I've taken a lot of vacation already this summer. In May, it was Egypt/Greece/Jordan with my (now ex-) girlfriend. In June, it was Chicago with my family. This month, I spent a weekend in New York City for a wedding and then took a week off at home so that I could go to our local theatre festival, which is pretty much my favourite thing in the world. Unfortunately, today was the last day of the festival, and tomorrow I go back to work.
There is actually a small part of me that is looking forward to going back. Despite my Facebook posts to the contrary*, I mostly enjoy my job, and I am happy to have a bit more routine in my life again. The past month and a half has felt very unsettled, and I'm hoping that being back at work will help me to feel more grounded. More like myself again.
As I prepare to go back for a long stretch with no vacation in sight**, I have been thinking a lot about happiness - specifically, about things that I can do to be happier in both the short and the long term. Find a new girlfriend seems to be the one that pops into my head most readily, but I'm well aware that I'm not yet in a place where I should start dating again, so I will just try my best to ignore that thought for at least a few more months. Beyond that, there isn't one single thing that comes to mind; rather, there's a long list of small things that might help to make my life easier and better. So...I'm back to trying to make some small habit changes.
At the moment, there are three things that I'm trying to work on, which I will discuss very briefly, because it is suddenly late, and I have to set an alarm clock for the first time in 11 days.
Stop drinking pop:
I know that I need to make healthier food choices, and I also know that sudden radical changes inevitably lead to failure, so I'm going to start small. I gave up pop for the month of April, and I was really surprised by how little I missed it. At the beginning of the month, I though about drinking it periodically, but the cravings for it always passed quickly, and by the end of the month I didn't even think about it. I was actually a few days into May before I realized that I could start drinking pop again. Which I wish I hadn't.
Put my keys, wallet, and cell phone in the same place when I come home:
I am ashamed to admit that I spend a lot of time searching for my keys, wallet, and cell phone. I frequently switch them between my purse, my work bag, and an assortment of backpacks that I use when I'm out at festivals or other events, and I can never seem to find them when I need them. Not to mention the fact that my cell phone is rarely charged, which is inconvenient given that I recently gave up my land line. A few days ago, I moved a storage unit into my front hallway and put a wicker basket on top of it, and I am trying very hard to put my things into it whenever I get home. Except for the cell phone, which is getting attached to the charger.
Review my schedule on a weekly basis:
I'm pretty good about entering events into my calendar, but I'm not the best at subsequently looking at the calendar and remembering what I need to do. So far I haven't missed any major appointments (in recent history, at least), but this leaves me with a bit of an unsettled feeling all the time. My plan is to spend a bit of time every Sunday reviewing my schedule for the week (work and home) and to make a few work/personal goals for the week. I will never come anywhere near sarah (SHU) in my organizational skills, but I am hoping to slowly improve them.
And that's it. Three small habits that will not radically change my life but that will hopefully make things a bit better. And once I've adopted these habits, there can always be more!
*My Mom freaked out when I recently posted on Facebook that I preferred being at the theatre festival to being at work. What would your patients think if they saw that? Um...that I'm a normal human being who sometimes likes vacation more than being at work.
**Any ideas of fun things for single people to do on vacation? The thought of booking a holiday without my (now ex-) girlfriend makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little, but I know that I will eventually need to go somewhere without her. Or just work all the time. Also an option.