From my last post I gave you a little glimpse on the self improvement strategies I had been implementing in my life and I’m happy to say that I actually stayed consistent with them. It’s been a daily practice but I’m starting September off on the right foot (mindset wise) and the shift in my overall energy has been a welcomed one.
For some, not all, September is a time to slow down, enjoy routine and the crisp air that comes after a very warm (and enjoyable) summer. I live for the couple months in between summer and winter and I always feel like September is the time for a fresh start. That could be because it’s usually when the new school year starts and you set out on another chapter in life, but I always look at it as a time to learn and move forward. Plus, who doesn’t want to wear leggings and sweaters 24/7 and drink tea?
Anyways, I wanted to share a few things regarding happiness and how I used to measure it. I used to be a person who was constantly looking ahead and planning. If anything happened I had to imagine what it would be like down the road and how it would affect me and how it would make me feel and I would agonize over the outcome that I wanted. This never really allowed me to sit back and enjoy what was happening in the present moment and I always felt like I had a sense of urgency and anxiety. I just wanted these outcomes NOW so that I could feel happy NOW. It was as if something good would happen and I would immediately think “can I keep this up?”, “will this last?” “what if this doesn’t turn out how I want?”, “what if I fail?” and so on and so forth. Everything was very fear based and my ego would always get the best of me and convince me to be skeptical and worrisome.
It’s been a habit of mine to only focus on my future wants and needs and to not actually appreciate what I already have. Which obviously didn’t take long to start affecting me mentally and physically. I kept telling myself that once I had my dream job I would be happy. Once I had a full savings account I would be happy. Once I was in the perfect relationship then I could totally be happy or once I was back at my lowest weight I would be happy. Sounding familiar yet? A lot of us are in such a hurry to reach those goals and dreams that we don’t stop and enjoy the journey. We see it as a burden and another hurdle to jump in order to get where we want. Our society measures success by how fast you can attain it and it is so depleting on everyone’s energy. I never felt like I could truly be happy unless I accomplished all of these things. It was as if I told myself that I had no real reason to be happy because none of these items were checked off yet. Awful right?
Thinking about how far away all of my visions and dreams were was depressing and it hung like a cloud over me. Something good would happen but I would brush it off because it wasn’t a part of the bigger accomplishments I wanted to achieve. It wasn’t a great time, hence why I started the self improvement that I desperately needed. Fast forward to now and I feel like a new person. Do I have my dream house, a ton of money at my disposal, a flawless relationship or size 0 jeans? No. I definitely don’t, but for once I am okay with that. I am happy with where I am at NOW and am actively working towards smarter, more attainable goals that I know I can take my time with. My sense of urgency and anxiousness is gone and that in itself has been a huge relief.
I feel like I am much more patient as a parent and my time with Casey has flourished. I am enjoying sitting and playing instead of stressing out about what needs to be done for the future. I can focus my attention to the moments in front of me and for once in my life I’m okay with not knowing what the future may hold. Letting go of that control was very difficult, I won’t lie, but I can’t get over how much of a difference it has made on me. This year I have played catch up with my close friends and am finally enjoying time with them all. In previous years I wouldn’t accept invites or make the time to see them because of a restricting relationship where guilt played a big role and limited my time with them. It’s sad but true, and I am truly grateful they are still a part of my life and now Casey’s life too. They have brought me so much joy and showed me so much compassion this year that it made me realize how lucky I am to have them. Sometimes we get so caught up in other things that we forget about the meaningful people in our lives, and we lose that sense of belonging. Thankfully, they have allowed me to laugh more than I thought I could and being around them has definitely helped bring my focus back to what is really important.
This past weekend I finally came to the conclusion that I AM happy. I have a great job, a hilarious and smart son, a wonderful family, friends who care about me and I’m healthy. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I know that if I keep working hard and putting the effort in and overthrow my ego with positive thoughts then I will be just fine. I am finally at a place of peace and balance and whatever happens, happens. I’m open to new opportunities and not stuck to a rigid regimen anymore and it’s definitely opened some new doors for me. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s progress.
So take the time to be around people and things that bring you genuine happiness. Take that trip you’ve wanted to for years but put off because “you don’t deserve it until you’re making “x” amount of money”, or take a night out and enjoy supper with friends even if your ego says “you should spend it working instead”. Just remember this: your thoughts can affect you in so many ways and you deserve to enjoy your life now, rather than later. Happiness can’t be measured by materialistic things, and you’re allowed to be happy even if you don’t have every single thing you want in life. Start small and match your actions to your expectations. You have a lot more going for you than you think, so take a moment to step back and just relax. It’ll all come together when it needs to.