Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Daily To Do List

After a long weekend of thwarted trips to the beach (we tried to camp on the windiest day ever and the sandstorm won), too much alcohol, multiple part time jobs, and the sudden onslaught of summer weather (mid 80s and humid already!) I woke up this morning feeling a little disjointed. 

Pancakes help me unwind.

The problem, you see, is that I am notoriously bad at relaxing. It feels good in the moment - the sleeping in, the decadent meals at favorite restaurants, the late nights at the bars, playing trivia and skee-ball with friends - but then, the next day, I am disappointed in all the things I didn't do, rather than revived by the good times I had.  This internal struggle is nothing new. I'm sure I've blogged about it before, and just as sure that I'll blog about it again.

What it comes down to is this: in order to be happy, I need to feel like a responsible, productive human who is making progress in reaching her life goals. Key things I must accomplish every day in order to achieve this state of being are as follows: 

1. Do something for my writing. Mostly this includes writing, but it can also include submitting, revising, workshopping, or reading a good book.

2. Work out. Exercise is a mood enhancer, a stress reliever, an inspiration inducer (I get my best ideas while sweating), and absolutely necessary to keeping me energized and balanced. 

3. Eat whole foods, at home. Achieves the same results as number two, with the bonus of saving money.

4. Avoid hangovers. Moderation, y'all. One day I'll figure it out.

5. Spend time with friends and family. But not too much time. I am most productive when I'm alone and, as I stated earlier, feeling productive is the whole point.

(Other things that make me feel like a worthwhile human include walking the dogs, tending to the mini-farm, drinking a glass of wine on the couch with Nathan, calling my mom more often, putting the laundry away, an empty sink, sitting in sunshine, working towards world peace, and waking up early. But I don't have to do those other things every day. Just most days.) 

I found these frogs in the garden.

They seem to understand life better than I.

I don't really know what the point of this post was, except to write down the things that I need to do, every day, in order to wake up feeling like I've earned this life. Seeing how simple those things are, how little time they actually take, reminds me that it's okay to relax - as long as I get a few things done, for me, first. I'm going to keep that list near, and glace at it every morning, making sure to check off at least a few of the items before lunch. I think that will go a long way toward making me feel like - well, like me.

Do you have any daily things you need to do to make yourself feel happy and whole? Or are you a relaxation pro, and can you tell your secrets? Do you like frogs as much as I do, or do you prefer pancakes? I'd love to hear your own lists in the comments.