More on fresh starts

When I finished off Tuesday’s post, I was nattering on about the fresh start of a new year. I don’t do resolutions, ever. SO MUCH PRESSURE. But I do take the beginning of a new year to do a casual evaluation of what’s going on in my life and what changes I can make to increase my happiness. (Sometimes I do the same at the start of each season or even month.)

So here’s where I’m making improvements:

*Drinking a ton of water. Minimum of 48 ounces a day, not including tea. The water where I live is fine, but not fabulous. (Unlike New York City tap water which is DELICIOUS.) We are on a well which is rather pure and perfectly healthy, but has a slight whiff of sulfur when you take it from the tap. This dissipates in just a few minutes. To gig up the taste factor, I put a drop or two of peppermint extract in each glass. It’s refreshing, bracing, and tasty. I’ve also been known to use rosewater, but that’s kind of an acquired taste. A breath too much of it and you’re guzzling a floral bouquet.

*Evening yoga. I’ve found the perfect relaxing routine for after my bath. It’s Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners, and I use Colleen Saidman’s practice with inspirational commentary. It only takes twenty minutes and makes a huge difference in how flexible I am. (I am thisclose to getting my head on the ground during wide-legged forward bend…)

*Reading poetry and self-improvement. It’s easy to immerse myself in mysteries and research to the neglect of everything else. But these are the two categories that create the most change for me. Poetry makes me think more deeply, and self-improvement encourages positive thinking. I am invariably more satisfied with my life when I’ve got at least one of these on the go with my regular reading.

*Working out. Just writing that makes me queasy, but I’ve been doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts on the stationary bike and I don’t hate it. Every other day, starting off with 15 minutes, and I can watch Netflix while I do it. It’s over with so quickly, I don’t even have time to dislike it, and I’m already seeing improvements in my strength. This week should see me pushing the intervals to a more challenging level.

*Letting go of expectations. I know that I should meditate. I know I should keep a journal. I don’t really do either of these things except when I find myself tied up in knots. Instead of making a regular practice of them, I use them as needed as a sort of booster rocket. And that’s okay.