||[May. 19th, 2009|03:09 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
I started feeling "gah! I want to be BACK on vacation! I hate my life!" last night.
That's pretty quick post-vacation crankiness, even for me, especially after being gone TWO WEEKS. I was really ready to be home. But a big part of it is that my house is a mess, my life is a mess, and I don't know what to do about it, it's so overwhelming.
Plus, turning 39 on Thursday also was a big WAKE THE FUCK UP yell in my ear.
I stayed up til 5am, watching TV like a slug, messing around on the Internet, getting nothing done, etc. My usual, when I'm home & don't have a lunch appointment the next day. I finally crawled into bed and went to sleep.
I woke up at 10:30am, because that's still like 4pm for me, France/Spain/Amsterdam time and that FEELS late.
But instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, I thought, What would someone tell me if I said 'I hate my life'? They'd probably say something like Change it!
Blah, blah, blah, I've heard it before, it's a cliché.
OK, here's what I do with clichés. I deconstruct them. Thus... HOW do I change it?.
Understand, I've asked myself this question a MILLION TIMES in my life. Standard answer: you turn problems into projects and break them down into smaller & smaller steps until you feel like you can do those steps, etc.
This time, in this place, in this headspace, my brain answered with this:
Figure out, step by step, how to get to a happier place. That second part was key.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE STEPS will get you closer to the happy place.
So I asked my brain, you mean, if we call chores "steps to happiness" you'll actually do them?
And my brain said HELL YEAH! Let's go do some laundry.
I am not one to argue with my brain when it wants to be productive, so I got up & did some laundry.
So far I've done three loads of laundry. I found my bag of clothespins. I have 5 shirts drying on a rack inside, 10 shirts drying on my new clothesline outside, and 10 more shirts waiting to go on the clothesline once the first ones are dry. The clean socks & undies are in their place. I've retrieved & folded my much smaller pile of dryer-dried jeans & miscellany and put them away. I'm waiting for another small batch of dryer stuff to be done and I'm about to go rotate the clothesline.
I also got the mail, the recycling bin, the garbage can, and the yard waste can. I watched one TV show while eating lunch (which was healthy and similar to what I ate every day while I was in Europe, i.e., some bread with a small amount of cured ham on it, but using mustard instead of butter; juice; healthy chips; an apple), deleted some things off the DVR I've burned already, and set up another burn to run while I'm working upstairs. I put things away from my trip, rinsed things off, put dishes in cabinets, and sorted a bunch of random junk.
I've sent out the weekly shiplist for MYP, including an announcement about how we're selling tickets to this Saturday's JMS lecture at MIT, and I'm working on their email backlog of the past two weeks.
I've plowed through thousands of messages in my mailbox, mostly from when I was away, and moved a couple of volunteer projects forward. I also sent a couple of emails I've been meaning to send and kept forgetting.
I set up a page where you can vote for a couple of goofy things I've said on Twitter to be printed on a t-shirt, which could win me $500: http://twitter.threadless.com/user/kjccreates/submitted
I've talked with a client and set deadlines for two projects.
I have 33 steps to happiness on a bunch of little pieces of paper.
And, I'm happier.
There's more stuff percolating about dealing with these ideas. Let's see if this is a long path, or another dead end.