List the ways you have invested in your happiness this year:
- I took more time, this year, to spend with family and friends. That included taking a spring vacation with my sisters, making time for friends when they visited Beaver Island, allowing for a couple extra days off when my sisters and their families were here on the island, going on a trip with my daughter, Kate, and her family, and meeting my friend, Linda, on the mainland this fall for shopping and catching up. I’m preparing to go down-state for Christmas, too, to spend the holiday with my family. I’m hoping to squeeze in a visit with another friend, too.
- I made a point of prioritizing my art career this year. I finished several pieces that have been “in progress” for too long, and discarded a few others that no longer stirred my interest. I invested in materials for encaustic painting, and researched a couple workshops to delve further into that process. I planned and taught a drawing class. Recently, I’ve been putting out feelers about getting my work in a new gallery.
- I’ve tried, this year, to cut myself a little slack. I don’t have to be so hard on myself. I’m barely concerned, for instance, that this blog is a whole day late. Who cares?!
- I bought a new pillow. It’s a huge improvement over the small sofa cushion I had been using as a pillow for the last several years. It makes me happy every time I lay my head down on it.
- Along those same lines, I bought a new bed. My last bed came from the re-sale shop: $5.00 for the headboard and footboard; $15.00 for the flat springs; and $20.00 to pay the young man that delivered it to my house. I spent another three dollars on a can of spray paint to dress it up, and put it all together with a mattress I already owned. That was two years ago. I didn’t realize that all flat springs are not the same, and that they are not all suitable for adults. The bed drooped instantly, just from the weight of the mattress. It sagged worse when I got into bed. Every movement caused discomfort. Rolling from one side to the other was painful. Getting in or out of bed was a chore. I spent an hour every morning just trying to un-kink my body from the torture I’d put it through. Buying a bed through the mail is a scary proposition. It’s hard, also, to compete with the great deal I got on that miserable bed. Facing the end of the year, knowing that one of my New Year’s resolutions will drastically curb my spending habits, I finally made the leap. The bed arrived last week. I assembled it in an evening. I put a new mattress pad on top of the old mattress, and arranged it on the wood slats that replace springs on this new bed. I was correct that the mattress was not the problem. This new bed is heavenly! Supportive, comfortable, and good-looking, too!
- I reclaimed Christmas as my favorite holiday. In most areas of my life, as chance or circumstance alters my course, I don’t let my situation dictate my level of participation in life. I never planned on living alone, especially not here on Beaver Island, far from siblings, children and grandchildren. Over the years, I’ve lost family, friends and acquaintances here: some moved away; some died. My jobs have changed, due to businesses failing or opportunities falling through. I continue on. But not concerning this holiday. Regarding Christmas, when I no longer had friends or family to share it with, I let it go by the wayside. Maybe a few contemplative moments in the morning; perhaps a shot of Irish Creme in my coffee, in honor of the special day; probably a nice dinner with kind folks who invited me to share. No decorations, though. Not for just me. Too depressing. Too stark of a contrast from holiday memories of big family gathering, with lots of noise and laughter and children. Well, this year I said to hell with that attitude. This year, I took back the joy to be found in putting up a tree, pulling out decorations, and sifting through memories. This year, there are Christmas lights in the evenings, and carols playing on the stereo. On the side table, there is a basket full of Christmas cards from years past, each holding the place of another time, stirring fresh reminiscences. Often, there are cookies near the big basket of oranges in the kitchen, and a long row of “Santa”s peer down from the shelf. All just for me! And I’m happy!