If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that I recently completed my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. And you'll also know that I only completed roughly half the list, and was contemplating starting another one. I've been stewing over what variation of the concept would work the best without putting undue pressure on myself, or being disappointed for failing to achieve certain targets, and then I hit upon the idea of not writing a list at all, but just doing things that make me happy for a set period of time instead.
I had a pretty cruddy time of things last week. It was mostly that at every turn there was some kind of obstacle (except for Wednesday. Wednesday was productive AND it involved cake!), a lot of stress at work, and then my brother had a super crap day at work (his boss is a total a-hole) which made me feel bad for him. And then my dad, who has some mental health issues, ended up being hospitalised with that yesterday. Which admittedly was more of a relief than anything, because it had been building for a while and he needed help, but it just makes me very, very sad seeing him not being himself like that. I have to commend my (all-male) colleagues for coping very well when I burst into tears at work after I got off the phone to Dad on Thursday. I'm the consummate professional! ;) And then to cap it all off, my boss asked me to have something done for Monday at 4:30pm on Friday. So although I do need to get that done today, I'm doing this instead.
And why, you may ask?
Because I've been mulling over this idea for a couple of days, and decided during my hike yesterday that instead of writing a big ol' list that I "have to" achieve, I will keep it simple and just live an awesome life for the next hundred days. The idea is that I inject a little bit of sunshine into each and every day, even if it's by doing something dumb like painting my nails, or talking to a friend on the phone, because, believe it or not, those things can make my day. Even doing something that I've been putting off and I'm all tense about can make me feel really good.
So, to that end, I'm sitting in the sunshine and fresh air (tick!), with a nice cup of tea by my side (tick!), and I'm writing (tick!) my idea down. It's definitely a more awesome choice than knuckling down right away and doing some work, that's fo' shizzle! I can do that later.
Part of the decision making process was because of my cruddy few days, and part of it was because I was physically struggling yesterday with what should be a relatively easy walk, and that really upset me and my foolish pride. I love being outdoors, and I love hiking, and it just seems so unfair that it hurts so much to do something I love so much. I can't pull the "I just had heart surgery" card for much longer, and I'm loath to make excuses for myself, even though I am at a physical disadvantage and fatigue much more quickly than your average person. I have to keep reminding myself that I actually live a fuller and more active life than plenty of people with fewer challenges set before them, and that slow and steady really can win the race. Well, maybe not win. But you can certainly participate in and enjoy the race. Hah, they should totally make a bumper sticker with that on it. It's super-catchy! ;-p
So now, instead of resenting my weaknesses, I will try to spend the next 100 days making myself stronger, both physically and emotionally. The emotional is being taken care of by this challenge because in theory I will be happy or satisfied for at least a small portion of every day, and I'm having the inkling that it will also feed my physical strength. Because doing a hard yoga session makes me happy. Going for a run makes me happy, even if it frustrates the hell out of me, because I've derived a sense of achievement from making myself do it. And going for a hike makes me happy, even if I have to stop every 500m (or less, depending on the terrain) to catch my breath, because I'm out in nature and that makes me very happy indeed.
I'm going to make yesterday Day One, and I will endeavour to update every night (although I can't promise that will happen... but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. If I'd rather paint my toenails, then so be it!).
WHY DAY ONE WAS AWESOME:
Well to begin with, I went hiking. I headed out to the You Yangs for the first time with my BFF Ness (yep, there's two of us) and did the East-West Walk a friend that lives in the area had recommended, and it was quite pretty. Plus it was a nice day, and I was outdoors. AWESOME!
We also climbed Flinders Peak, which is especially handy considering I've committed to climb something every week this year, and I fell behind during my stay in hospital. AWESOME!
(Wheee! I'm alive! And very, very sweaty. And wearing my very sexy, incredibly practical hiking shirt. Mmm, attractive...)
On my way back down the peak, the aforementioned friend rang to see how the walk was and we had a little chat before I decided I should probably pay more attention to where I was placing my feet than to the phone. AWESOME!
It was really good catching up with Nessa, too. We haven't really had much one-on-one time in years, so having a bit of girl-time was nice. AWESOME!
Then we came home and watched Pitch Perfect, which Ness hadn't seen (scandalous, I know). ACA-AWESOME!
Then we frocked up and hit the town for the three D's: Dumplings, Dancing and Drinks. First we had dinner - Peking duck and various dumplings. AWESOME!
Then we went for a drink at The Croft Institute, which I remember allegedly being super-awesome back at uni (I never actually visited in those days), and it was kinda eh, but then two things happened - one, my dad's girlfriend rang and said that dad was finally in hospital and getting help - AWESOME! - and my friend Harry showed up - AWESOME!
Haz took us to a more happening place over the road, where we danced the night away. AWESOME!
While we were dancing I somehow attracted the attention of a tall, fit guy who bought me two drinks and gave me his number. He was very sweet and quite shy, and therefore not a jerk. AWESOME!
Then we moved on to the Gin Palace for a nightcap, and were able to sit on the super-comfy couches and rest our weary feet there whilst we sipped real cocktails. AWESOME!
I also got the bartender to invent a cocktail for me, and I named in in his honour, which he seemed to appreciate. AWESOME!
And then my housemate Dave came and got us from the city, so we didn't have to muck around with taxis. AWESOME!
Day One, and I'm definitely off to an awesome start :) I hold no illusions that every day will be that awesome - after all, it was a weekend - but having read through that before hitting Publish I'm realising exactly how small the happenings and interractions that build up to make an awesome day really are. It's kind of just formally recognising and counting your blessings, and that's something I think everyone can benefit from.
So what made your day awesome? I'm serious! Tell me in the Comments section below!