Hey, so, you know those funny movies about workaholics who realize there’s more to life than working? I’m kind of living that script right now, complete with three consecutive counselors (over the years, of course) giving me “homework assignments” to go have fun. Here’s the next one:
This week was pretty low key, and I have to wonder if it wasn’t a direct result of attacking fun head-on. Here’s what I got up to:
Fun Thing 1 – Meditating every day
Meeting with a particularly wise friend this past Saturday lead me to promise to meditate each day for 30 days. So far so good! I don’t know that I can point to a particular benefit, specially since I also got a massage that week, but I intend to stick with it and see if it’s as life changing as they say. JHubbs and I often use this relaxation tone to chill out at night (and sometimes with company, like last Thanksgiving!), but for meditation I’ve been using The Meditation Podcast and it’s okay. I’ll probably buy one of the apps my homeopathic doctor suggested when I can figure out the iTunes payment verification process (Buddhify is $4.99 and Simply Being is $1.99).
Fun Thing 2 – Coloring to podcasts/music
Several nights this week, I colored mandalas instead of doing chores or continuing to work. This is a relaxation technique I got from my counselor, and I’ve found that it’s actually fun to do as a group of friends, too. It lets your mind float free while your body is sort of accomplishing something, and the results are beautiful.
While I did this, I set up our old iPhone 4 and iHome docking station as a music and podcast zone for the living room, since the TV is in the closet indefinitely. I listened to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Podcast and I’ll listen to Phoenix Helix Reversing Autoimmune Disease podcast another day. I also filled the podcast up with awesome old-school bands (for me) like Great Big Sea, Bush, Counting Crows, and Dr. Dog.
Fun Thing 3 – Shortening my workday
Thanks to a particularly emotional counseling session, I’ve seen the light about my work schedule. I’m going to take up some “Summer Hours” indefinitely and do my best to stop working around 1 or 2pm. Thinking about this made me cry, which is a good sign that I need to do it. And it’s not about the money, per se, because money is just an indicator of success as a freelancer (and we all have a bit of a chip on our shoulders about proving that we’re successful as freelancers). What really kills me is missing out on all the potential things I could accomplish if I just kept working.
Already it hurts to think about a solid 2-3 hours per day that I will need to spend on self-care or my relationships instead of building an online empire or doing more client work…. but that attitude is not serving me well, so it’s time to discard it for a phase. And something I shouldn’t be thinking about but I totally am is that when you put boundaries on something it often improves and works better than ever before. So the workaholic in me is a little excited that by working less I’ll be naturally energized to do more in that time (condensing solid work into the hours of 9-1 rather than the attitude “from waking to sleeping I will do as much as possible” will focus my energies).
Fun Thing 4 – Massage
Massages are scientifically proven to reduce stress, speed healing, and facilitate hormonal/adrenal balance… three things I desperately need to do. So even though I am reducing my hours (and therefore in all likelihood my income), we are adding monthly massages to the budget to facilitate this kind of healing. I feel like a schmuck to be incorporating this kind of luxury to my monthly routine, but I can’t deny the fact that overcoming autoimmune takes some expensive solutions (AIP food, homeopathic supplements, etc). So… there it is. I did this Tuesday of this week and it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Here are other “Fun Homework” updates you might have missed:
July 13-17: Playing with the cat, Minions, Reading fiction
July 20-24: Meditating, Coloring, Shortening my workday
What kind of fun did you have this week?