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Monday, September 30, 2013

Down and Out: Climbing Back to the Top of My Happy Hill

This past week things have been getting me down. Not because I’m unhappy, but because I haven’t achieved all the things I’ve wanted to over the past few months, and I’m feeling the pressure.

Two weeks ago I started a new job. This is good. I was in a rut with my last employer. I wasn’t learning anything new, I was bored a lot of the time, and I hated going to work on the two days I actually had to leave my nice comfy home and tackle the Sydney traffic. My new job is awesome, and I’m really enjoying the change and the challenge. But it’s far more work than I’m used to, so I have a lot less spare time to do all the things I want to do. In other words, all the things that make me happy.

One of my recent reads was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. His books rank among my favourites, and he is one of my favourite authors. He gave birth to the idea of Father Time, and I can’t at this point in my life help cursing this fictional character in the context of The Time Keeper.

“Man alone suffers a paralysing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
Mitch Albom – The Time Keeper

Yes, this is so true, but I have to ask myself what is most important? That time will run out, or that I haven’t used it wisely?

Since I’ve had to work more, I’ve utilised my time better. For instance, I write in my lunch break because it’s the only spare time I have, and therefore my word count on those days is bigger. On Friday morning I had my car serviced and I had to sit and wait at the dealership. I used this time to think about all the things I needed to do over the next few weeks before I go away at the end of October. The list looks something like this:
  • Edit Immagica and have it ready for my editor by October 25
  • Sit my uni exam
  • Write two essays for uni
  • Write more of the next Tate Chronicles instalment
  • Schedule blog posts
  • Write book reviews for a blog tour
  • Critique a novella
  • Work more days than I usually do
  • Design a cook book

I’m exhausted just looking at that list.

After my car was ready I knew I should go home and get cracking on the list, but I’d worked a 4-day week and I wanted some me time. So I stopped in at the local shops for an hour. I walked past kikki. K. which is a very bad thing because I never leave that shop empty handed. Well, this time I was happy to part with my money. I bought myself two little quote books and a dream journal. It’s the best money I’ve spent in a while.

It makes me happy just looking at them!

When I got home I sat down and flicked through the quote books. Instantly I realised one very important thing. The length of the list is not what matters. What matters is that everything on that list is something that makes me happy.

Happiness is the key, and when everything starts to get too much, I just need to remind myself why I’m doing what I do.

“It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.”
Mitch Albom – The Time Keeper

I'm really looking forward to turning to these quote books for inspiration, motivation and reassurance. And I'm excited about all the dreams I have to put into my dream journal. It's things like this that help keep me grounded, and I'd love to know what you like to do to keep things in perspective?

K x

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