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A Happiness Jar – Week 29

When I started writing these posts, I used to say things like “Happy Friday!” or “Thank goodness the weekend is here.” As I sat down to write my thoughts out for today’s post, I realized I didn’t want to say either of those things, because they aren’t true anymore. It was a subtle, but strong, realization that I am finally starting to build a life where I’m not always living solely for the weekend. And isn’t that the goal? For so long I did whatever I had to do to “get through” Monday – Friday, biding time away until Friday evening came when I could check out for two days. Once Sunday night rolled around I was in an almost depressive state at the thought of having to go back to work the next morning. Now that I have almost obtained the work/life balance I have been so desperately longing for, I never want to go back to those times. It is a great place to be at, and I hope that if you are stuck in a rut like I was that you take the steps you deserve to build a life you like all (or at least most) of the time – not just on your days off from work.

That was a random little rant to start this post off. Let’s start over. How was your week? Is it so freezing cold where you live that you want to do nothing except stay inside the warm confines of your home reading a book under a blanket sipping tea like like I have been doing for basically the last month? Luckily that is one of my favorite things to do, even in the summer. Chris thinks I’m crazy, but no matter the temperature, I like have to be covered in a blanket or I’m not comfortable. Super off topic, but am I the only one or do you do that, too? It seems impossible to be settled on a couch with just like, nothing covering you. Anyway….

Building off of what I said to start this post, I think it’s obvious what one of my happiest things this week will be, but there are a few others I am excited to share with you as well:

1. Finding a balance between my work and my life that feels manageable

I would compare myself to a sloth at the beginning of this week. I was really down and was letting my emotions completely take over my life. Then I remembered something I heard on Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast a few days ago. The quote went something like, “It’s not the events in your life that determine the outcome. It is your reaction to those events.” Hm. So I let myself have a couple lazy days where I felt sorry for myself, and then was determined to get it together come Thursday morning.

I woke up at 6:30am. I read an actual book for a bit instead of playing on my phone. I actually did my hair and makeup and got myself ready for the day. I ate a real breakfast. I took care of a few work-related tasks. And then I went to Starbucks.

Sure, I could have sat at home and attempted to write/organize my life, but I knew it was imperative to get out of the house and be out in the real world. Since I have been working from home/alone literally all of the time, I could easily go a whole day without leaving the house or talking to anybody. And while I love this, sometimes it’s important for me to just be around other people, even if I’m not interacting with them in the slightest. It weirdly keeps me motivated, and it always makes me happy to have the opportunity to people watch.

While I was at Starbucks I ordered a lot of black coffee and time-blocked my Google calendar. I set aside weekly time for all of the things that I want to do throughout my days, but end up inevitably pushing back a lot of the time. I color-coded everything (love it) and made space for my workouts, quiet writing time, house work, actual work, meal prepping, personal appointments, and other miscellaneous tasks. I love to see the white space in my calendar that is left for whatever I want to fill it with. For the planner like me, this system made me so satisfied.

I also set aside some intentional time for myself. It does me a world of good to put my phone on silent for an hour, have some tea, work on my planner, and read a book. So that is what I did yesterday, and it was glorious.

In the end, I know that I’ve still got a way to go before finding that perfect balance, but I really feel like I got much closer this week.

2. Spin class

Like, WHAT?! Never in a million years would I have thought that a spin class would be something I would enjoy in the slightest, let alone put on a list of my favorite things. To be honest, I have always despised spin (or cycle, whatever you want to call it) classes. I thought they were boring and they hurt my butt. One of my good friends just started teaching a class at our gym, so I went to check it out with my friend Hannah, and we had a blast. The 50 minute class flew by, and I think I smiled ear to ear the entire time. She had such a great playlist and incorporated so much more into the class than just riding on a bike.

3. Making lasagna

As a part of my “get yourself together Thursday,” I made lasagna. Chris had requested it earlier in the week, so I went to the grocery store to get everything I needed, came home and put on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast, and got to work. It took me over an hour to make the sauce and prep the rest of the dish, and I don’t think I checked my phone once or thought about anything other than the podcast I was listening to. It was so nice.

I really love to cook, but often feel rushed when I am doing it. It felt like such a treat to have all the time in the world to make something delicious for Chris and I to have for dinner (and leftovers!). It was also super convenient to be able to prepare it earlier in the day, so Chris could just throw it in the oven that evening to cook so it would be ready when I got home from yoga. It turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

4. Actually eating breakfast at the kitchen table

This sort of goes with what I said above, but I really tried to be conscious this week about not rushing. I am always in such a hurry, with no real reason to be. Almost every morning this week I actually sat down at our kitchen table to eat my yogurt and fruit and usually read a book while I did so. I think it really sets the tone of the day when we can take some time in the morning to take care of ourselves rather than rushing out the door right away and drinking a protein smoothie in the car, which I usually do (and just an FYI, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that sometimes!).

5. Date night with Chris

This one is preemptive since it isn’t happening until tonight, but Chris and I are actually going out to a nice dinner and to see a movie tonight. We have been so content to just hang out at home basically since we got back from our honeymoon, but it will be so nice to actually put real clothes on tonight and go spend some time together out in public.

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Whatever you are doing this weekend, I really hope you have a great couple of days and are able to relax/do fun things with your loved ones – you deserve it. 🙂

#Lasagna #Work #Weekend #Date #Cooking #Cycle #Spin

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