Good Habits are Great – But Only if They Serve You

musings

Our society, whether because it’s grabbing for meaning, or because things feel out of control, is full of rules right now. There are rules on a better life, from diet to discipline, to minimalism, and tech purges. There are rules on raising other humans like avoiding NO and sugar and gluten. There are rules on TV and screen time, and how much you need to play, pee, eat, sing, and everything else you can imagine. Maybe it’s a reflection of our regimented tech days, or maybe we hate being out of control.

I hate being out of control. So I make up rules. Absurd rules that make no sense, like in what order I need to wash clothes, or make the beds, or vacuum the house. None of these are based on any needs or service to me. If I wash darks first there is still hot water for lights because the darks need only warm water. If I vacuum the upstairs first, it’s not like the carpet gnomes will report me. None of these mental “rules” make sense, they just exist because somewhere I got it in my head that I needed to do things in a specific way.

I bet you, if you analyzed your life, you have all kinds of rules you follow without even knowing. Maybe you wash your face and THEN brush your teeth, when in fact it would be better to brush your teeth to then remove any residue with face washing. Perhaps you always have a cookie with lunch, when in fact you don’t need the cookie or you could have the cookie whenever you want, maybe for breakfast even! Live wild, it’s invigorating.

To add to the mental notes you have all kinds of people telling you what to do to improve your life. They tell you how to eat, what makeup to wear, how to scoop cat litter, what car you should get, how to make yourself healthier, how yo exercise, how to destress, how to make more money….you get the idea. Everyone has a solution to something, and everyone thinks they’re right.

News Flash, they’re probably wrong.

They may be wrong because SCIENCE. They may be wrong because their goal is to just sell you something without you having any real need. They may be wrong because their methods really only work well for baby boomers, or people in their 30s. They may also just be full of shit. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE FULL OF SHIT THAT WANT TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF YOU OR MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE CRAP OR SIMPLY THINK THEY’RE AMAZING WHEN REALLY THEY’RE NOT BUT THEY….you get the idea.

The truth is that at any time at least 70 different things want you to follow that trail, that ad, that video, that “alternative fact”. They want you to follow that lead into the land where you share a credit card number or buy into, at least emotionally, some doctrine.

Sometimes these things REALLY work, like Marie Kondo’s methods have helped thousands, if not millions. Kondo’s ideas have greatly improved my home and I love the tips, but I modified them to suit our household needs. I won’t follow her like she’s a god, but I will take what serves me and my family.

On the other hand I tried bullet journaling and freehand journaling and stencil journaling. I got so frustrated and pissed off with having another thing to do “on my list” that I gave it up. Nothing about it served me and my creative needs. However, my best friend finds it extremely soothing and cathartic, and she will most likely continue to journal until the day she dies.

For another example, a friend of mine bought her cat a wheel (like a cat hamster wheel-but for cars) and she was so excited to have this for her cat. Her cat HATED it, would not touch it, and the friend was out $300 for this internet contraption that some cats loved. It has been passed onto a second friend who is trying to convince their cat that the wheel is fun. (Here is a good tip: cats are assholes, and they won’t like anything you buy that’s expensive unless it’s YOUR bed, YOUR couch, and definitely the scratching post you bought for them. Give them cat nip, a box, and a wadded up receipt and you will have a happy cat, I promise.)

The point is, that when you are trying to “self-help” take time to explore what might actually bring you joy and what is a waste of time. Even if your best friend thrives, don’t expect the method to work the same for you.

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The Busy Bee….Doesn’t Get Her Writing Done

musings, Travel

The hardest part of blogging is that there are only so many hours in a day. There are only so many days in a week, in a year, in a decade. Meaning…. I struggle to spread myself in all of the directions I plan to be spread.

My biggest downfall is being a Queen Bee of busy. I run from work to the gym to home to the grocery store to picking up kids to visiting family to hiking to work to gym to….you all do the cycle. Some of you are single parents trying to make it all work. Some of you are parents of a healthy brood of youngins and some of you just work too damn hard.

We also have a society that demands blood from us at every second of every day. Work 50 hour weeks? oh well…make sure you do your daughter’s costume for the school play BETTER than your Pinterest reference. Have five kids? Well ALL of them better have a laundry list of extracurriculars. Have a job? make sure you do everything 20 times harder than everyone else with no extra pay and no extra benefits….then maybe you’ll get the raise.

Don’t get me wrong, hard work has never intimidated me, and at every job I have had I was quick to move up the ranks and leave my mark. However, if there is one thing I have learned through all of this, is that MY WORK, the work I do for me, is just as important. I have to draw the line on what society demands and what I need from me to be sane and happy. You should too.

I don’t mind the occasional 45 to 50 hour weeks, but I also make sure I take a day off here and there. I schedule myself three day weekends just to have fun. I run away to local towns for a day or two just for something different. So what if the house is messy? So what if my over hasn’t been cleaned in 6 months? The reality is that my time is more precious than playing perfect. My life, and actually living it, is more important than all the laundry being put away.

This is not an easy state of mind, and I stumble, and I make messes, and then I try again. As a “Type A” personality, I often get sidetracked in making sure things are better, organized, neat, clean. When in reality, some of the chaos is what makes us of this universe.

There is a good chance I will always struggle in this, and my lack of writing this month has shown that. However, at the end of the day I have to acknowledge that hard work is great, but sometimes you have to play, and with that is making time for yourself.

Happy Travels!

BusyBee

 

Create the BEST Staycation

family, Travel

While traveling is my preferred week off from work or school, sometimes the pocket book or life doesn’t allow for it. Thus, it’s important to know when and how to make the best of time at home, and this doesn’t mean cleaning everything.

  • I suggest planning ahead, same as you would for any vacation, to make the most of your time. Start by getting your house organized, not spotless, to make the week relaxing and easy.
  • Make a list of what you want to do locally. Maybe it’s just a few restaurants you have been wanting to try, or perhaps a new art exhibit. Make a list and plan out each day to see what you want. Plan it like you are a tourist in your own city and then see what seems like the best options.
  • Keep it simple and treat it like an easy vacation, where planning is loose and you just enjoy little things. Think of it like a reset, and a chance to revive from the stress of life.
  • Don’t over plan; make sure it’s legitimate down time and not a week of errands and running around town. Treat your stay like you’re not home to do the mundane and if you find yourself thinking about it, make a list to conquer it before or after.
  • “Treat Yo’ Self” in the totally Parks and Recreation sense of the phrase; visit the pa, shop, spoil, just make it about you and make yourself feel amazing.

  • Place your phone on “do not disturb” when you want to be left alone. Silence everything, turn it off, or unplug the internet and let the outside world melt away. Here is a news flash: The world won’t end if you are not constantly taking in information on it. I promise.
  • Turn on some rain sounds and sleep like a baby. Do this every night after the staycation and I promise it will make you feel better rested on the long term.

 

Happy Travels!