On Routines

Routine is despair’s sly assassin.

This is one of my momma’s favourite mantras. By extension (and repetition), it’s becoming one of mine too. Sure, it’s a little dramatic, but pretty effective in getting the point across. Without following my routines, I feel all discombobulated, unproductive and (my turn to be dramatic) chaotic. I know there are many who prefer to take each day as it comes, but structure is a very important part of my life.

Note: I actually wrote this, not just for this post. My real thoughts.

At this stage in my life, I’m constantly trying to develop new skills, improve, better myself, and experience new things. I find that without a plan/routine in place, these self-improvement goals for myself fall by the wayside. Yes, in the moment it can definitely be a little annoying to have to set aside time to write a novel/take a picture/exercise, but in the long run I am always, without fail happier if I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish. Seeing the Project365 collage grow or the checkmarks adding up on my exercise chart is enough to reinforce these habits for me.

It’s the Little Things

{Breakfast parties with all the fixings}

A little while ago, I wrote about the idea of being uncomfortable. (Five-second recap: process is product, ritual is reward, journey is goal, sometimes it’ll suck but try to stay calm and push through.) I still love that idea. And I think for the first time, I’m really trying to sit with things – if I feel awful, it gets acknowledged, expressed to a great friend, journaled about or cried out (although my level of crying has decreased dramatically in 2012). Same with happiness, joy, discomfort, sadness, loneliness. I’m giving myself both permission to make mistakes and to celebrate good choices.

{Long walks on overcast days}

And process really is product, for me at least. The most happiness I’ve had lately has been in the quiet moments: in the mid-afternoon winter light, kneading bread, going on my solitary walks, and having friends over, which instantly turns my quiet little apartment into more of a home. I just wanted to share a few of the pictures that celebrate the little things – the love, the food, the friends – that are making 2012 my greatest year yet.

Advice to Myself, Circa 2006

I’ve been sorting through old papers, letters, journal entries and photos. It’s all in an attempt to streamline my memories so my mom can start getting rid of things in my room, since I don’t live here anymore. Mostly, it’s been spurring a lot of nostalgia, along with a great big helping of laughter. We were so funny back then. We probably still are, but we don’t write the letters to commemorate it.

I was going through one of my old camp binders, and came across a strangely poignant list I’d written down on a random piece of paper. No date, no context. But it’s lovely. I thought maybe you’d appreciate it too. Warning: it’s equal parts useful and fluffy.

Get more hobbies. Do what you WANT. Be nice. Be enthusiastic. Be yourself. Be insane. Think before you speak. Try rock climbing. Get Bronze cross. Learn guitar much better. Rethink iPod music. Don’t care about boys. Love yourself. Write all the time. Run. Get buff! Hang out with your family. Always learn new things.

Care. Try. Sing. Improve personal style. Buy tons of shoes. Be less obsessive. Don’t care so much about the little stuff. Be interesting. Eat more of what you want. Be close with who you love. Improve personal hygiene. Keep promises. Keep secrets. Keep friends. Always smile. Feel beautiful. Learn more piano.

Work hard. Play harder. Kiss for fun. Be the person you want. Practice your music. Take care of yourself. LAUGH. Love music. Don’t be high maintenance. Try out for cheerleading. Be cute. Be hot. Be friends with boys. Don’t be selfish. Never give up. Grow. Do things you’re scared of, always. Always have fun. Meet new people. Find things that make you happy.

Love your body. Use your body. Carpe Diem. Take pictures. Be inspired. Follow through. Be creative. Remember. Take camping trips. Learn to sail and canoe. Love life. Don’t be so bitchy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today! And although I had my big family dinner yesterday evening, and I’m on the train back to school right now, I don’t want to forget to give thanks, the way I oughta. What a great holiday, don’t you think? It’s a holiday specifically meant for gratitude and happiness. I love that! Even if you’re not a Canuck, I hope you’re blessed, happy and thankful today.

As for me…

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