This week, I discovered something new about myself. I know, I know, I’m old enough that everything about myself should already have been not only discovered, but patented.
Recently, I spoke to my husband about my unhappiness, while at the same time reassuring him that he is not the source of it. However, after several months of unhappiness resurfacing, I still hadn’t found the cause. I’m a big believer in finding one’s own bliss. No one else is responsible for it. However, the practice of demanding constant happiness it is not only a waste of effort that can lead into troublesome places, but also the source of its own angst.
So I decided to forget about being happy and focus on my other problems: time management and my book business. I didn’t have enough time or discipline to put my marketing/writing first. This has not always been the case. While writing my latest book, I put 3-4 hours per day into finishing it. But that was a while back. Still, any connection between this lack of time management and my source of unhappiness never entered my mind.
A few weeks ago, I told my husband that others impacted and even controlled my schedule. Also, it was no one’s fault but my own. I told him that from now on, I wanted to work from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on my writing and marketing. I would devote early mornings to self care (considerable time at my age 😦) and afternoons to everything else. Randy listened to my plan and suggested I not carve out that much time for my new work schedule. He reminded me that I, an optimist, tend to bite off more than I can chew and get discouraged.
After considering his advice, I decided to cut the four hours in half. Instead, I chose to work from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, adding another hour in a few weeks. Randy thought it a good idea.
And something happened! I found the cause of my unhappiness and discovered a source of satisfaction that I wasn’t aware of before. I needed to go to work, to report into my office as if to a job outside the home. Writing is an artistic endeavor and marketing a time-consuming, left-brain activity. I prioritized both after home making, cooking, errands, bill paying, gardening, husband, children and grandchildren. Outside of my hubby, kids and grandkids—who will always be my first priority—the writing/marketing needed to come next. But I treated it as less important. The result was anxiety over unaccomplished projects and unhappiness over a lack of control of my own life.
Control brings to mind a lot of negative connotations: Images of people who want power over others, abusers, etc. However, taking control of oneself, one’s life and schedule is a good thing. I am happier these last few weeks than I have been for several months. Let’s face it, I like being in control.