While I’ve been trying to live the Diva life for a number of years, there are still days where my goal of living with joie de vivre is occasionally overwhelmed by drudgery and complaint. Therefore, I feel qualified to address those grey and grimy days and how they, too, are part of the Diva journey.
Ever since humankind was expelled from Eden, life was never intended to be an endless parade of mountaintop experiences of bliss and wonder. After all, if everything was special, then nothing would stand out as being special. No, the trick is to learn to set an alarm – better yet, set more than one in a day – and make joy-seeking a part of your everyday round. What you seek, you will find, so why not seek out joy and wonder?
For example, I’m in the middle of several large projects right now. While each of these undertakings is worthwhile, they feature some colliding deadlines and it’s easy for me to get caught up in checklists and frustration, which in turn leads to me being dissatisfied, restless, and irritable. It is at that exact moment that I most need to take just a moment and look around. That moment can be all I need to reset everything.
Today, for example, when I went outside this morning with the doggo, I heard a clatter followed by a loud CLANG!!! that turned out to be caused by one very startled doe who was surprised by my gentle hound (who was likewise surprised). The sounds were made by the doe’s scrambling hooves that then tipped the top of the back fence as she leapt into the field behind the house. No harm to either deer or fence, although the gate latch is a bit crooked now. It was over in a flash and I was glad that I was there to witness it. Later in the day, my home internet went out, leaving me stressed and irked. But it also gave me a chance to read a few student notes that had slipped to the bottom of my bag that were kind reminders that my attitude really does make a difference to people around me.
Take those breaks. And if they don’t present themselves, go looking for them.
Many of us know that research shows the importance of screen breaks to prevent eye strain. Think of this as something just as important. Set an alarm (I use a whimsical chicken-shaped egg timer, but you do you, Diva!) to remind yourself to push back from your desk and take a walk around the block, or do a few stretches. Now that you’ve taken a moment to tend to your body, spend a few moments tending to your soul. Pick up a book of poetry (or keep a poetry site bookmarked on your computer) and thoughtfully read a short poem. Fill a bird feeder outside your window. Really look at the ground and see if the early spring flowers are showing signs of wanting to bloom.
This extends to your home life as well. At home, be willing to set a boundary on work-related tasks (another alarm!) and determine that you’ll upgrade one thing in your evening. Make time for cards or board games. Sew, write, read, or paint for a half hour. Remember that in the time it takes to microwave pre-packaged food that you know isn’t good for you (but is certainly convenient!), you can lay down some spring mix, chop a few vegetables, toss in pre-cooked chicken or tofu, and have a real dinner with crunch. Check out a ricotta cheese dessert that you can put together in under five minutes. (Again, you’re upgrading ONE thing – don’t feel like you have to do ALL of this! Nonononono!)
Be gentle with yourselves, Divas. Go forth and live with gusto and savoir faire!