Two days left of December and what feels most remarkable is the reality that practicing the same wellness routines over and over is good work but after a while it feels like I’m writing the same post over and over. I’ve reviewed my wellness diary for the month and most of December’s content is the same as November’s, and October’s, and so on. This is practice. Maintenance. Upkeep. Why blog the repetition? One good reason would be transparency. It’s important to show that wellness doesn’t just happen; it’s work. It is repetitive work. Another good reason would be that blogging about wellness is, in fact, one of my practices as well. The activity of blogging is part of the work. And then there’s the good old inescapable truth that without a prompt I probably wouldn’t bother with a review of the month’s work, which means I won’t see or notice patterns, tendencies, etc.
(Sigh.) You’d think it would feel more satisfying to prove myself right (to myself) but it basically means I’ve just talked myself back into doing more work.
Dear Self, remember that end of the month posts are not just inventories, they are also a feature for the highlights. See the work, note the work, look for the highlights. Down the list I go. All the yoga, running, hiking, and cooking/eating vegan for the month is there. All the times I gave my time and attention to my relationships with other people are there. The non-spending is there. The holiday exceptions are there. Vigilant debt reduction. My obsession with reducing possessions. Check, check, check. I write it every month. You read it every month. So what was new or different?
Two or three years ago I ended the year by reading and working through Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. It was a gift but the timing of the gift was critical. Reading it just before the New Year was one of those serendipitous pivot points for me. A game changer. I wrote about it at length at the time and I revisit the topic on occasion. This December I decided to give the book a re-read and re-work the exercises in the workbook. I’ve changed since the first go-round. My life has changed significantly since then as well. I wanted a refresher for realignment. When we change what we want we usually need to change our plan for how to get (or be) what we want.
But there was an issue. My original copy of The Desire Map was electronic; downloaded to an e-reader. A very old e-reader with outdated technology. It was fine at the time. I read the text and worked through the exercises in a paper notebook with a pen. I thought I’d do it again the same way this year. Ahem, nope. The old e-reader still works fine but my eyes don’t work as well as before. I could see the text well but the old clunker e-reader’s electronic features couldn’t enlarge the workbook pages without distortion. So I was forced to buy a hard copy. Of a book I already owned. Of a book I’ve already read. A break in the Spending Fast. A most irritating reason. These eyes.
The work is important though. Well worth it. Wellness is the pay-off for the expenditure. Or should I say, enhanced wellness work is the payoff? The theme of The Desire Map is a shift away from setting goals relative to how we want to look, what we want to achieve, what we’d like to own or have, or what we’d like to do. It is a shift toward setting goals relative to how we want to feel. As in right now and all the damn time versus someday. And then of course, what we will do to feel the way we’d like to feel. You map the work rather than simply conjuring a impressive resolution. This was one of the reasons I started writing monthly highlight reel posts, to stay on track by reviewing how I spend my energy each month; toward shitty busy work or toward work which supports my desires.
The timing of the the re-read turned out to be as critical as the original. I was flirting with the idea of discontinuing the monthly highlight posts (because I was tired of doing the work). Reading it again, mapping it all again, and updating my Core Desires for the coming year squelched that notion. Accountability is powerful. Whom do I have to blame if I don’t feel the way I want to feel month to month? Moi. Every thirty or so days, a check in for relevancy, effectiveness, and maintenance. The breakthroughs in 2017 were generated by effort and intention. So yeah, I think I need to keep doing it.
You readers of a certain age now have an earworm courtesy of The Guess Who. In my experience, the best repellent for an earworm is to make it your own. To wit:
These eyes have seen a lot words but they’re never gonna see them 20/20 again …