Saturday, June 11, 2016

Changing Things Up a Bit

The past five months have been a blur. Having moved away from the daily drama of our adult children and starting a new job in a place where I knew no-one has been a bit challenging.

Bart is deliriously happy here and it's unusual for him to be happier than me. VERY unusual. So he asked me last night, if I needed to see a therapist. I told him NO. I explained that on the 1-10 happiness scale I am almost always a 9 or a 10 and lately I have been a 7 or an 8. Certainly not therapist worthy. However, I decided to take some time today and figure out why I'm not a 9 or a 10 and what I could do about it.

There is really only one thing that I need to stop doing and that is to stop obsessing about things I can't control or fix. These have all been work things, interestingly, because I learned that lesson with my kids a long time again. But obsessing about work has consumed the last five months of my life. I am continuously thinking about how to change things instantly that are going to take years. And so I need to relax, take a step back, and find some more fulfilling ways to spend my time. Here are some of the ideas I am coming up with.

1) Spend more time with a variety of people. I haven't had time to develop friendships since I have been there and "candidates for friendship" have been pretty slim. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I work with, but friendship with your subordinates only works to a certain extent. No matter what kind of a friend I am, I will always be a boss or a bosses boss and I will always have the authority that comes with my position. This typically makes in depth friendship extremely difficult if not impossible. So I need to make some friends. We need friends as a couple (and we are slowly developing those at church -- but then again, Bart's the minister, so it can only be so close). I'm working on reaching out to people I have known in the past who now live close by.

2) Spend more time on social media. I know this is going to make you cringe, but this is a connecting point for a lot of my staff, for my kids, and for my old friends. If I can't have "real friendships" I can at least have online ones that are healthy. I can also promote my speaking and writing which leads me to points 3 and 4.

3) Spend more time in my "sweet spot" which is int front of a group of people, sharing my passion or making people laugh. I'm now starting to receive invitations from the Speaker's Bureau at Patrick Henry Family Services.

4) Write more. I need to blog more consistently and to possibly finish my 4th book so I can begin work on a 5th. Robert Day and I are talking about writing one together.

5) Take more pictures and go back to my hobby of digital photography/Photoshop. I recently got a Creative Cloud membership and so I can go back to doing that.

6) Manage a website again. I got it set up last weekend, now I just need to expand it. That has always been fun for me and I took a 4 year break from that. Want to do it again.

7) Spend less time alone in Brookneal. I need to make sure my typically alone times are filled with other options. Being alone makes me crazy.

8) And finally, do more for children. I know you may be thinking that we have done enough, but we don't think we have, so ... big announcement ... which I may make again .... we are going to do foster care again. We have signed up to start the process with the City of Danville.

I'm excited already to take steps toward greater joy and fulfillment in my life. If you are feeling a bit less than a 10 on the happiness scale, a day thinking up a plan to be happier might be just what you need!

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