This week finds me back in my city. A helluva town, I feel safe here and no, I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep (bonus points for naming the music references).
I didn’t realize how much I missed it here until I slipped back in and found myself just simply smiling more.
I’ve spent leisurely, delicious meals catching up with friends. I’ve spent long walks munching on yummy cart food. I’ve spent late nights drinking beers with new and old buddies. And I’ve spent my commutes via mass transit (I missed you too mta) starting and complete my first fiction book in 3 months which makes me very happy and fed a needed absence in my soul.
At the same time, my star-crossed relationship with my erstwhile pal tv production is in a on-again phase. So I’m selling a little bit of my happiness for 10 hours a day to afford the trip. Obviously I’m willing to pay the price, especially because I work with great people.
I am lucky and I know it (she says as self-indulgently guilt-free as possible).
I haven’t spent much time more deeply or actively reflecting as I intended (other than sending out my smiles and <thankyou thankyou thankyou> to the Universe). And, until now, have not made the time to write this week.
I think this is perhaps the perfect way, however, for me to review the previous year and think about the future. I’ve been relating those two narratives repeatedly over the last week and so I know what gets me grinning and what maybe notsomuch. More importantly, I’m not organizing my thoughts because I’m actually spending time out doing things I enjoy.
My list is making itself. All I’ll need to do is write it down later.
Last night I went to see Follies and there were many wonderfully tragic reminders about regret and the road not taken (as well as a little madness). One number — appropriately titled “The Road Not Taken” — sums the theme and just after it there was a fantastic line (which I can’t find because my google foo is weak this eve). It amounted to: somehow along the way my habits set the path of my life.
Despite cries of “it’s not to late” at a few points (remembered verbatim), the show ultimately falls on the side of “yes it is” and the main characters leave much the same as they came.
I wondered when leaving how many people still heard the echo – as I did – of the “it’s not too late!” The small call to action to change by progression.
Sometimes life decisions will be big ones, to be reflected on (and perhaps regretted) in big ways later. But more often the path is nudged by smaller degrees. We are the product of our daily choices on how to spend our time and energy.
This is my advice to myself and to you, my dear reader: Make the best small daily decisions you can to find enjoyment.
Spend your time and energy creating moments of pleasure and moving yourself towards deeper happiness by building a life where there is more opportunity for those.
Take time to have long dinners with friends. Walk. Order dessert or one more beer. Play silly games, make jokes and laugh. Look around and really see. Read fiction of the subway. Stop reading to have a chat with the pigtailed six year old with fabulous pink, shiny shoes.
Those are my spots of happiness. Those moments that I won’t ever regret. Yours might be completely different but you know what they are.
The big agendas, goals and reviews are important but they might seem a little daunting and not so pleasurable right now, and they ultimately matter less than how you actually spend your time.
No matter where you are and what you have been doing or plan to do, it is so easy to make choices to spend time with small, smiley things every day.
It isn’t too late. Start now.