’s something I’ve really missed. I just finished Gone Girl (aka What Happens When Two Selfish People Marry Each Other)
- Bake more. Apple season is in full swing! Apple Slab Pie, anyone?
- Exercise more. See above.
- Deep clean the house. While I don’t especially enjoy the cleaning part, I do enjoy the freshly cleaned feeling part.
- Write more. Clear the noggin out.
- Plan for next Spring’s garden.
- Sing more.
- Eat more salsa. Which means I’m going out to dinner with my friends more.
- Watch movies under the blankets (with or without kids)
- Take another class.
- Tinker around the house.
- Win the lottery. I would really enjoy that.
Looking back at this list, I think I’m officially deep into 2015 if I try to get all of this done. It’s hard to believe that another year is sliding by but that’s how Time rolls. You either notice it standing still or you wake up and realize it’s flying by.
Add to my list the lifelong desire to learn a second language.
But what would happen if I somehow did all of these things? What would I look forward to in the future? Would I be happier with a smaller to-do list?
Study after study has shown that when we go through big life changes (positive or negative), even though our happiness will fluctuate at first, it returns to a stable, long-term level.1 In other words, as we make more money, lose weight, or rise higher up the corporate ladder, after adapting to the initial change, we settle back into the same level of happiness. Our “expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness”.2 ~ Chris Bailey in Why Accomplishing More Won’t Make You Happier (and What To Do About It!)
The War of the Roses presents a perfect example of what happens after all of the tasks are checked off of the list. Barbara Rose has nothing left to look forward to in her life once the house is restored. Thus begins the onslaught of murder attempts and hatred towards her selfish husband. It does not end well for either party.
Maybe, just maybe, I’ll leave a little procrastination on my list so I don’t run out of things to do. And perhaps I’ll leave a sprinkling of impatience hanging around so I never lose my excitement over future vacation plans.
And winning the lottery would be a problem I could learn to deal with, if given the chance.