Monday, April 18, 2016

JOY ~ Nine Things & Counting

Elephants are one of my favorite animals!
This week I read an article that resonated with me on a website I follow called The Elephant Journal. The article was titled "20 Things We Should Not Stop Doing When Life Sh*ts In Our Face". While not a fan of the title, I still read the article which you can find here: The Elephant Journal. I liked the article much more than its title.  Here are the quotes I liked:





"Disappointed. Scared. Doubtful"
"Anxious of a suddenly uncertain future"
Reluctant of making choices in fear of choosing the wrong one"

The quote about an uncertain future really hit home...after the past year. As the article's author suggests, some of us (me!) might have a tendency to go into a holding pattern when faced with something like a suddenly uncertain future. Essentially no longer making even small daily choices to continue living our lives and finding meaning (happiness, joy, gratitude, appreciation) in our everyday. On some level I have been guilty of this. I hunkered down. For example, I didn't "do Christmas" in 2015. I didn't seek out my friends on the same level. I didn't fully participate in activities that I enjoy.

A possible solution for the author was the list of 20 things we should not stop doing. As I strive to be strengths-based, positive and appreciative, the idea of "should" and "not" don't sit well with me. However the idea of a list of things to continue doing when you are down and out, has great appeal.  The author suggested/challenged readers to make their own list. Here is the beginning of my list:
Best.Cheesecake.Ever! Recipe from my Mother-in-Law
  1. Read. I love historical fiction, and Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. I did read some historical fiction, however I am three books behind with Stephanie, Joe and Ranger.
  2. Take photographs. I did take photographs, however not as many as I could have.
  3. Travel. I traveled quite a bit this past year. At first to NY State in pursuit of the long-distance relationship. Then several trips to and from Colorado for family time, and most recently to New Zealand and Australia. I was fortunate to have some disposable income and plenty of "points" to be able to travel this much in a year when I was both un- and underemployed (thus my suddenly uncertain future). However, even without income/points I could have done day trips or even hour trips to local areas for free.
  4. Spend time with friends. This area was tough for me. I didn't think I was good company. Many of my friends were "work friends" and as I was no longer working with them (or quite frankly, working at all), it was somewhat harder and perhaps more depressing for all parties to connect.
  5. Baking. I love to bake. You name it, I'll bake it. Cheesecake, cookies, cakes, bread. I've baked very little this year. My kitchen equipment is in storage. My uncle the single man, doesn't have all the accoutrements my baking requires. I did want to make a cheesecake for Christmas dessert (it's tradition) which required me to purchase a new springform pan, as my other pan is in the way back of the storage unit and I wasn't going there!
  6. Knitting. Silly me. I do enjoy knitting. I could have been knitting on all those flights. The knitting needles and patterns are...you guessed it...also in the way back of the storage unit.
  7. Kept writing this blog. Perhaps you noticed a dearth of posts from Soudain Soixante. 
  8. Kept up an exercise routine. I ended my membership with a barre class program (which I loved). It was too expensive to continue while un or underemployed, and honestly, it became harder and harder to go being generally 25-35 years older than most of the other women in the room. I also stopped walking 10,000 steps a day which I had become pretty consistent at doing; even here in Seattle where it rains almost daily from October to May (our Rain Festival). When I owned a house I could walk through the house to get in those steps. It's a bit more challenging to do that at my Uncles house. That being said, I could have kept doing barre exercise via DVD which is...in the way back of the storage unit. 'Nough said.
  9. Take my vitamins. Another thing I just let slide. I don't take many...a multi-vitamin (which my physician told me wasn't really necessary), Vitamin D (because really, we don't get enough sun here in Seattle) and Biotin. 
One of my favorite photos taken in 2015
I pulled these nine ideas out in less than three minutes today. While I am certain there are more, this is a great start. Do something every day. Take a walk. Take your camera on the walk. Take a photograph with your camera on a walk. Take a walk with a friend, photograph your friend. Be grateful that you can take a walk with or without a camera or a friend. Don't neglect to live your life, even though you may be disappointed, scared, doubtful, anxious of a suddenly uncertain future, or reluctant to make choices in fear of choosing the wrong one.

What would your list be?

CREDITS:

Photographs:
  • Elephant taken by my Daughter (on her trip to South Africa)
  • All Other Photos are by Me

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