Note To Self: 28 Ways To Love Your Day

by Kelly on September 18, 2008 · 27 comments

in Inspiration. Happiness. Self Improvement,Life. People. News


As you may have guessed from my recent Are You A People Pleaser? post, I am currently going through some changes and frustrations in my personal life.

My relationships, my creative ambitions, future direction and sense of self have all been affected, with the result that I have spent much of the past few months wallowing in depression, not working out, not meditating, and comforting myself with far too much chocolate.

I am taking measures to rectify this situation, and when everything is calmer, and more certain (whatever that means) I will blog about it. For now, please forgive me if I don’t elaborate any further.

What I can say is I feel a great need to focus on staying in the present, expressing gratitude for all that I have, and taking simple steps to add some much needed pleasure and nurturing to my day.

The following is a reminder for me and you that a happy life is made up of the little things.

28 Ways I Can Add More Love and Joy to My Day

1.  Escape into a book, preferably a good crime novel or some Marian Keyes chick lit. Rachels Holiday is a favorite, and if you’re wondering, yes I do read books more than once.

2.  Take Bunny down to the harbour and watch him chase the seagulls. Then take him to feed the pelicans.

3.  Watch one of my old Buffy the Vampire Slayer dvds. I am a MAJOR fan of Buffy and watching a bit of Joss Whedon story telling brilliance gets my creative juices flowing and really inspires me to work on creating real, conflicted characters and witty, intelligent dialogue.

4.  Go for coffee and a chat with my mom.

5.  Walk on the beach in bare feet. Dig my toes in the wet sand and play chicken with the waves. Pick up a stick so I can draw patterns in the sand as I walk.

6.  Go and see a film by myself. Sit in my favorite position in the middle of the theatre, in the middle of the row. Yes, the middle position is VERY important. I must have a lot of chocolate available, preferably M&Ms and a big bottle of water.

7.  Talk to my best friend for two hours on the telephone (she lives three hours drive away so we don’t see each other enough).

8.  Run around and play soccer with my son in the park.

9.  Lie on the beach and soak up the sun, concentrating on the heat of the rays warming my body through my clothes. It’s Spring here now, but not warm enough to lie out in a swimsuit. Besides, I’m trying to stop tanning before I end up with a leathery, prune face.

10.  Hang out with Bunny at home, doing nothing except playing cards, doing puzzles, watching Scooby Doo and dancing around the house.

11.  Head for a day out with the family, my camera in tow and taking tonnes of  photos of my beautiful boy and the idyllic country I get to call home.

12.  Do a boxing workout in my garage.

13.  Surprise MusicMan with a special meal and then cuddle up and enjoy a glass of wine and some adult time once Bunny has gone to bed.

14.  Watch Bunny and MusicMan play together – chasing and squealing, wrestling, redesigning the track for Thomas the Tank Engine. Together, they’re a beautiful sight.

15.  Travel into Sydney city and take the ferry to Watsons Bay or Manly.

16.  Meander through the library or one of the big book stores, concentrating on the self-help, travel and fiction sections. I particularly love the stores where they have seats so you can sit down and leaf through the books that take your interest.

17.  Stay in bed late on the weekend, have MusicMan bring me coffee and then lounge around reading the papers.

18.  Run along the harbour and the beach near my home.

19.  Go to an art gallery, photographic exhibition or a museum.

20.  Go for a night out with my girlfriends. No men. Great conversation. Dinner. Drinks. Dancing.

21.  Wander through some markets, preferably ones like Paddington or Bondi markets in Sydney with up-and-coming artists and designers.

22. Drive up or down the coast with the windows down and the music blaring.

23.  Have more barbecues and gatherings with friends and their families.

24.  Make a cup of tea and sit down with my laptop to read my favorite blogs.

25.  Go somewhere crowded, grab a coffee and indulge in some people watching.

26.  Create some new characters and work on my stories. Help other people brainstorm and workshop THEIR stories.

27.  Find a new recipe amongst my extensive collection of cookbooks and magazine clippings. Leisurely shop for the ingredients and then start cooking while playing my iPod favorites and drinking a glass of wine.

