Saturday I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy store. I was practically giddy! What was I so happy about? Going on a shopping spree? Getting my nails done? Being showered with gifts? Eating at a fancy restaurant? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
I was reorganizing my bedroom bookshelf and nightstand drawers.
That may not sound so fun to you. But what made it so delightful is that I was doing what I wanted to do. I've wanted to do it for weeks or months actually, but of course there's always something more important. It's not urgent that I reorganize my bookshelf and drawers. There's work to be done, bills to pay, gifts to buy and wrap, chores to be done, people to take care of...
It recently occurred to me that for a good part of 2018 (and probably a good part of my life), I've consistently subjugated my wishes to my obligations. And while sometimes that's a good idea, I'd let it get out of hand. I wasn't enjoying anything because I was rarely getting to the fun stuff. By the time I got done the "have to" stuff, I didn't have any energy left. But then I remembered what I've learned from the happiness research - when you are happier your brain works better. You can be more productive. So I owe it to myself to start with what I want to do, what makes me happy, sometimes. Maybe even oftentimes. The same goes for you! Most days for the last week or so, I've been starting out with a quick little fun project or something that's been on my list for a while, and I've been so much happier. And of course the things that are really important still get done. And it turns out other things aren't actually that important and don't need to be done the way I thought they did.
If you're like me and tend to put everyone else's needs and a boring to-do list ahead of everything you want to do, look at what tweaks you can make. You are responsible for your own happiness; no one else is.
Do what you want.