I’m actually pretty damned excited to do this #30DayLifeLaunch challenge with you all. Today is day one of 30, and my goal is to not miss a single day.
I want to just jump into making life better now that I’m officially committed to doing so. After all, I have known for a while what’s most obviously missing and what I most obviously need to start doing. I also am fully aware that there may be some things that I need to do or stop doing which I haven’t yet thought of. That’s why (for my day one) I am going to get blatantly real with myself and get to the truth of what needs to change.
I’m going to do this in real time as I write this blog post, so that the journey itself that I share is more organic. So… Hang tight. I’m going to stop looking at a screen and go hand-write a list.
Alright. I like my list. I feel good about it.
I kind of expected it to be half as long, but the more I thought about things, the more I realized other things were missing that tend to make me happy.
Of course, now I can get a little more into each item on the list. I’m kind of figuring that’s the best way to get motivated for each item on my list.
- Body and face painting – I love body painting. It’s my favorite hobby, I’m really good at it, and it’s an incredible meditation at the same time that it’s a really nice mental liberation. Not to mention it’s just fun. I need that back in my life.
- Hiking – Nothing has healed my soul more than hiking in the past. Connecting to the Earth while I sweat out all the stress and worries of life is just so therapeutic. I need that back in my life.
- Consistent sleep – My sleep schedule is so jacked-up that I can’t even tell you what it’s supposed to be anymore. I know that not having consistent sleep is really hurting my mental and emotional abilities. I need that back in my life.
- Healthy eating – When did I start living out of wrappers again? I was doing so good for so long. Good, healthy, mind-stimulating food just helps everything be so much better. I need that back in my life.
- Fun with my kid – Life has gotten so stressful with business and living that somehow I stopped having extra fun with my kid. Fun with my kid grounds me and helps keep my priorities straight. I need that back in my life.
- Fun with my friends – Nothing recharges me more than a super fun night out with friends, letting ourselves still be young idiots for a few hours. I need that back in my life more often.
- Fun with my family – I moved closer to my family so that I could be more involved with them. My family is amazing, and time with them is good for my soul. I need more of that back in my life.
- The ability to find the humor in everything – This has always been my strong suit! No matter how hard life gets, I find the humor in it before long. Lately, though, that humor has been harder to find. I need that ability back in my life.
- Daily study – I love learning new things. I love devoting a little time each day to developing a new skill or improving something important to me. I need that back in my life.
- Giving to others – For so much of my life I just gave, gave, gave whenever possible. It was so fulfilling. Lately, though, I have let the thought creep in that I just don’t have time or energy to give and nobody is ever thankful anyway. My thoughts have pointed inward and been more selfish lately. I need that giving spirit back in my life.
- Gratitude – Just like with humor, no matter how stressful life has gotten, I’ve always been able to blurt out a litany of things I am grateful for. Lately I’ve been more focused on what I don’t have. I need constant gratitude back in my life.
- Positivity – Keeping a positive outlook on life is what has always gotten me over the humps and eventually thriving again. Lately I’ve been too cynical. I need a positive outlook back in my life.
- A new business idea to work on – It brings me great joy to work on a new idea. Right now I’ve got nothing great in the works. I have nothing I’m super excited about. I need that back in my life. I need to think of something and devote myself to it.
- A fitness goal to work toward – In the past it has been really awesome to have a fitness goal I can try and reach, such as an upcoming Tough Mudder or fitness event. I need that back in my life so that I have a specific reason for getting fit.
- Sharing on social media – I’ve kind of been hiding for a few years, just posting here and there but never posting much at all. Why? I don’t know. I think it’s because I haven’t felt like my life was that worthy of being seen on social media. But I enjoy sharing life on social media, and sharing pushes me to do more things in my life that make me happy. I need that back in my life.
- My photography – I love getting out, driving somewhere quiet or awesome, and taking pictures. I have such awesome photography equipment that is all just sitting unutilized. I need that back in my life.
- Neighborliness – I don’t actually know any of my neighbors, and I’ve been here a year and a half. It’s lonely living in a place where nobody seems to be looking out for the people living next door to them. I need that back in my life.
- Rock hunting and polishing with Noah – My son and I had such an awesome hobby going for a while. We would hunt rocks whenever we had outdoor adventures and then when we got enough we would polish them together (a process that takes several weeks). I need that back in my life.
- Singing karaoke – I had this group of friends that have scattered, and we used to go out all the time and do karaoke. I love karaoke and I miss doing it. I need that back in my life.
- Unafraid honesty – I once had a therapist tell me I was honest to a fault. Lately, though, I have been afraid to be completely honest about the hardest times or biggest struggles. I don’t know why. I know that sharing those completely transparently only helps everyone not feel so alone. I need that back in my life.
- Harley rides – Just like body painting, my Harley rides are one of my best ways to tune everything out and forget about the stresses of life for a while. I need those back in my life.
- Unfinished projects – Finishing projects not only gives me a great sense of fulfillment, but not finishing them has a way of looming over my head and making it hard to be productive. I’ve got an entire list of unfinished projects I need to get going on and finish. I need that satisfaction back in my life.
Now that I’ve written all that out, I realize that most of my life at present can actually be summed up like this:
I’m sitting and laying around watching TV too much, eating unhealthy food, living lethargically, and I’m only half-heartedly working on my livelihood.
Duh. Of course I’m in a rut. How could it even be possible for me to not be in a rut? I’m missing way too much of myself to be happy right now.
