A Happier 2017 – Month Four

It’s May already, and I can’t believe how fast the year is going. As we age, seasons become smaller and smaller percentages of our lives, but I’m still learning how true “blink and you’ll miss it” really is. That said, I’m a bit late in my April recap of my monthly goals:

Practice mandolin at least once per week with book. Fail. For good reason: I finally went to a hand doctor…two, in fact. The first one told me to brace it, stop doing planks/pushups, and no more guitar/mandolin. He also mentioned “arthritis” and some other scary things, so I stopped. However, the second doctor believes it to be either a bad sprain or perhaps a cyst. He also mentioned rest and a brace, but none of the scarier stuff. So I’m still resting, but I should be back to playing soon enough. 

Pay off my student loan. No new degrees = no new loans!

Write 2 blog posts per week. Oops. BUT! And this is a big BUT! I’ve been getting paid to write elsewhere! Hooray! I’ve completed much more than the equivalent of 2 posts per week, and I’ve gotten paid for it. So I’ll let this one slide.

Read “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson as well as at least one John Muir book. DONE and DONE! Yosemite was not at all what I expected it to be, but I’m glad to now have a better understanding of both authors and their contributions to the natural world in the US.

Leave my corporate job. Guess what?? SIX WEEKS TIL D-DAY! And by that, I mean Departure Day!! That’s right, we got an offer on the house, and it’s time to make our adventure dreams happen. But shhh…I haven’t put my notice in just yet. 

Hike the Long Trail. We’ll get to the trailhead at the MA border in about 7 weeks. SEVEN WEEKS!! I just ordered an extra pair of socks and a pair of crocs. This is actually happening!!

Pay off Round #2 of Invisalign. Done, but I’ll have to pay for my retainers next month. I don’t currently love my smile, but at least I don’t have to worry about the fake parts falling out anymore because there aren’t any more fake parts. 

Cut out the noise and enjoy the stillness. I’m…struggling with this one a bit. When I’m bored, I often seek noise, and I’ve been bored often in the office. However, I don’t miss Facebook at all, and at home, I’ve been pouring myself into my freelance work. So, while I haven’t been particularly good at sitting still, I have continued to cut down on the “noise” and seek more enlightening pursuits.

Read 12 books (one per month). Eleven down. That means I read 4 books in the month of April, so maybe that’s another reason why I felt I didn’t have too much downtime. I finally read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair and “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. I should probably find something uplifting to read soon, or my brain will be full of hard-luck stories.

Do a guided meditation once per week. I think I did this – perhaps I missed one week, but I’ve been pretty consistently doing them before my piano students. It’s a good transition between the office and teaching. 

Write one handwritten letter per month. Done, with a surprise letter to a former bandmate whom I miss dearly. 

Have “Happy Hour” once per week. I should just take this off the list. I know I won’t be doing it this month, and I won’t be doing it in the coming months. But – and this is important – I’m taking more time to be happy in general. I’m focusing more on what matters (sleep, reading, writing, fitness, cooking) across the board rather than trying to squeeze everything into 60 minutes once per week. 

Sleep more, drink less. Max 2 drinks per day, preferably wine if during weekdays. Look at me go! Travis turned 40 this month, and we celebrated in tasty, yet responsible manners. We both enjoy the taste of GOOD whisky, wine, and beer, but as we age, we’ve noticed the effects becoming more pronounced and less fun to deal with. Hitting up a brewery or a winery for a tasting has become an effective way to enjoy the flavors without going overboard. 

Based on the above answers, looks like I’ll have to write about our upcoming grand plans soon… 🙂

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