28.  Go for a long walk around the mountain where I live.

What about you? What are the simple pleasures that make your life more meaningful? I’d really like to know.

Photo by curly exp(l)osure

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1 Jenny Mannion 09.18.08 at 1:23 am

Hi Kelly, Hope you are feeling better soon. You have listed wonderful ways to lift your spirits and just sitting down to write this list is a BIG step in the right direction! I’ve given some love to the post on stumble and am sending you a BIG virtual hug! Remember — this might be your body’s way of telling you to slow down a bit and assess some of the things in your life so you can plan action steps to move forward. Honor your body and emotions by taking some down time to think — it’s not the worst thing in the world and a little extra chocolate can go a long way! 😉 Thinking of you. Love, Jenny

Jenny Mannion’s last blog post..Heroes of Healing

2 Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations 09.18.08 at 1:46 am

Hi Kelly,
Sounds like a great list.
Hey do you know Josh’s movie Serinity? I would add it to your list. And Dr. Horrible is just plain silly fun that you can watch over and over and over again.

The grey zone stinks. ( The in between time while you wait for life to turn right side up again.) But it is critical that we all go through it because it precedes our largest groing spurts. Hang in there, you sure have a lot of friends to see you through.
Sending you virtual hugs and tons of virtual chocolate.

Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..Dirty Dishes in the Sink

3 Cath Lawson 09.18.08 at 2:02 am

Hi Kelly – Sorry you’re having a rough time. It sounds like you’ve got lots of great things to do to make yourself feel better though. Some of mine are swimming, or cycling with the kids, walking, chocolate, biscuits, making a nice meal, reading a good book, having a massage, giving myself a pedicure and just generally getting out of the house.

Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Why You’re Not Making Lots Of Money

4 SpaceAgeSage 09.18.08 at 2:03 am

When we are people-pleasers, it is easier to exercise, eat well, and be productive because we are doing it for others more than for ourselves. Our drive comes from fulfilling the expectations of others. When we realize this seemingly positive motivation is actually enslavement to the will of others, a radical change occurs within us. It takes awhile to wean ourselves off of their input and find our own inner strength and motivation. I’m more than halfway through this process, and I can tell you the depression I underwent, the need for chocolate, and the lack of motivation is just a part of the journey. Don’t beat yourself up over this. I don’t think you can go from lifetime people-pleaser to graceful, mature woman without this process. You are going against a mindset created from childhood. Parts of your self must fade away, but they tend to take on a stubborn life of their own. Just keep moving forward and the full awakening and integration will come. I recommend “The Artist’s Way at Work” by Cameron, Bryan, and Allen. It is helping me through the latter stages of this process beautifully.

SpaceAgeSage’s last blog post..Does life really have an Easy Button?

5 Urban Panther 09.18.08 at 2:04 am

Hmmm…. I need to make a list like this, based on what I wrote to post this Friday about forgetting how to relax. BTW, my favourit Buffy episode is Once More With Feeling where it’s a rock opera. LOVE that one!

Urban Panther’s last blog post..Half light

6 mark 09.18.08 at 2:27 am

Hey Kelly – what a great list you put together! Hope you are feeling better soon and sending some virtual Caribbean sunshine your way. :)

mark’s last blog post..Is Darfur Invisible?

7 Lance 09.18.08 at 6:03 am

Hang in there Kelly.

This list looks like a great way to put some sunshine in your daily life. I was outside just last night playing soccer with my youngest (he loves the sport) – good times. I think you have the right attitude of being present in the moment, and being grateful for all you have…

Lance’s last blog post..The Impact We Have On Others

8 Graham Strong 09.18.08 at 6:29 am

Hi Kelly,

I hear you. One time I rented and watched the first two seasons of “Northern Exposure” in a week. I never really watched it while it was on — either I was working at the restaurant every night of the week or I was out partying — but for some reason I needed to transport myself back to that time and place. Yes, a simple pleasure, but somehow it also represented something much more complex…

Hope your simple pleasures are doing the trick.


