Finding peace and joy in 2015

finding peace and joy 2015

I was more wound up than I thought I was.

Lying beside the lake yesterday, reading my book while my little one slept beside me, my breath came from deep within. It’s been a long time since I breathed that deeply.

I hadn’t realised.

My year of work began around November 2013, and didn’t stop until just before Christmas 2014. Slowly, work and creative activity built on itself. As I took on task after project after task, my endurance for stress and hard work slowly increased. A bit like the endurance you build from carrying a newborn through to being a toddler. You don’t realise how strong you become.

But the year of excessive computer work, and endless activity did take its toll. By the end of last year, I was having difficulty sleeping. My adrenalin was pumping.

I snapped easily – like a sharp, spiky twig – if anyone stepped on me, or whined or criticised me, or cried unduly, I snapped. It wasn’t always pretty.

I could manage my work life, it seemed, but the toll really came when my two-year-old cried herself to sleep each night, instead of falling asleep easily as she’d done before.

I think that was my tipping point.

I did take on work over the Christmas break. I also did Quincy stuff. But I was hardly ever at my computer {unless, of course, checking YouTube views for All The Babies In The World, which, incidentally, went crazy}.

Most days were spent swimming, or hanging out with family, or both. There was lots of drinking and eating. There was even reading, which for me is highly unusual.

Day by day, I unwound, and suddenly, I felt normal again. The joy I usually experience crept back into my life. I was laughing spontaneously and full-heartedly. It didn’t bother me how long my baby took to sleep. I was finally relaxed.

Now, I am back at work.

First thing this morning, I began experiencing those adrenal twinges. So as I sit here, I am forming a plan: How to stay calm and experience joy through another year of work and creative activity.

Here’s my list:

1. Drink camomile tea in copious amounts

2. Read books instead of looking at Facebook

3. Eat slightly less dark chocolate right before bedtime

4. Breathe in deeply

5. Say ‘no’ when I can

6. Say ‘yes’ to peaceful moments of connection with my daughters and husband

7. Avoid the computer unless necessary

8. Run at least twice a week

9. Float on water

10. Play in nature

What’s your strategy for avoiding overwhelm? How do you plan to take on the year?