Tracking Happiness.

Hello! I know, it’s been awhile. The end of 2015 ended up looking a little like this:

falling down

Oh well. We’re all doing our best right? Sometimes you just need to lay on the floor for awhile until you’ve mustered up enough strength to move forward.

I’ve been contemplating the ways in which 2016 can be free of such epic burn outs. How to live a fulfilling, calm, and bliss-filled year? Chock full of career goals, family adventures, and personal contentedness? So over the holiday break I’ve been doing some historical research – on myself. Instead of the typical worry about the obligations of the future and the hurried way I need to fulfill them, I tapped into the skills learned from my M.A. in History and decided to examine my past as a way to inform my 2016 life – key words here: calm + fulfillment. Simple goals right?

I’ve gone way back to this kid:

FullSizeRender (1)

And made a list of these questions about my years on this earth, so far, with some example answers that would help me glean what could bring me that calm + fulfillment in the future:

What are the moments in my life where I experienced happiness (small & big): ie. taking photos with a real camera, being outdoors, horse jumping, eating delicious food, reading a book, teaching Finn piano, telling stories with Gus, etc.

What are the things I’ve done (travel, event, sport, project) that have left me feeling proud and/or inspired? ie. getting my Master’s Degree, teaching at the university level, travelling to other countries, illustrating, composing a song, writing a published article, etc.

What relationships have been meaningful to me? ie. family, friends, a supportive professor, a short-lived but meaningful interaction with someone I met on travels, etc.

When have things turned out badly? ie. when I’m impulsive, when I don’t think things through, etc.

When was my stress highest? Was it worth it? When was it not? Getting my Master’s – yes, giving birth – yes; some other moments that I thought were important – no; etc.

I was surprised that the answers came easy. Once I got the expectation of what I should be doing with my future, and put the worry about how to pay the bills out of my mind – I know it’s hard because those are very real concerns – I laid out in front of me what I would do with my time if I had the freedom to do only what I love.

What would you do?

These questions and their answers are so important, for where you want to be in your career, to what friends you want in your life, to how you want to spend your free time. Obviously there are certain things we all have to do to keep our lives and those we support going, but sometimes amidst all the 9-5 grind, and the hectic schedules, we convince ourselves that we just don’t have enough time for ourselves anymore.

Let’s make time this year.

I’d love to hear what things you’re going to pick back up, hobbies, travels, a new career path. We can do this!

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