Efforts to Live My Better Life

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9.18.15 / sky photography practice
The past week and a half or so, I’ve been taking steps to do things I love, things that are good for me, things that don’t include a screen (for the most part). I’ve been aiming to run four days a week, drink a mug of tea once a day, and read for an hour each day. I’ve started attempting morning pages most days. I eat breakfast daily and set aside time for working on my chapbook. On top of all of that, I’ve decided to start working on two other hobbies: photography, specifically night sky photography, at least for the moment; and skateboarding.

I’ve wanted to learn how to skateboard since I was in elementary/middle school. The one and only board I’ve ever had (and still have), I got from my brother. It’s the only birthday present he’s ever gotten me, and that’s okay, because more than ten years later I still want to use it. I don’t know where to go, other than my small, bumpy driveway, and I’m sure it’s going to cool down quickly now that the last days of September are slipping away, but I want to try.

09.18.15 / practiceAs for photography, I’ve worked on that off and on for seven or so years now, never really taking it seriously enough to feel like I’ve improved much over time. It’s one of those things I’ll dive into for a few weeks, then abandon for who knows how long while working on something else, much like running, but I love photography, the mingling of art and technicality, and I especially love photographing the world: details, landscapes, and the stars, and I just want to get even better.

The whole point of all of this, really, is to find balance in all the things I want to do and wish I had the time for–because I do have the time, as long as I make it, which is exactly why I’m making the effort to schedule certain things, like reading at least an hour each day and doing morning pages. It might seem contrived or pathetic to schedule these kinds of things, but it’s turning out to be the only way I can accomplish them regularly enough to feel good about myself, so I’d rather look like a sad person who has to schedule every moment of her life (I even have to put “paint my nails” in my planner sometimes or else it just never gets done) than feel like someone who just doesn’t have her shit together in a way that makes her feel good.

I’m also finally beginning to accept that I just can’t watch as much TV or go on the computer as often as I normally do because it becomes such a time waster and just doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve got a few shows to watch during the week (Scream Queens, OUAT, The Voice…), but I’m really trying to keep it to a minimum, at least during the week. Honestly, it’s a tough process admitting to what is a problem habit and making the effort to resolve it, but maybe I’ve just hit this level of maturity (desperation) to start working on piecing together a life I actually want.

Or maybe this will all fall apart in two weeks, and I’ll be back to three hours of Netflix every morning before work. I hope not, though.

 

September 25, 2015
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  • Amy

    Totally relate to this! I’ve stopped watching TV as much as I did and I’ve been reading and writing so much more. Ultimately, I feel more productive and happier that I’m spending time on things I love, and when I do watch TV, it’s more purposeful so I enjoy it more, as I’ve chosen a show I especially want to watch. Now to force myself to cut down on the time suck of the internet…

    • Sonya

      Exactly! I’ve got a few shows that I watch during the week, and maybe I’ll take a day on the weekend if I’ve been productive to treat myself to Netflix, but that’s what I want it to be–more of a treat, rather than the majority of my time.

  • I’m in the same place, and I absolutely commend you for being able to step away from things that aren’t conducive. I’m trying to get away from the computer more and do things I love and if that means scheduling them in, so be it!

    • Sonya

      Having recently moved must be making that an interesting effort, maybe a little bit easier, at least as you wait for things to get hooked up. I’m definitely not perfect at this (in fact, I’m watching OUAT on Netflix while answering this), but I think it’s more that I’m trying to focus on moderation. I do *enjoy* television and tumblr, but too much of them will make me feel worse than just a few hours during the week.

      • Oh yes. It was actually a kind of nice reprieve, though I’m finding more at home now that I can have voices in the background via Netflix/TV. Which also kind of sounds crazy. But moderation, for sure. I think for me it’s realizing that I can enjoy Tumblr and the Internet in general, but don’t need to be on it for hours. The world won’t end if I don’t make it to Pinterest in a month.

  • Good for you!! I haven’t been going on my computer nearly as much as I used to and it’s caused my blog to take a dip because I haven’t been commenting as much, but I don’t care. I don’t want to go on my computer every.single.day. So lately I’ve been reading a lot, writing a lot, also practicing photography, and just being. I’ve felt so much calmer lately. I think it’s so cool that you’re doing night photography!! So cool! That picture is amazing!
    ~Sara

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