I'm a big fan of Gretchen Rubin's "Happier" podcast. She's the author of the book "The Four Tendencies" - a book that I recently read and have incorporated not only into my own life but in my work with my counseling team at work. I heard the podcast on 18 things for 2018 and figured I give it a go...I mean, what do I have to lose? I'm all too familiar with setting New Year's (or anytime of the year) Resolutions only to find myself staring at some ambitious "life-changing" list months after I wrote it thinking, "Who was I trying to kid?"
No more resolutions! Rather than focusing on behavior and lifestyle changes, I love the "18 for 2018" concept because it's something I can schedule, do and check off a list. (Side note: it's particularly helpful to list things that I know I have to do because of upcoming obligations.) Take a look at mine and let me know what your "18 for 2018" are...resolutions are so 2017.
“August.” What is it about these particular 31 days? For many of us, August conjures up memories of the last month of summer: hot days by a pool, camping trips, back-to-school shopping or those final days before we left home for college. These 31 days were named after the first Roman emperor in 8 BCE in honor of several of his great conquests. The word “august” – when used as an adjective – means “majestic, venerable, or inspiring admiration.” There’s a little restaurant that I love in NYC called “August” and they cook with farm-to-table ingredients – certainly a way to inspire the admiration of our local farms and countryside!
If you’re anything like me, turning the calendar to August leaves us wondering, “Where did the summer go?” before it’s even over. So instead of preemptively lamenting the passing of another summer, what better way to honor the spirit of August than by focusing on ways that we can inspire admiration and majesty in ourselves? So for this August, I am challenging myself – alongside hikes with the dog, lazy summer evenings and a trip to the ocean (finally!) – to 31 days where I do something that makes me feel better about who I am. 31 Days of Admiration.
Whether it’s a small thing that I would normally do anyway (taking the dog for a hike) or a larger task that I’ve been putting off (annual physical), the idea is to do one thing each day for the next 31 days that will hopefully make me feel better about myself or lead me to make decisions or changes that truly show admiration for myself. Take a look at my 31 Days of Admiration Inspiration and let me know what yours are! If you miss a day or are just seeing this post, any amount of admiration is good!
Here’s to inspiring admiration!
Today my partner said, "You know, your life is about to change in less than thirty days." "Really?" I asked. "Hadn't thought about that."
At the end of the month, I'll be making the move from New York City (albeit the woodsy parts of Riverdale in the Bronx) to Nyack (a quirky little village on the Hudson River.) We have talked about moving out of city for a while now. Too much...noise, congestion, garbage, rent. The decision to move, from my perspective, was less about a lifestyle change and more about living in the place that I work and enjoy spending my time.
When I moved to NYC from Atlanta in 2008, I had created a fun and ambitious "30 things to do in the first 30 days" list. Items ranged from the touristic to the mundane. In retrospect, making the list was more fun than trying (and failing) to complete the list. I look back on those excited months and days filled with anticipation and excitement and wonder if I should be having similar feelings about this move. Am I missing something?
Truth be told, I lived in the NYC suburbs for a year in 2011 - so I've already "left New York" once before. I rode the commuter train, schlepped into the city for work/school/dinner with friends, and sat around on Saturday evenings wondering what the heck I was doing "all the way out here!" That time for me, however, was different - a move made necessary due to an ended relationship, a new job, and a new chapter in my life.
I took a walk this past weekend to take a look at my new (our new) apartment and along the way I noticed the hill that gently caresses the sloping streets of Nyack and thought, "This is where I'm supposed to be." I've always had a thing for mountains in the distance - maybe I should have moved to Denver? But whatever that affinity is about, I knew in that moment that this is where I need to be.
No lists. No going-away parties. No dreams of how my life will suddenly change.
Just the peaceful and contented recognition that my life has and is changed...I'm just simply playing catch-up.
In no particular order, I offer a list of things that bring me joy/make me happy/make me feel grateful...what are yours?
The early morning light from my kitchen window
Listening to music from my high school years
The Golden Girls on Lifetime
How my cat runs to the door when I come home
How my cat bites me when he's done with the petting
"Come, labor on" and a few other Anglican hymns
The sound of the coffee grinder
Hearing, "Hey babe, you're home!"
That feeling after the gym when I didn't want to go in the first place
The smell of onions in the saute pan
Colored Christmas lights covered in snow
Seeing the gloaming sky from anywhere on earth
Driving without a destination
The smell of an extinguished match
The memory of my grandmother's voice
Looking at magazines with no intention to purchase
Walking through Central Park
Talking to my mom on a Friday night
Looking up flights to exotic and distant places
Chocolate and peanut butter
Two dozen white roses
An afternoon nap
My thoughts and reactions to the world in which we live...completely biased and unfiltered.