Creating my own Happiness: A Reflection upon my Priorities
I’ve noticed that I am so often waiting to be happy. Waiting for life to be easier, less chaotic, or to have fewer demands on my time. But I know if I am going to insist on waiting for these things to be happy, I will never be happy. So I have been reflecting a lot here recently on how to create my own happiness in the here and now. Specifically, I’ve been reflecting upon my priorities in life. And quite generically, I decided my top three priorities are family and friends, happiness, and health.
So then I starting considering what I am doing each day to create my own happiness. I always hear that if something is truly important to you, you will make time for it. I started questioning if my daily activities were accurately reflecting my priorities. And here is where I found the disconnect.
Top ways I spend the majority of my waking hours:
2. Working over time.
3. Laundry and dishes.
5. Social media.
We all have to work. We all have to eat, we all need something to wear <public nudity seems to be frowned upon>, and we all need a roof over our heads. And we all have to have some way to pay for it. Work is unavoidable. And in all fairness, I do love where I work and am very grateful for my job.
But I’ve definitely been considering if the over time I work is necessary, and how I can cut back on that. And honestly, maybe with a little less shopping, the over time won’t be as necessary. I can kill two birds with one stone.
Laundry and dishes are as unavoidable as work.
As for social media, goodness knows I don’t need to spend all of my time on Facebook and Pinterest. I notice I tend to wax and wane on how good I am about limiting my time on social media. It’s definitely something I could stand to focus on again.
How I actually want to spend my time:
1. Family and friends. For all the time I spend on social media, you should think I’d be great at staying in touch with everyone. But to be honest, I often don’t think to send a text or give a call just to say hello to family. And I find it too easy at times to get caught up in the day-to-day; I forget to reach out to my friends, to make plans, to get together. And all too often, I miss out playing dress up and make believe with my girls because I’m doing dishes and laundry.
2. Nature. Hiking, camping, gardening. It’s so often cold and rainy here, it’s difficult to make myself go outdoors some times. But once I’m there, whatever the weather, I always feel refreshed and free. I love Rachael’s post Try This Simple Trick to Ward off Winter Blues about how some times you just have to make yourself do it. I find, even if I’m only outside for 15 minutes, weeding in rain, that can be enough to make my heart feel as wide as the ocean.
3. Music and movement. It is amazing the peace that comes to me with playing piano, or the energy and vitality that come with dancing. I do not perform, compete, or teach. But it is simply enough to fill my daily life and my home with music. Playing music for no one else but myself and for no other purpose than for its own sake – this is truly to live and breath music. I cannot have enough of it. I hope to some day learn guitar, banjo, and who knows what else!
4. Reading. I want to read all the books. That is all.
5. Food. I love to cook. I love to eat. And to really bring it full circle, I love to share food with my family and friends. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Stones and Sand
Have you heard of the analogy of filling a glass with stones and sand? If you pour in the sand first, you won’t have room to put in the rocks. But if you place the rocks in your glass first, and then pour in your sand, the sand will fill the crevices, and everything will fit.
Our priorities are the stones. And I think I’ve had it all backwards. I’ve been filling my days with sand, and I’ve been running out of time for what is really important to me. If playing with my girls is my stone, then laundry and dishes should be my sand. I can fit the laundry around time with my girls by doing it with them, doing it during their nap or after their bedtime, or between playing dress up and hopscotch.
I believe that by making a small change in my life – placing my stones in my glass first – I can close the gap between my priorities and how I spend my time. And in doing this, I can create my own happiness here and now.
To find more ideas on how I work to create my own happiness, check out my post A Few of my Favorite Things: My Petite Joys.
Questions of the Day
- What activities currently demand the majority of your time?
- Are these activities in line with what you believe or want your priorities to be?