Tuesday, July 06, 2010

three things

I've done this before and it's time to do it again. Periodically I get completely off the track of doing the things I really want to do in the course of a day. Not the chores, not the lists of things that must be done, but the things I REALLY want to be doing. The things that make me happy.

Don't ask me why it is that the things that make me happy sometimes get shoved to the bottom of a long list of routine chores, mundane tasks, and the work of keeping up a house and barn and farm.

There IS a lot of work, but it's all for naught if the happy things don't make an appearance for weeks on end.

Years back I developed (probably when I had children, and realized my days could get away from me in the blink of an eye) a tactic to help me get back to the business of incorporating the important things into each day. It's easy to take this technique and overwhelm yourself, which I absolutely did initially, but the remedy for that is to limit the number to three.


Every day I pick three things I want to enjoy. Often mine are the same three, but there's no reason they can't be new each day, and different. The point is to plug in three things you really want to do, that aren't chores, or work, or longstanding items on that To Do List.

My three things right now are:

Pilates in the morning
an hour of dedicated writing time
a ride on Keil Bay

There is no earthly reason why I can't get these things into my days. The work will manage to get done, and if necessary, one or two of the chores can wait. It will never happen if I don't make it happen.

Right now we're moving back into heat wave mode, so the riding will need to be done very early in the a.m. or well past sunset. The biting flies are out too, so the best time to ride is night-time, with the arena lights and the bats. That's not my favorite time to ride, but I'm going to give it a whirl and see if the pleasure of the ride overcomes the fact that it's not ideal.

And if anyone has other techniques that help you incorporate the good stuff, please share!


ponymaid said...

Billie, as two of your three "things to do" involve exercise, it's best I address the third - ie. the writing hour. I advise having a plate of what Jack calls "Fancies" next to you throughout. Watermelon slices, mints, Stud Muffins and anything else you desire. Snack freely. Should your eyes become heavy, allow yourself to slide into a refreshing doze. If the notion takes you to suddenly lie flat out in a patch of sun, by all means do that too. If massaging your ears on the corner of the table stimulates thought, have away. Word count may be limited by these methods but you will have a most refreshing hour.

Anonymous said...

This happens to me too - your strategy sounds like a good one.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I feel that somewhere deep inside yourself, you might actually enjoy some Pilates mat work. He advises that one should be exacting in the exercises, without straining oneself, and the breathing is very important.

However, I know you have good advice when it comes to the writing hour, and I like your idea of a plate of Fancies sitting by my side.

I can assure you that at this time of year there is no way I will taken by a notion to lie flat out in the sun, but it's possible the massaging of ears might help.

Around here I have two donkeys who will do very intricate and careful massaging of their EYES on various objects and it scares me to death.

I find myself saying something my mother always said:

Be careful, or you'll put your eye out!

What in the world was I doing as a child that warranted that warning? I don't remember.

Anyway, I can see you in your own writing hour, pondering and then dozing, massaging and taking a bite of a nice Stud Muffin. You are the most civilized donkey I know.

billie said...

Kate, I'm glad to know it's not just me. :) So far I have done Pilates and had my writing hour, and I had forgotten all about the synergy that happens when I do the three happy things. It's hot out, but we'll see how the evening feels for a ride.

Máire said...

This is a good idea, and a good reminder for me too. It is so easy to let one's time and energy seep out into all the demands of the day and this is a very good way to burn out.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I like your idea of doing three things each day to make you happy. I'd like to try it one day when I don't have so many things overpowering my hours. Every time I plan on exercising or working on the computer something always interrupts my good intentions. I do wish I could simply let it go but I feel if I don't get all my 'jobs' done I can't take the time for myself that I want/need.

billie said...

Maire, that's exactly what happens - I go and go and do all the "supposed to" things, thinking that at some point I'll catch up and get ahead and manage to get the "three things" in.

But when that doesn't happen, I crash and burn - if I have one of those days where I am so overwhelmed I can't do ANYthing, I know it's time to put the fun things first, or at least at the top of the list.

billie said...

Arlene, I think you should try it. If your days are like mine, all the overpowering 'stuff' will never end.