Posts Tagged ‘Happier with Gretchen Rubin’

This year the summer solstice fell on Friday, June 21st. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer season.  With that being said, Gretchen Rubin and her sister Liz Craft recommended the following “try this at home” on their most recent episode of Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Celebrate the summer (or winter) solstice by revisiting your one-word theme. My theme for this year is COMMIT. Since the year is almost half over, I thought, why not do a little self-reflection and see how I’m doing.

When I chose the word COMMIT, I thought it would light a fire that would ignite and spread throughout all the different areas of my life. Nah, that has not happened.  While I am not earning high marks in every area, I am earning gold stars in a few of them. I am slowly, but steadily, making strides in my house with purging/organizing the stuff that is in it. My hubby and I are making improvements (painting, making repairs, and buying a new bed). Now that I have a new scrapbook room, I am making the effort to carve out time to organize photos/mementos and to finally finish Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook by the end of the year. I have been taking classes to exercise my acting muscle and have signed up for private coaching sessions. And, I am reading at least one book per month on self-improvement.

Scrapbook -Ireland

The STA group in front of the Springfort Hall hotel that they stayed in on their first night in Ireland, and the group exploring the scenic route known as The Ring of Kerry. 

Where am I falling short? Health and wellness. Self-care. I am not referring to avoiding the doctor or skipping annual exams. I am referring to the day-to-day self-care that could improve my life dramatically. I have not been able to commit to daily exercise or a healthy diet (eating clean). Why? Not sure. Since the beginning of the year, I have started and stopped a million times (hyperbole). Three items on my 19 for 2019 list are connected to this area in my life: #4 Lose 19 pounds.; #5 Go to the gym at least once per week.; and #6 Run a 5K. Meh! Unfortunately, I have not made any strides towards accomplishing those goals.

With regards to my 19 for 2019 list, I have accomplished one ongoing item.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer. Since I was taking auditioning classes with Lance Nichols this month, I thought it would be beneficial to read it. It was an excellent choice. Jenna Fischer is well-known for her role as Pam on The Office. She tells her story about the struggles of becoming an actor with honesty and humor while providing sound advice for beginning actors. How I wish this book had been written years ago when I first started this acting journey! Knowing myself though, I probably would have quit the minute I finished the book. HA! All kidding aside, I consider it a user-friendly reference guide for aspiring actors that I plan to utilize throughout my acting career (no matter how short-lived it may be).

Although I am not accomplishing everything I want or need to accomplish at this moment, I am not going to feel defeated or give up, dear readers. Life is too short, especially at 50 years old. With a bit more self-reflection, I hope to figure out what is obstructing me from moving forward with my health and wellness goals, so I can eliminate it. Have you struggled with any of your goals and figured out how to achieve them? Let me know if you have and how you triumphed. Happiness!

“The truth is: Being an artist is hard. Writing is hard. Acting is hard. Directing is hard. Making music is hard. I know your relatives at home think, How hard can it be? It’s just playing pretend, but it’s hard. Most of the time it will feel like you are pushing a boulder up a mountain. But if you keep going, the muscle that moves you forward will get stronger. You learn to press on even when you don’t want to.” ~ Jenna Fischer, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide 


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Work LIfeHappy Labor Day, dear readers! Today, across the United States, many of us are celebrating Labor Day which is a celebration of American workers and their contributions and achievements. For many folks, this means BBQs, boat rides, and one last visit to the beach.

This year, I chose to celebrate Labor Day all weekend long by relaxing and doing little to no work. And, I do not plan on working too hard today. My behavior this weekend is highly unusual. When I was a classroom teacher, not so long ago, I used this weekend to catch up on school work. In fact, it was the norm for me to spend Labor Day Monday at school. The beginning of the school year is always hectic with tons of paperwork, organizing the classroom, creating emergency sub plans, writing lesson plans, getting into the school routine, etc. I always felt frazzled those first few weeks of school, and Labor Day weekend was a nice way to catch my breath.

According to Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, Labor Day is a great day to reflect upon one’s work life. Back in January of 2017, Rubin launched The Onward Project, a group of podcasts, that go along with Rubin’s message of creating “a happier, heathier, more productive, and more creative” life. Notably, for this Labor Day, Gretchen Rubin created #HappierLaborDay.  With the exception of Radical Candor, the other three podcasts of The Onward Project, Happier with Gretchen Rubin (Episode 184), Happier in Hollywood (Episode 68), and Side Hustle School (Episode 611), are asking questions and sharing their thoughts and insights pertaining to work life. Considering many of us spend a substantial amount of our time at work, you may want to spend a few minutes listening to what these interesting individuals have to share and then take some time to ruminate on your own work life.

One question that I personally reflected upon was “Does your job define you, and should it?” This was a question posed by Liz and Sarah from Happier in Hollywood. For me, my immediate response to the first part of the question is NO. Should it?  For me, the answer again is no. I am not especially passionate about my job. I feel that I am good at my job, and I am grateful for my job and the opportunities and blessings associated with it; however, I am not my job. There is so much more to me (that defines me) than my job and that allows me to do my job. With that being said, I am now pondering “What defines me, and should it?” HA!

For those of you that are not familiar with podcasts, they are auditory gems. I absolutely LOVE them. Podcasts are easily accessible, and you can listen to them through your phone, iPad, or laptop. I listen to several podcasts on my phone while walking, driving, and completing chores. Not a day goes by that I am not listening to one of my favorite podcasts. If you haven’t listened to a podcast before, may I recommend that you try the ones mentioned in this post. I will share others with you in the coming months.

What are you doing for Labor Day, dear reader? And, what defines you? I will be curious to learn how many of you are defined by your job. Happiness!

“The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith that you have. That’s what’s going to define you.” ~ Denzel Washington

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