Day five was a productive day working from home. I found my Master Task list from 2018 and there listed “line pantry.” Instead of relaxing I measured my pantry shelves, cut the plastic liner and lined the shelves. After it was completed I felt a sense of accomplishment. It was small but it was something that I needed to do and getting it done made me feel normal. Dinner suddenly crossed my mind and I realized I had not gone out for a nice dinner recently. I ordered Greek food and ate in my dining room (something I hadn’t done in a while) without a phone, journal or kindle. I even remembered to say a prayer and I enjoyed my meal in a way I hadn’t for a long time. It was Special and I was completely present.
On day six, I woke up feeling crappy, a feeling I had become so familiar with. I took my shower expecting to feel some relief. The feeling of defeat and disappointment just wouldn’t go away. Emotionally I was overwhelmed and I started to cry. As I was about to put my phone on Do Not Disturb my cousin messaged me. “Remember (Redeeming Love) it’s still one of my favorite books – read it, you will experience every emotion and that will be good for you.” “I know by now you’re probably not feeling that great.” “I felt like I had sunk so deep into whatever around day five/six when I did this a few years ago but a good cry will allow you to release some emotional baggage.” “Hang in there luv.”
Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books (MUST READ). My cousin had recommended it as a way to get me interested in venturing into other genres of books. I enjoyed the read that I have since read it several times. She was right reading one of my favorite books made me feel so much better. I wasn’t happy but I felt better. I felt sad, I cried, I smiled, I nodded in agreement and I laughed. After reading for a bit I poured myself a glass of wine and I faced my journal once again. This time I wrote for a while and wrote about things I didn’t know stuck with me and still bothered me.
I enjoy Soulcycle and it has become more than a workout for me. I feel great after every ride. Some rides I cry, some rides I’m so overwhelmed with Gratitude that I smile all the way through and then there are those times that I simply work my ass off. With everything that I have been experiencing I have gone from riding three to four times a week to once or twice.
While premeditating what I was gonna do for my final day on the eve of day six, I am reminded of a conversation I had in May with my cousin. “You, Love Soulcycle, go do that as much as you can – you’ll enjoy it, it will make you feel good. Just being there will make you
Woke up, showered and headed to Soulcycle for my usual 8:30 AM Saturday class. I worked my ass off and I cried. I cried so much during my ride that I was sure my eyes were puffy. That morning instead of my usual coffee with the girls, I made an excuse to go home. I showered and fell asleep at the foot of my bed curled up like a baby. It was 5 PM when I woke up, I drank some water, got under my covers and went back to bed. I opened my eyes and it was the next day at 6 AM on Sunday morning. I was feeling better than I’ve felt in months and I was starving.
A note from the challenge
We have all heard that being Happy is an Inside Job, you are 100% responsible for your happiness, etc. I wondered, how exactly does someone keep their happiness momentum going during the emotional world winds we sometimes experience in life. Maybe there is research or an article or a book that I haven’t stumbled upon or maybe, like life we figure it out as we go along through trial and error. I am not sure, not yet at least.
During my happiness experiment|challenge, I realized a few things about myself and happiness. Apart from the few things I do often (like buying flowers, Soulcycle or eating good food), what made me happy? And the fact that I honestly couldn’t tell the last time I was truly happy made it worst. I tried to cheat while on the challenge by premeditating what I was going to do the next day and I drew a blank almost every time.
Was I so out of touch with myself that I couldn’t remember what made me feel good? Or what made me happy? I was out of touch, I really didn’t know and I felt lost. I was mad at myself, and I started criticizing myself. Now that I realized what something was wrong, and I knew how unfulfilled I was with my life, what was I going to do? The truth was I didn’t know how to move forward, or what to do.
Having my cousin’s encouragement and support was truly comforting. I have done so much on my own for a very long time in my life that I have simply depended on me in every way. Not that I didn’t have help or couldn’t get help I just didn’t ask or simply didn’t know how to. I am always there for my friends or family even if it was to lend a listening ear, now here I was with no one to turn to. Not because I didn’t have anyone but who did I trust enough to really tell my story. I was so good at making everything look easy and under control that I didn’t see that things were out of control.
In those short seven days, I learned patience and I am happy to say it was with myself. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. And we don’t realize how damaging and demotivating those harsh words we say to ourselves really are. I use to be a happy and optimistic person but at some point in my life, that changed. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you when that change took place. I know life isn’t easy and some of us work really hard to achieve the things we want. But how about we work really hard to be the people we are so capable of being.
Everywhere I turn there are mental health posts and seminars. Well-being this and that. Self-love quotes and coaches (and I am not knocking anyone). But the truth is we have to do the work. We have to learn how to minimize our stressors. We have to get rid of the toxic relationships and things in our lives. And we have to be brutely honest with ourselves. Many of us lie every day to ourselves about what we really want. And how we are truly feeling. Because we fear those inevitable changes and the emotional awkwardness that comes with being honest.
You and I can post a million quotes. We can go to seminars. We can hire a life coach. And support mental health awareness. But unless we are honest with ourselves about what we need. And actually do the work, there’s nothing that will help us heal and live a full life.
See you on Tuesday for part 3 – if you’ve missed part 1 check it out here