My Java Journal

Happiness Project Update: Back On Track

This month of updates has been a great stimulant for all my projects. My jeans will soon be memorialized, which was a project I have been slow to complete. I was also falling behind on my book club reading, but I am now reading in preparation for the next meeting. Most relevant to this post is that I am again caught up with my Happiness Project efforts. This third of four July updates will cover my Happiness Project progress and status.

My Happiness Project

I started strong in January, really strong. January is a good month for resolutions. Surprisingly, I maintained momentum through February and March as well. Even April started strong. Then, it faltered.

Normally with resolutions, progress, interest and commitment taper off. For me, in April, it just dropped. Overnight.

In reviewing my Happiness Project progress and journal, the catalyst was clear and obvious: I started a new job. The job itself though, wasn’t the sole impediment. It was more the loss of my morning routine as a result of the early start time. It significantly impacted my whole day, and what were well-entrenched routines.

There is some irony in the fact that this falter occurred in April. Gretchen Rubin, in her book The Happiness Project identifies Singing in the Morning as one of her April objectives. She identifies that ‘mornings set the tone for everyone’s day.’ I agree. I had a very well-established routine before taking on the job as an opening barista. I have had to make some adjustments to get back on track.

Previously, I’d wake at 0530 and get my espresso machine warming. I would drink a glass of water, use the washroom and set up my log for my workout. Moving around allowed me to get blood into the legs and arms, while working out the kinks and knots I am becoming accustomed to with age. I would always take my time to enjoy an americano, or French Pressed cup of black coffee while checking headlines and emails. This is also when I would write my one-sentence journal entry; which I began writing the morning after since I felt it allowed me to better reflect, and not just capture the day’s events.

I helped out with the family’s morning preparations starting at 0600. By 0730 the house was mine and it was time to weigh in and plank. Then it was push ups, pull ups and chin ups before my run and stretching.

As soon as I began working at the coffeehouse though, I lost that entire routine. My new routine became extremely truncated. I’d wake at 0500, drink a glass of water, use the washroom, pack what I needed and walk out the door by 0530. No coffee, kinks and knots still in place, and no blood circulating. That was it. Off to work. It impacted everything.

I am back on track now.

January’s objectives pressed me to get more sleep and exercise. Sleep remains out of my control but I have been consistent with my exercise, at least weekly – mostly on my days off. I have recently been getting better at picking up the routine in the afternoon of the days I work, and I continue to capitalize on the old routine in the mornings of my days off work. Other January objectives were Toss, Restore, Organize and Tackle Nagging Tasks. I continue to get better organized, and have been making steady progress on to-do list items.

February was largely about ‘lightening up’ and giving proofs of love. There have been some misses and some fumbles, but for the most part I think I am getting better and will continue to work on it. It’s the little things that matter the most; the things we do daily, it is suggested, have a greater impact than what we do infrequently.

In March I updated this blog and have come to realize that I am becoming more myself and am doing exactly what I love to do. I am very lucky and grateful for this. I am trying hard to pay it forward, and to contribute to community and family.

Although I dropped the ball in April, I now truly see the value of setting the tone for the day in the morning, and how routine plays a large part in this. I am working to reclaim my morning routine, but have at least gotten better at picking it up in the afternoon. This has helped with maintaining a positive attitude in the morning; knowing I can, and am, getting to it later. I had to establish this afternoon routine, and condition myself to a new workday and altered routine, but I’m getting there.

May and June were write-offs. I will, however, role May and June’s objectives into the work I am now doing for July. Since I have completed my review of, and established my personal goals through July now, I can pick up fresh and carry on. I will capture this progress with a follow on post in August. August preparations will occur in the coming weeks and then I will review my July progress in August.

This has been a long post. I will stop here, except to remind that I will be hosting the next Open Mic at Anabia Cupcakery Cafe on 19 July, and another the week after on 25 July at Jamari Espresso House. This will be my first time hosting this outside Anabia’s. Please come on out and support.

For all other events you can head to my Home page for up-to-date event listings. Summer is proving challenging, so changes are possible.

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic Sunday.