Once November hits, it seems everyone’s lives start to get a bit more hectic. The holiday season is right around the corner, as well as the end of the year. We all rush to get our to-do lists finished, our end of the year goals accomplished, tests and papers completed (if in school), and if you work in retail, you may despise this entire season.
In these moments of stress, exhaustion, and endless to-do lists, it’s important to focus on the small things that bring us joy. What can we do that will only take moments of our time, but significantly impact us?
I realized that just before writing this, I hadn’t finished a book in over three weeks. This is unusual for me, as I had one book a week streak happening for a while.
In those past three weeks, my schedule has become hectic. It’s actually hard to believe it’s only been three weeks. My week workdays went from 8.5 to 12-hour shifts and some weekends work at least one weekend day. On top of my income-based job, I also have to maintain my career as an author, which is great when I’m writing. But when I’m marketing? Not so much.
It’s hard sometimes to get myself in a position where I’m happy that my to-do list never decreases. I mean, who actually is ever happy about that? But, the idea that I am grateful I’ve been giving the opportunity to create this career for myself.
My weekends have been filled with crossing things off the list, and it’s hard to imagine what others do with their time. I was asked the other day what I did for fun, and I struggled with an answer. My answer was Disney. But on an everyday basis? I’m writing, or thinking about writing, or creating marketing plans for writing, or planning blogs, or working my paid job. I’m envious sometimes of those who have careers that end when they punch out.
It’s never-ending sometimes. Having a creative career is often working two jobs or three, or four. You have the job that pays the bills, you have your artistic side, and then you have your marketing career.
But at the end of the day, I am really great. Really happy, despite all the stress. And that’s when I know I’ve been living my life healthier than I have in the past.
It’s important to focus on the small things surrounding you. The happiness a hot cup of coffee brings you, the happiness of catching the sunset despite it happening during rush hour and it being dark when you get home from work each night. The excitement of treating yourself to a movie or catching up on a television show, for at least one episode.
There have been some hiccups the past few days that usually would have left me frustrated, irritated, and downright negative. But because of appreciating the things I do have around me, the things that keep my head up, I’ve been able to look at the events with a new light.
If I take thirty minutes out of my day for yoga, I know it’ll impact the rest of my day, including my sleep. If I wake up an hour before work to have a hot cup of coffee and some alone time, it brightens my work day. If I appreciate the jobs I have, appreciate that the families I work for have employed me, it’s easier to get through the exhaustion. If I love and believe in everything I am producing, it makes the marketing less of a dreadful task.
It’s the idea of recognizing what brings you joy and what you can add to your schedule to make your life that much better. For me? Currently, it’s reading. My mood is decreasing because I know I haven’t been putting enough time into someone else’s created world and, I know my writing will start to suffer. It’s deciding that it’s okay to shut off for a bit. My career won’t die. My to-do list won’t catch on fire. The world won’t stop if I take thirty minutes or an hour to do something for me.
Oh, and getting away from the screens is incredibly important for your relaxation. My entire author career involves being on my computer or having my phone in my hand, almost constantly. It’s recognizing needing to step away, take those breaks, and coming back ready to tackle the tasks.
You’ll thank yourself.
So, what are the small things that bring you happiness?