Planning for Happiness

Posted by in Navel Gazing and Other Hysterics

It’s that time of year again. The time when we look at the last year of our lives, and we pick it apart, looking for something to fix. Maybe you don’t do that, maybe you’re healthy and well adjusted, and do everything right, but that’s not me. For the last, at least 2 decades, I have looked at New Years Day as marking a fresh chance to fix everything that was wrong with me and my life.

But not this year.

This year, I spent New Year’s Day in bed. Not hung over, I should say not JUST hung over, but suffering with what was the beginning of three days of fever/sore throat hell. Over those three days I mostly slept, whined a lot, and thought about how shitty it was that I was starting the year that way and not eating standing rib roast and caramel cake like I was supposed to. But then I realized, that I was starting the year trapped in my comfortable house, in my big comfy bed, being taken care of by a family who loves me. Yes, I was hung over but only because we’d rung in the New Year with a house full of our awesome friends. That despite the sore throat and the fever I was healthier than I’ve ever been. That although I was damp and freezing from the fever, and matted and greasy from the lack of showering, I was happier than I’d ever been.

So, I started thinking about the things that I enjoy doing the most, and this year I’m going to focus on the good, on doing more of the things that made me happy last year. I’m going to think of them less as “resolutions,” and more as plans. For some reason ‘resolutions’ has negative connotations for me. There is nothing wrong with me, I don’t need to change. But, as you know, I’m pretty type A and I am more than happy to make plans. 🙂

Meagan’s Plans for 2016

  1. Running – Last year I learned to be a runner. It started in January when I told Josh that I was going to run everyday. Well, that was a pipedream, but I went from struggling to finish 2 miles, to doing 6 plus regularly and feeling really good. This year I’d like to train for the Tryon Half Marathon that’s held in November. I don’t care about my time, I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. I also have 10 months now to get ready – feel free to kick my ass about this regularly. Running has taught me that if I put my mind to something I can do it. I always felt growing up like I was the un-athletic one, that I was terrible at anything having to do with sports or movement, so why even try? But over the last year I’ve become an athlete, and I couldn’t be more proud.
  2. Eating Healthy – As you know if you read this blog, I’ve lost almost 100lbs over the last year or so. (I’m currently sitting at 98.6lbs lost.) I’ve made a lot of changes to the way I eat and I’m loving it. Spinach and Salmon are my new best friends. I no longer feel like a slave to food and I feel like my confidence has expanded with my palate. This next year I’d like to continue on this journey of changing the way that I look at food.
  3. Reading – Last year I read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. It felt really good. I’m going to do it again. You should join me. Read more about that here.
  4. Writing – In 2015 I realized I wanted to be a writer. In 2016 I’m going to do something about it. Yes, if you write, you’re a writer, but I want more than that. I want to make a living (and we can define “living” very loosely here) as a writer. I want to put “writer” on medical forms, and answer without cringing when acquaintances ask me what I do. In 2015 I wrote a novel. In 2016 I’m going to submit it for publication. But I’m going to do more than that. I’m going to write 6 short stories and try to get them published too. I’m going to consider writing my “job” and make something happen. And if nothing comes of it, at least I know I tried my very best.
  5. Travel – In April of 2015 I traveled with Josh to Manhattan. He worked and I explored the city on my own. It was eye opening. Firstly, I would never have had the confidence to do that in the past. I would have been afraid of what people in such a fashionable city would think about my schlubby mom-ness. I would be afraid to get lost. I was just afraid. But not anymore. I walked all over midtown, I saw Bryant Park and the NY Public Library, the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station, I saw FAO Schwartz and Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building and Times Square, and I saw it all, alone. It was amazing. In August, Josh and I went to Canada for a dear friend’s wedding. I realized how much I miss my friends, and how much I like traveling, and that it’s okay to leave the kids with Nana and Papa. This year I plan to do all of these things more.

I entered 2016 happy. I have a happy life. But I want to do more, and I think these plans will help.

What are your plans for 2016?