In my daydreams I imagine every day just waking up with no plan, nothing to do. Let the day take me where I want it to go. No stress, no calls, no responsibility. No one needs me, no one interrupts my thoughts and the house just gets cleaned if I feel like it.
Then I am jolted back to reality and realize that would not be as wonderful as it sounds.
Structure keeps me engaged and gives me purpose. Being needed for my expertise or ideas is a great feeling of self satisfaction. Cleaning the house gives me the time to organize and renew it’s function. A clean house is so much fun to walk around in. Having a place to go every day keeps me from procrastination.
I’m starting a class to engage others who might be feeling the need for structure in their lives. No matter what the circumstance, it can always be a mood lifter to know someone needs what you have to offer. Change is so difficult and getting stuck in a daily loop of “nothing much matters, I can do it tomorrow” are words that lack any joy.
I also need variety to my days. I have set up my schedule to be flexible and fluid. I set a loose schedule at the law office but get the work done. I can take a substitute teaching job if I can fit it into my week. I can schedule a weekend trip on a whim.
I need exercise in my week at least 5 days. If not, I start to lose the motivation to keep it up. Results come slower at my age but it is a true statement that the endorphins really do bring a great feeling. Going to the gym is tough some days but I walk out saying “I’m so glad I went.” I live by the mantra — just do something, it’s better than doing nothing.
I have identified a few “happy” places in my life. My favorite coffee shop offers me a respite from sitting in the house. I walk in to my favorite iced green tea, air conditioning (or the fireplace) and friendly people who call me by name. This small town feeling in a community is life affirming.
I also love our backyard. It is calm and peaceful and gives me a feeling of belonging to something bigger than me. Watching animals, trees, plants and weather live together is a lesson that I love to watch. My patio offers a comfortable place to write and just reconnect with my soul.
Driving is peaceful for me — I recently got a new car with amazing power and “car play” lets me listen to whatever I choose. That is a huge benefit of technology! Music can just elevate my mood more than anything else — especially the songs from my high school years. It brings me back to that girl who had a future only she could design.
The daydream of nothing to do has passed through my brain and while I still get overwhelmed at times, creating my life does not have to be pressure filled. It comes down to choices — it has taken years to find a peaceful balance. Saying “no” makes me happy.