So here’s the thing: 30 days can definitely get you happier. Turns out, though, that 30 days does not make a habit. Though I was feeling great going into October, without the accountability and the goal that this blog provided, each task slowly drifted out to sea. I’d see shimmers of it occasionally—a gratitude here and there, a random run around the park—but I lost the consistency of every day for every one, and ultimately lost the happiness and hopefulness I’d worked so hard to achieve in September. I’m not exactly back to where I started, but it’s getting dangerously close, and I learned something important about myself – I need goals, and I need accountability. Without them, I become whale food again.
So what do we do when we take a giant tumble down an epic flight of stairs that it took us a month to climb? First we look around, hoping no one noticed. Then we throw a tantrum, kick the walls a little, realize it’s not getting us anywhere and now our toes hurt, and then start the climb again because we know what’s at the bottom ain’t so great. So I’m back. And I’m recommitting to the work with a similar set of rules but a new vigor and commitment.
I’ve decided to train for the AIDS Life Cycle in June, riding a bicycle 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I haven’t been on a bicycle since I started growing body hair and I’m terrified, but it’s a good cause, a well-supported ride, and it gives me a new clear and solid goal to work towards. Though it’s exercise specific, I’m using it as a target, a vehicle for the other 4 tasks to ride on—all five of them sweatin’ it out on the happiness bike together. So for the next 7 months, I’ll do a blog post every Sunday to report on the week (stick figures included), and hopefully I can take these from tasks to habits, escaping the desert of sweat and toil to find some freedom in the land of milk and happy. Glad to be back and I’ll see you next Sunday.