Saturday, December 20, 2014

End of the Year Ruminations, Part 2.

A few weeks ago my company had a mandatory drug and alcohol education meeting. Nothing much was learned on the official topic, (although I was pleased to learn that my wine intake hasn't reached the "needs an intervention" stage quite yet) but the speaker showed a video that may have turned me on to my next obsession. Shawn Achor

Once again I felt synchronicity at work in my life. I had bought the audiobook The Happiness Advantage a while back, in one of's random special offers, but had never gotten around to listening. It became my commuting listen, starting the next morning, and it's one of those books that I will have to also buy in paper format, because I'm unable to find and share all the good stuff I found there. It's the kind of book I want to read with a highlighter.

I am now fascinated with the subject of positive psychology. I'm currently reading a book Shawn Achor cited in his own: Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment and I am becoming more and more convinced that this is a subject I want to study in depth.

I think I'm a fairly optimistic person by nature, which is quite remarkable given that I was raised by parents who were not at all optimistic themselves (that is a massive understatement). I realized at a very early age that for my mother in particular, the silver lining never mattered, only the big, black cloud. I have worked all my life not to fall into those patterns of negative thinking that were all around me, and with disaster lurking around every corner. (I'm the kid who was forbidden to do cartwheels, because I'd surely fall and break my neck. No, I'm not making that up.) Keeping a positive attitude was an endless uphill battle, and it's left me with a kind of tired contempt for negative people. Life's too short for that shit. I don't really know how or why I chose to reject the mindset of the people who raised me, or why I figured out at an early age that I had to do this if I wanted to have any kind of future, and this makes me fascinated by the field of positive psychology.

But lately I've noticed I've fallen into a rut, and I'm not accomplishing things I want to do, and my energy level isn't what it was, and this has led me to search for things that I can do to snap out of it. I'm spending too much time sitting on my ass with nothing to show for it.

Herein lies the conflict - many things I like to do (writing, knitting...) are done while sitting. Sitting in itself isn't the problem. Sitting in front of the tv with a glass of wine, surfing Facebook, that's the problem. So I'm looking at my behaviors and identifying the things that are in my way, and figuring out ways to change. My new habit of drinking my very early morning coffee in bed while the dogs continue to snore makes me happy, and will lead to updating this blog more often. Lately, Facebook is more irritating than entertaining, but I can't abandon it entirely. After all, networking there got me my new job; social media is part of our world now. That former co-worker battling cancer just had another surgery yesterday, and his wife let us all know it went well and he was resting comfortably via Facebook. So I'm not abandoning it, and I really would like to figure out that Twitter machine, since that seems to be the happenin' place for networking and self promotion, but I need to keep them in their place, while I accomplish other things. I'm building that list of other things.

So as part of my end of the year reflections, and as preparation for a bright and positive 2015, I'm picking small things I can do to improve my world in a day. I need a serious closet purge. I was getting dressed for work the other day (something I do quickly and without thinking) and suddenly realized the condition of my underwear (it's far too sorry to be called lingerie). That's the first purge and replace mission, and a quick and easy one.

We're about to start a new year - how's your underwear drawer? :-)

Today's mission: Last Minute Shopping, followed by wrapping, cleaning, and cookie baking. I have an office potluck and gift exchange on Tuesday, and I'm cooking a big traditional Christmas dinner, and I still haven't bought anything for my son-in-law.

This week will also be a food free-for-all, and I don't care. There will be eggnog and Christmas cookies, and damn the calories, full speed ahead. I have a plan for the post holiday recovery, but I'm in the mood to go all out this year. This afternoon I'm baking traditional cookie press butter cookies, and tomorrow my daughter and Miss D will join me for rolling, baking and decorating sugar cookies. Today also launches the First Day of Eggnog, because There Must Be Eggnog.


besshaile said...

Yes. Today is my first day of eggnog too. for there must be eggnog when we're done putting up the tree.

Gae, in Callala Bay said...

Computer = sitting. Not necessarily, I have an old fashioned sideboard that is just the right height for me to use as a standing desk. Works for me !

Parental attitudes - I think children are a lot sharper and more observant than we were given credit for back in the day. I can remember that I decided that smoking and overuse of analgesics were not the way to go.......before I was 8, and before I could have spelt 'analgesics'. Dad was a fine mental and emotional role model, but poor Mum was always fragile, and it got worse and worse. Mum was only 56 when she died. Think of all she missed.......

Gae, in Callala Bay

Unknown said...

LOL- I just finished purging the underwear drawer!

I have 3 huge bags clothing ready to go to donation.

Mainly I need something to occupy myself- we finally had to say goodbye to our dear lab-she made it over 14 years old, but it was time.

Have a Merry Christmas- it sounds like you will have a wonderful time. Drink some eggnog for me!