Happiness in a busy world

It’s been a month since my last post. A month. And to be honest I didn’t even notice it. What’s worst, I didn’t see June coming. The other day I caught myself saying the most unexpected words (for me anyway): “how is it June already?

I was quite shaken by this.

Maybe most people will be like “what is she going on about?”; but if you follow my blog (or read the about section, really), you’ll know I am a ‘Carpe Diem’ sort of person – I pride myself in enjoying the moment, treasuring every breath, in taking in all the beauty around me, in noticing the sun, the rain, the smells, the flowers… everything. And… I did not see June coming. How was this possible?

I decided to take a moment and meditate on how this happened.

I know how, and I don’t want to say the word – I hate the word – but it’s true, there’s no other way to put it, I have been… busy. I know, I know, I am totally contradicting myself. OK OK, maybe I am being a bit too harsh. Yes, I have been busy, but I know what I have been busy about and I care about it. I am LOVING my job. Regardless of how much I love it though, I am afraid I cannot allow myself to not be aware of what’s happening around me, especially not noticing five months gone by in a sprint!

So, it was time for reflection

Let me start by saying that I have always been – and still am – an extraordinarily happy person. At my last job, even though I was bored (really really bored), I wasn’t unhappy – I had friends, a husband I love,  and a really nice life. But I did not like my job. So I quit. (Haha don’t jump into conclusions, nothing as extreme this time around!). As soon as I quit, I started the blog, and I started to pay even more attention to things I already noticed, but hadn’t really looked at in a while. I mean I have always been quite a ‘in the moment’ person, but the fact is when you don’t like your job, the crankiness settles in and a little dark cloud starts forming.

Let me tell you, even if you are, like me, a happy person, your happiness can be stretched to a world of fluffiness beyond your imagination. If you just choose to be more present.

And for the past five months, I have been thrilled – yes – by a job I love, a husband I love, friends I love and a life I love – so, pretty happy right? Right. But still, I didn’t see June coming. And that scares me. I realised what my problem was.

I was watching Sarah Millican (a UK comedian) on TV and she said something that clicked. She said she was never a workaholic when she worked in a boring office job that she hated. In fact, she couldn’t wait for 5pm to get the hell out. But once she started doing what she loved, she became a workaholic. Huh, interesting. (Getting there?). So my problem is that I love – and care about my job – so much, that it has been kind of taking over.

Action time: back to over-the-top happiness

So I realised I had a new challenge: how do I go about being over-the-top happy and present in the moment when I am so busy?

Well, as I said it’s a challenge, and I am setting myself to find out. I suspect it’s about setting boundaries, about finding the right balance and most importantly I suspect it’s about being able to let go.

I’ll elaborate. So, all in all I am happy right? I love my job, etc etc. But lately, I have noticed I’ve been getting crankier (uh oh!). Things that I had kind of let go of, like stressing about the little things, panicking about things that I can’t do anything about, gossiping (more like bitching , OMG I’ve been sinning), ‘tube  anger’ (that’s the subway for ya)… and a few other tiny things start coming up again; things that overall make a big difference to me.

So first things first: it’s time to get used to letting go again – as the Dalai Lama puts it, and I’m sure I have written it here before:

“If the problem has a solution, worrying is pointless, in the end the problem will be solved. If the problem has no solution, there is no reason to worry, because it can’t be solved.”

And this is it. I am going to read this mantra, every day, out loud, until it’s so deep into my brain that when people ask me my name that’s what I’ll say. Boom. I know this sounds bollocks but just of thinking this yesterday, my day today was happier and lighter – and funny enough I got loads more done. Need to let go of the picking on little things, stressing about things you can’t change… letting go of the anger.

So I thought of a little project for myself. To try to figure out little things I can do, in my new job-loving-busy-life, that can help me keep my bubbly-annoyingly-happy-self… so, no shouting at broken trains aloud (will be difficult but I’ll do my best). I also watched Super Soul Sunday (LOVE Oprah so much!!) with Gretchen Rubin, the author of ‘Project Happiness’ which is totally on my ‘amazon next buy’ list, but as I wait for the book I’ll start giving it a go on my own.

I guess step one (for me) is this: acknowledgement. To realise that I was slightly off-track and need to get back to my ‘living and loving the moment’ self (OMG sounds so hippie – whateves’, not like I care, I am happy!).

So the aim this week is to be conscious and aware every time the cranky patterns arise and stop it at its start. To take action, I’m actually going to keep a log, of every little thing that annoys me and whether I’ve let go or not. Should be fun. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ll start thinking about step two for next week.

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