Each year around my birthday, I post a list of my favourite things and moments from the past year, as a way to celebrate and remember everything that was meaningful to me. They’re so fun to make and look back on, and it’s always nice to take a moment to reflect on the year I’ve just lived. (If you’re curious, you can see the archives here.)
As I was working on this year’s list, one thing that stood out to me was that, with a few exceptions, every moment that was the most memorable was one that took place outside of the routines and schedules my everyday life. This is not a shocking realization, of course, but one that I need to keep in mind more often as I’m making decisions about how to spend my time and structure my days.
Don’t be deceived by all the adventures I’ve had: I’m a creature of habit through and through. Even when I travel, I like staying places long enough that I can create mini routines and rituals. These days in Toronto, I go to the same coffee shop almost every single morning and can eat the same thing for breakfast for months at a stretch. I like repetition and structure because they help me save space in my brain for making tougher decisions and doing focused work, but routine is not always what serves me. It is not (always) what brings me the most joy and fun.
Sometimes it can feel like a big hassle to do something outside of my typical schedule. I think to myself: Will it really be worth it to disrupt my routine? How will I get all my work done? Am I even allowed to play hooky? Will I get in trouble?!
I’m writing this from the bright, peaceful living room of my friend Moni’s house in the beautiful Almonte, Ontario. It is totally quiet and I feel very calm. My friends are out buying groceries for what is sure to be an incredible New Orleans-inspired vegetarian feast for tonight. We just had coconut curry soup and cinnamon-raisin grilled cheese for lunch. It is sunny here, which my apartment lacks, and the rest of the week will be spent masterminding and planning and scheming and manifesting for the rest of 2018. Oh, and eating. There will be lots of that.
Here’s the note to self: this is totally worth it. It is worth it to book the trip, pack the bag, get on the train, and feel kind of overwhelmed because you’re worrying about your email inbox filling up. It is worth it because when you step off that train into the wide-open air that looks nothing like where you came from, you will feel different. You will have less weight on your shoulders and you will automatically have a new perspective.
Most of all, here’s a reminder that it is always worth it to make space for yourself to breathe. It is worth it to not always do what you think you want – to stay home, be responsible, do the ‘right’ thing and get things done. Sticking to your routine always seems like the easier choice, but instead, choose the bigger life. Do the thing that will feed your soul.
If you need me, I’ll be in the Happinest until the end of the week.