9/17/17 – Why I am blogging

This is my first post.  I have set up some goals for this month and #1 is getting started on the blog.  So today is the first day of my new blog.

I have been reading and listening a lot about happiness and how to set yourself up so that it is attainable.  I just finished Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project” and currently reading the Dali Lama’s “The Art of Happiness”.  I am an avid listener to the 10% Happier podcast by Dan Harris and Optimal Living Daily.  What I find is this… You have to do something to make something happen.  Becoming more mindful is definitely a “project”.

I am now 64 and have 11 months until my retirement date. Once I  committed to actually going down that road, I knew I needed to be prepared emotionally.  It was a great weight off my psyche to finally commit.  I wavered back and forth and then decided, why wait?  Now, I am sooooo excited (yes the extra o’s are needed) that I am tingling as I write this.

As I have been thinking about starting the past month, I have worked on creating habits that will have me ready for the big date.  Gretchen Rubin talks a lot about habits and these are the ones I have established so far:

Exercise twice a day – I really do this because I love it.  I walk, ride my bike, kayak, go the the gym or yoga class in the mornings and in the evenings.  I try to switch it up so I don’t get bored or overdo.

Meditate daily – this I learned from listening to Dan Harris.  I needed to set aside a time for meditation and really try to stick to it.  I have been meditating 10 to 20 minutes once a day for close to six months and it does make a difference.  I am less reactive, calmer, and most importantly, nicer.  Using an app (Headspace) gives me a structure for meditation and an accountability that I need!

Change my eating habits – I am eating cleaner and have sworn off “fake foods” – you know the ones that come it small packages and taste really good even though they have not nutritional value and taste really good.  This weekend I decided to eliminate sugar – still working out what form that will take because it is everywhere, but I am starting with blatant sugar, the kind you find in cookies, cake, and ice cream.

Just doing these things has made a dramatic impact on me.  I feel lighter, freer, and better able to cope with whatever comes my way.  I like myself and it is ok to not only like yourself but love yourself.  I love my family, I love my dog, I love my friends, I love where I live, and love the feeling I have at this moment as I write this.

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