I find it interesting that, all things being equal, some days just seem better than others. Same hours of sleep (or lack of sleep), same duties at work, same obligations at home and in life, same in all aspects…except…how it feels. One day it just seems like you drag yourself out of bed like the ‘time to make the donuts’ guy, fantasizing about how you can come up with an excuse to miss work (or just the day itself) and go back to bed. While other days you bound out of bed eager for the joy of another morning of coffee and the bustle of commuter traffic (ok, so no one is ever truly excited about traffic, but still). Some days we are excited and engaged in our lives…other days we are not. If all things are the same…then what is different?
Well there are many theories and many ‘tools’ created to help us shape more of our days into ‘happiness energizer bunny days’, and focus and filter would be the two most consistent (ie what you focus on you see and experience, and the filter you choose to look through colors what your daily experience mean to you). But lately I have personally been noticing one other factor in particular that I had never really thought about before.
Diversification. I realize that my life is normally sectioned off into a few major categories: work, family/friend relationships, and general responsibilities. I normally spend each day juggling each important aspect of my life, trying to give each the appropriate energy and time, and carefully trying not to fall short in any department or drop the ball on any one important thing. It is my regular routine and they are all balanced…but even though they are all fulfilling, they are also all time consuming and often times stressful. Lately I’ve noticed that it seems easier for me to do all those major categories in my life. I do everything I used to do, in fact I even have more intermittent personal stressors. They still take up every single hour in my day…but, like anything in life, they don’t actually take up every minute of my day…and those minutes are precious. Those minutes are mine. And, it would seem, that those minutes make juggling the rest of my life just a little easier.
So what am I doing in those minutes? Those minutes usually lost in driving on the way to work, waiting in line, or other brief (or not so reasonably brief for some commutes!) moments in life…I have been Diversifying my thoughts. Instead of just focusing on where I’m going while I’m in traffic or what I’m doing once I get to the counter, I take the opportunity to: 1. Not think of anything. I notice I have more moments in my life where I’m just aware of physical tactile things…like the air on my skin, or my steering wheel has worn down in one place where I always hold it and how it feels different to my hand, how I’m breathing (fast, slow, shallow, deep…and wondering why? Am I even aware of what my body is doing and why?) It isn’t meditative in the traditional sense with the sitting quietly and om’ing, but it is making me be very in the moment and present…and that seems to make me feel just a little calmer. 2. The second thing I’ve been doing is not spending those minutes stressing, or planning things I need to do that relate to my regular daily priorities. My normal life gets enough of my focus. These minutes, instead, are private moments where I think about things that may be unreasonable or far fetched. Things I would like to do, or just things about life in general that I would like to see different. And even though the ideas can be completely just impractical dreams, there is no judgment…because these are my minutes to do with as I please. So no one can tell me how ridiculous or unlikely it is…it’s just my thoughts and they make me happier. 3. Finally the third thing I think about is other projects or trips or things I enjoy doing. And I plan them. Sure it may be planning something for sometime late next year that only exists in my head. But as long as it does, it makes me smile and look forward to my next 2 minutes to think more about it.
On that note…I’m late for work! We’ll discuss this more later