Students of happiness agree that certain habits foster feelings of contentment, peace, and joy. These habits include:
Gratitude – I am grateful for the very special people in my life and for the cherished time I get to spend with them
Affirmation – I am kind
Attitude – My life sparkles
Activity – Window shopping
Nurture – Steam pedicure
Enrichment – “Friendship is gained by listening instead of talking”
And a lovely dinner with my man, his family and their family friend; a treat so delicious and rare, I did not think it appropriate to snap a picture; use your imagination!
Giving – I let several cars in front of me in traffic and pitched in on a lovely steam pedicure for a friend who is having surgery tomorrow
Connection – A great day with my love, his friends, and his family
Simplifying – I didn’t buy anything while window shopping, knowing my wallet is emptier than my closet
We wait all week for the weekend, whether our days off are the traditional Saturday and Sunday, or other days during the week. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through the week is the promise of those days off.
As our weekend arrives, there is great anticipation, a celebratory feeling as the final day of work draws to a close. Our weekend begins, sometimes, about half way through the final day of our week; productivity decreases, distraction increases, and we count down the hours, then the minutes until we are free.
By Sunday, we begin to gear up for another week of work ahead. Sometimes, a sense of finality, of, dare I say, dread, develops, no matter how much we love our jobs. The fun and frolicking and freedom give way to task and chore and preparation. The joy of the day off is, sometimes, seemingly mitigated by the fact that an alarm must be set for morning, adequate amounts of sleep planned for, and, often, chores completed for the week ahead; laundry, ironing, meals planned, shopping done, meals prepared ahead. Such as Sunday Sauce, a traditional Italian family custom (no, I’m not Italian, but I love the idea). The week’s meat scraps and leftovers are combined into a sauce pot with tomatoes and other sumptuous ingredients, and are simmered together to make a sauce that is used throughout the busy week ahead. Sunday Sauce is spooned over pasta, meat, and vegetables and makes meal preparation throughout the week faster and easier, but no less homemade or delicious. But, the making of Sunday Sauce is one of those tasks we do with the foreboding of the long week ahead drawing nearer and nearer.
Recently, I seem to be experiencing this phenomenon twice per week. I work a traditional work week, with Saturday and Sunday off. I often have some flexibility during the week and can shuffle some of my projects around to allow me some time to spend off with my guy, who works a non-traditional work week and usually has a couple of weekdays off. So, Sunday is my Sunday and, well, today is his Sunday, and feels a lot like my Sunday, too.
As our day elapsed into evening, the pallor of solemnity seemed to increase. As shirts were ironed and the NetFlix movie drew to a close, as morning alarms were set, I was sent home with a quick goodbye kiss. My weekend, and a long, holiday weekend, at that, technically, begins tomorrow afternoon as soon as I conclude with my client. But, my weekend is sort of “on my own”, as my sweetie works. Oh, I’ll fill every minute and I will enjoy it. But come time for his next, and only day off next week, I’m scheduled to work with a number clients, all day long.
Do you see what is happening here? I am living in the future. I’m thinking about tomorrow, I’m thinking about two and three days from now, I’m thinking about the middle of next week, and all rather negatively. This is our tendency, and really, our doom. The daily doom and gloom that we let seep into our lives revolves around living in the past, dwelling on the past, living in the future, focusing on the future.
It is now. It is a beautiful evening and I’m with one of my favorite people. Life is meant to be enjoyed, like a present. In the present.