Two full weeks into the first month of my Happiness Project, I realized I had learned something new and unexpected: while I was overall happier, I did not feel more energetic. This was a tad surprising because my October theme was “energy.”
I can’t say my resolutions had provided me with an increased sense of physical well-being. Did this mean my first month’s theme was a bust?
Not in the least.
I had learned a different but nevertheless valuable lesson.
I went to my trusted dictionary—Merriam-Webster—to look up the definition of “energy.” Maybe I didn’t feel more energetic because I had based my Happiness Project theme on a faulty interpretation.
1. a: dynamic quality – narrative energy
b: the capacity of acting or being active – intellectual energy
c: a usually positive spiritual force – the energy flowing through all people
2: vigorous exertion of power: effort – investing time and energy
3: fundamental entity of nature that is transferred between parts of a system in the production of physical change within the system and usually regarded as the capacity for doing work
4: usable power (such as heat or electricity); also: the resources for producing such power
I was correct.
While I had exerted plenty of energy in the course of the month, I can’t say I had acquired “more” vitality.
There was no denying it; I did feel happier. The following reasons made me feel satisfied, productive and yes, happy:
I still went to bed tired. Likewise, I could only read a few pages of my book—no matter how riveting the book—before my eyes closed shut for the night. While I woke up aspiring to be industrious, I didn’t sprightly bound out of bed.
I can’t say there was much improvement to my pre-Happiness Project energy level from September.
Was this akin to a Happiness Project Fail?
Not at all!
I am delighted with my results—albeit not in the way I had first anticipated. Had I mastered time travel and you could go back in the past, I would change my October theme to something besides “Energy.”
While at the time, I believed my desired results for October was indeed to acquire more energy, I now realize this wasn’t precisely the goal I was after. The funny thing is that I was still able to reach—as well as discover—my real goal despite the fact I could not verbalize it concisely on October 1st. I discovered that my actual goal was “balance.”
When the Lesson is not the Lesson
What is balance?
I didn’t really want more stamina. Instead, I desired an attitude of equilibrium. I yearned for a state of being which was foreign to me buried under mounds of paperwork, with only a vague knowledge of my daily (not to mention weekly and monthly) tasks while nevertheless forgetting many of them in the midst of “doing” life.
Additionally, I had only a vague notion of exercising; an idea quickly overlooked without any accountability. Overall, I cultivated a persistent feeling there was too much on my plate.
I won’t lie, I do have a lot on my plate. However, my overall disorganization made living life in my home and body more difficult – and less satisfying – that it needed to be.
I don’t like schedules because I always feel like I am playing catch up. Nevertheless, I now see I threw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. One does not need a schedule to have a semblance of order—or rhythm (a word I like better)—to the day.
Some days, I know I will not get to all the tasks on my to-do list, and I am okay with that. My goal isn’t to accomplish them all. My to-list is in place solely as a guidepost for my day not as a dictator who must be heeded at all cost.
Daily, I strive to do my best, and I am content at the end of my day having done just that.
Balance makes me happy!