Checking In With Myself (or I Need To Find New Things That Make Me Happy)

Even though I think my therapist is shocked that I’m continuing to do this, I’m maintaining my daily happiness checklist. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’m actually really glad that it’s a part of my routine. It’s good for me to reflect back on my day and make sure that I’m doing things for myself and not just because I have to.

The only thing that I’m able to check off every single day is reading. Reading makes me so incredibly happy and I could easily spend hours every day reading. But since that isn’t a reality most days, I make sure that I get to read for at least a little while before I go to bed. I can’t remember the last day that I had where I didn’t read even for a little bit. It was probably at least 5 or 6 years ago. The only thing that makes me sad about reading is when I finish a book series that I love so much and I know that there aren’t going to be any more books. But fortunately I have a very wide range of tastes when it comes to books so I’m always able to find something to read next that excites me (but I’m happy to get any book recommendations that you all have).

Reading is the only thing that gets checked off every day, but there are a couple of things that are checked off almost every day. Going to Orangetheory or working out in another way is checked off more often than it isn’t. And blogging is checked off usually at least 5 out 7 days in the week. I’m glad that I know that almost every day I’m guaranteed to have 3 things on my checklist checked off. I think 3 or 4 things out of 10 is the lowest I’ve ever been on my checklist.

I’m finally getting more checks in my acting column. Going to class once a week counts (and I count going to the shows I have to see for class as well). Getting my headshots count. And of course, auditions count but those aren’t as common and are not controllable by me. I want to focus on getting more checks in that column, but I know that that is only going to happen if it is things that I control. That is one of the things that is pushing me toward going to the next level in my improv class.

The rest of my column are super sporadic. I have a Disneyland/Outing column, but with my schedule lately there haven’t been a lot of outings. I’ll be making at least one Disneyland trip next month (I’m hoping for 2) and I know that when my schedule is calmer that I can focus on planning more fun things.

Having a meal out (another column) is another one that is pretty low on checks. I think this goes hand in hand with the lack of outings (and a lack of money). This one will get some more checks in it soon with Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this column after I see my therapist next month.

I know that the reason my therapist had me do this list originally was to make sure that I did things that make me happy every day. But the more times I do the list, the more I’m realizing that maybe the things that I thought make me happy aren’t right. Or maybe I need to focus on different ones that fit in my circumstances better. I know that going out for dinner makes me happy, but that’s not something that would happen too often even if my money situation was different.

I’m really starting to question what makes me happy in life and if I have enough things that make me happy in my life. Maybe I need to find more happiness and that’s something that is lacking in my world. It’s weird to think that I thought that I’ve been happy when in reality I might not have been. I’m not depressed, but I might have been fooling myself with how happy I’ve been.

I’m not going to change up my checklist in the middle of it. I see my therapist is a little over a month and the checklist will remain the same until I see him. After I see him, that’s when I create the new checklist that will have the right number of days before my next appointment (usually either 60 days or 90 days later). I think reevaluating things every other month or so it’s too bad and I’m sure lots of people could benefit from doing so. Since I feel forced into it by my therapist calling it “homework”, I don’t ignore what the checklist is telling me.

I’m sure this post seems a bit like I’m rambling on. It’s a weird feeling to think that you don’t know what makes you happy and that the things you thought made you happy don’t. I’ve got a month to think about what I do in life that makes me happy and then I’ll create the checklist that will take me into the new year and hopefully I can make 2016 the happiest year that I’ve had so far.

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