According to author Martha Beck, PhD, society these days has evolved in such a manner that folks think they’ve got to be prancing around gleefully (think: Swiffer commercial) in order to be truly happy. On the contrary, Martha says “True happiness is sustainable delight in the beautiful moments of everyday life.”
Martha’s article in Oprah Magazine How to Find the Kind of Joy that Lasts also says;
Gina’s take on the idea:
Not feeling creative? Does making something sound like just more drudgery on your “to-do” list? As someone who “makes stuff” all day as part of my job, I’ve come up with a little different two-word instruction. Mine is “Clean something“, and while I’m not a PhD in psychology like Martha, I’ve discovered that it works as described above for me. Now, I will be the first to reveal that things around here are pretty messy. Some days I think the only difference between me and the folks on hoarders is the fact that messes and disorder really bug me. OK, I’m not as bad as the hoarder people, but it sure could be a lot neater around here.
Which brings me to exactly what I do to help ME feel better. We all have stuff that bugs us – accumulating stacks of papers/magazines, Christmas decorations in February, fingerprints on the fridge door, the overflowing junk drawer(s) – mental note: there’s ephemera for scrapbooks in there… Anyway, every so often I pick one thing that’s really bugging me, and just TAKE CARE OF IT. If you do this, you have to be careful / disciplined that the thing you pick doesn’t blossom into a multi-faceted project that you can’t / don’t complete and end up feeling worse. Otherwise, insert your little “Clean something” efforts into your day a few times a week. Eventually all those areas that make you feel bad to look at them will dwindle (somewhat) and you’ll feel slightly less overwhelmed.
A little more advice: Pick something that you can accomplish in an hour or less. My biggest one here recently took only minutes to do, but hours of mental wrangling to get there… getting rid of the heaps of empty plastic horse supplement containers and lids that were cluttering my barn. I kept thinking there’d be a perfect use for them. But the use never came and I’ve been looking at stacks of tubs and lids collecting dust for years. The other day I decided “enough is enough!” and I rounded them all up and put them in the recycle bin. Took a few minutes! But now, the little part of my brain that was thinking about what I could be doing with those piles of containers is now FREE to think about other things. And believe me, I need all the brainpower I can get.
Try it. And let me know how it goes.
Featured image photo ©Sharyn Morgan, she’s pictured here with 19 year old Quarter Horse Jake. Sharyn originally hails from Australia, now she lives in New Mexico where she and Jake enjoy trail rides. Jake also likes a good scratch. And carrots.