And… I’m also hiding parts of myself. I realized this when I finished that list, and so I made a second list, which I titled “What am I Hiding from the World?”
I don’t know why that was something I needed to explore. I think it’s because I know that hiding things from the world makes it impossible to be truly authentic in life. Hiding parts of my life takes energy that I could spend putting all those things back into my life. I think I’m getting tired of the energy it takes to hide things.
I think each of the items on this list could be entire blog posts of their own, but here’s the nutshell for my own quick digestion:
“What Am I Hiding from the World?”
- My new puppy. Why?! Noah and I got a new puppy and I’ve kept her a secret from almost everyone even though I want to share her with you all. I need to tackle this in a blog post of its own because my reasons are actually something I need to deal with.
- My bipolar journey. Why? Several months ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s incredibly life changing to learn something like that about myself. I need to tackle this in a series of blog posts all their own because my reasons I haven’t shared are also reasons I need to deal with.
- The difficulty of my last relationship. Why? My last relationship took me to troubling places I didn’t even know existed within me. Why have I hidden that? Why have I not talked about it? I need to tackle that either in private journaling or in a blog post of its own because my reasons for not sharing are definitely something I need to deal with.
- My home. Why? I went through this span of time where business was really, really good and I bought a really nice home in the mountains where I could be at peace. But why have I hid that from the world and why am I worried about the world finding out, especially now that finances aren’t great? I need to tackle this in a blog post of its own because my reasons are actually something I need to deal with.
- My favorite hobby. Why? I love poker. I play it a lot. I’m good at it. It’s something that I think can be a great addition to life if done correctly, so why do I hide that from the world? Once again… I need to tackle this in a blog post of its own because my reasons are actually something I need to deal with.
I don’t even know what I need to figure out about the things on that list yet, but I definitely need to figure out why I keep them secret from the world. I need to be truly authentic again, and so tackling each of those will be part of my 30 day challenge.
After I wrote that list out, I ended up writing out one more list to go with it. I don’t know why. It just felt like an important part of the puzzle.
“What do I need to cut out of my life? Or cut back…”
- F-bombs – I blame all the insanely good shows on HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and on movies I’ve chosen to watch. Somehow the f-bomb became way too big a part of my vocabulary. I love the f-bomb. I doubt I’ll ever stop using it. But… I also need to use my big boy words. I have a fairly extensive vocabulary going to waste, after all.
- Disrespectful language and references to people – Somehow, and I don’t know when, but somehow I began using disrespectful terms to refer to people. I started wrapping it in the blanket of “humor” and stopped being sensitive. I need to be more caring and respectful of the way I talk to and about people.
- Blame – This is the first time in my life where my life has more or less fallen apart on me, and instead of blaming myself and things I can control, I began blaming other people and things out of my control. This is so crippling to moving forward and thriving. I need to remember that I can’t blame anyone but myself. After all, I made every decision that I made to get me to where I am. Nobody else did.
- Bitterness – This goes along with blame, I suppose. When I blame other people, I don’t take responsibility. I open the door for bitterness to creep in. Bitterness is also a handicap to a thriving life, and I need to get rid of it.
- Junk food – I have been eating waaaaaaaayyy too much junk food. I’ve been grabbing fast food or pizza instead of taking the time to make real food. I’ve stopped meal prepping. I’ve been grabbing fistfuls of chocolate several times every day. I finish every meal with something sweet. Literally nothing good comes from pounding junk food and I know that. I need to make it the occasional treat instead of the go-to.
- TV – Does this need much explanation? I watch too much TV. I waste time burning through my favorite shows when I could be out doing things that make me happy and bring me true joy in life. TV is a drug that is a powerful escape sometimes, but it doesn’t ever make me happy the way other escapes can. I need to limit my TV time to those times when I just need to decompress for a moment and not make it such a big part of my life.
- Stimulants – I drink way too many energy drinks. I think around the time that I stopped exercising I started using stimulants to wake me up every day. I’m not stupid. I know how bad those things are for me. Time to work on cutting them out and replacing them with more natural stimulants such as vitamin-filled concoctions and exercise.
- Grudges – Originally I didn’t write this one down because it feels like it wraps in with bitterness, but it’s actually its own thing. There are a few people who have wronged me and their actions have caused me way too much headspace for a while now. I need to let go of my grudges and move on. I can’t change the past. I can’t change what those people did. I can’t snap my fingers and gain restitution for their actions. I can only work on thriving in the future without them.
Those are my lists.
Ugh. I feel so opened-up and raw right now. I thought I would end this post feeling super pumped-up and motivated for jumping into day two, but at this exact moment I am just overwhelmed and overly aware of how much of me is missing.
And I guess that’s okay.
I don’t need all the answers right now. I’m not doing a one day challenge, after all. I’m doing a 30 day challenge. In other words, I don’t have to tackle everything on my list all at once. I may not even tackle 100% of it by the end of this 30 days, and I need to be okay with that, too.
What’s important is that I now have the list and that I was 100% honest with myself and all of you with it. What’s important is that tomorrow I get started on that list, in whatever order I get started, and that I keep going for the next thirty days.
Come what may.
Let’s do this.
Dan Pearce | The Single Dad Laughing Blog
PS. I hope you’re joining me on this, and I’d love to hear what you’re doing on your own first days of the challenge! Tell me in the comments. And, of course, you’re welcome to join me and make the same lists I made. I’d actually really like to see your lists and what they look like.
If you post about this in your journey, and your posts are public, use the hashtag #30DayLifeLaunch. That way we can all find each other’s posts and support each other when we do!