Graham Strong’s last blog post..Writer’s Block: Proper Diagnosis and Treatment

9 Vered - MomGrind 09.18.08 at 6:54 am

A long phone conversation with a friend. I haven’t done that in a long time. Phone calls seem to be short these days.

You are right: it’s a great pick-me-up.

I hope things get better soon.

Thanks for the link!

Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Mona Lisa, Enhanced

10 Marelisa 09.18.08 at 9:46 am

Bunny sounds like a lot of fun! And there’s so many great things to do near your home. Walking along the beach, going to the Paddington crafts market, buying fish and chips and feeding seagulls, going to Sydney . . . I’ve never been to Australia but this post made me think of Boston, Massachusetts. Hope you’re feeling better soon Kelly :-)

Marelisa’s last blog post..Success – On Your Own Terms

11 Kelly 09.18.08 at 10:28 am

The chocolate definitely helps, but I agree, what is happening in my life right now is definitely forcing me to slow down and re-evaluate, and ultimately I believe it will be a good thing. Thanks for the hugs x

I like that – the grey zone. Very appropriate and yes, it makes sense that it precedes massive growth and change. I just wish these times weren’t so damn confusing and uncomfortable. Why can’t change be like taking a warm bath – you get in, you splash around a bit, you get out. End of story. And I loved Serenity!

You reminded me, I forgot about massages and pedicures – these should be on my list too! I’ve been getting massages again and it’s definitely something I need to do more regularly. Actually we like to do a lot of the same things. fancy that :)

Thanks for your encouragement and support. Consciously I understand this is a process I’m goign through, but I kinda wish it would hurry up already and be over. Have I mentioned I’m not very patient? And I’ll check out the book, tahnks :)

@Urban Panther
The list has definitely served a positive purpose. I felt better just writing it. And ‘Once More With Feeling’ is one of my favorites episodes too.

Thanks, I’ll take that sunshine. And will you be sending any beer with that? I like beer with my tropical heat.


12 Kelly 09.18.08 at 10:39 am

I don’t really like watching soccer – too many near chances and not enough goals. But I do enjoy playing it with Bunny. He’s got a great kick on him too for a 4 year old, and blimey he’s a fast runner. It’s getting kind of embarrassing.

Thanks. I like the way you put that about being transported to a time and place. When I read fiction, watch films or watch Buffy I am so caught up in the story conflicts (which are very metaphorical – why I love it) and the driving needs of the characters that I forget about my own problems and needs. Considering I think way too much even when life is going great, not thinking for a bit and living in fantasy land for an hour or two can really give my mind a breather and help me perk up.

You’re welcome. Once we have kids long phone conversations are very hard to come by. But my best friend doesn’t have children yet and she also works from home a bit, so if I call on a day Bunny is at pre-school, then it’s just us for as long as we like. It allows us to make up for the physical distance just a bit.

Bunny is loads of fun. I highly recommend children for getting in touch with the simple pleasures of life. They naturally live that way every day – in the moment, laughing freely, a balloon as good as an expensive toy. I realise this will change as he ages so I try to remind myself to enjoy it now. And Sydney is amazing. I am very lucky to live where I do.


13 Evelyn Lim 09.18.08 at 11:02 am

Hello Kelly,

Hang in there! I know you’d get through this period. I noticed that you mentioned fiction books. Ok…call me a freak….but I love to read self improvement or spiritual books when I do not feel so good about myself or things. They help me gain a new perspective. When I re-read them, I can also stumble on new gems.

Your post reminds me of what a great place Sydney is. I’d love to visit Sydney once more. I’m going to put it down on my wish list.

Take care.


Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Blessings For Healing

14 Roz Mitchell 09.18.08 at 11:31 am

Reading this post Kelly has given me a little jolt as I too am in a transition time and realise I need to be proactive in my thoughts and do some action.
I give thanks for this post .And yes things to make me feel good -are talking to my sister in Melbourne-girlfriend in Caloundra-having coffee and chat with my daughter-having those chats with the grandson and seeing him grow.Photography of nature and spending one on time with my partner.

15 Roz Mitchell 09.18.08 at 11:40 am

Yes I wanted to write this seperate from last comment.I really hope you are feeling alot better soon .You are doing what you need to be doing right at this moment and that is do what you feel .Nuture the self in and out -you have a glorious wonderous son a love that only a mother knows .Soak it up and he will be your strength.
Get lots of cuddles and wine and coffee and those girl nights out will help the transition to run its course.

16 Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome 09.18.08 at 3:43 pm

What a wonderful list, Kelly. I need to create one for myself too. I get so caught up in my blogging as a business world that I forget to do the little things that I enjoy. Although I do let myself have 3 pleasures during the week right now – Fringe (the new JJ Abrams show), Next Top Model (whichever English-language version is playing somewhere in the world), and Bones. I read somewhere that entrepreneurs who want to be successful don’t have time for TV, but I disagree – if I’m going to be successful, I need to be happy and an hour a day of mindless TV is exactly what makes me happy.


Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome’s last blog post..Relying on Memory

17 Shelley 09.18.08 at 5:33 pm

I like doing hand-stands against the fence outside and, when I stand up, feel that rush of blood to the head. The mountains over the fence turn double. I also enjoy annoying the shit out Scully, my parents foxy. I chase her about the house until I finally catch her and then hug her to bits while she tries to bite and lick me. She’s an old foxy – probably about 90 in human years and I think she’s frankly, rather sick of this game! Yes, we must catch up for wine soon Kelly xx

18 J.D. Meier 09.18.08 at 6:00 pm

You had me at book. My favorite summer days are blue skies, top down, music loud, open road.

J.D. Meier’s last blog post..Use Stress to Be Your Best

19 Kelly 09.18.08 at 6:01 pm

I like self improvement books too, but when I have lots on my mind often they don’t help because they get me in knots thinking again. Then the distraction of a great story works much better at making me appreciate the moment and lifting my mood. Yes, come to Sydney and then you can visit me!

I’m glad this post came at the right time for you to look at your own simple pleasures and I hope your transition time eases soon. And thanks for your support (and breakfast). I am sure life is just turning a corner and it will all be better soon. x

I also disagree when everyone writes like tv is the devil. It’s entertainment and there is some good story telling on tv, so for someone like me who LOVES stories and interesting characters, a few favorite tv shows definitely add some fun and relaxation to my week. I think having tv on all the time for the sake of it is not the same as choosing a few tv shows a week that you enjoy watching. I haven’t seen the Fringe yet, but I will in the next day or so. I love Lost though. MusicMan and I are obsessed with that show.

Poor Scully. I’m sure she’s sick of that game. I’m impressed you can still do handstands though. I’m too scared now. I’m sure I’d fall on my head. And yes, drinks! Now !

Thanks for commenting. I too love loud music and a car on the open road. Bliss!


20 kailani 09.18.08 at 6:36 pm

I used to love going to the movies by myself. I should do that again some day soon.

kailani’s last blog post..How to Get a Firefighter’s Attention

21 Robin 09.18.08 at 6:40 pm

Hi Kelly – I’m going to be boring here and say going for a walk – which is what I always say/do to these sorts of questions. I also love to sit with Frank – in the backyard or on front veranda if it’s warm enough – having a glass of wine, in the evenings. I also like to go down the street for tea (usually the pizza joint – it’s good) when I need a “break”.

Before I was with Frank, it would have been phone calls to friends (and walks).

See you – Robin

Robin’s last blog post..Insects Versus Mother Theresa

22 Kelly 09.18.08 at 6:54 pm

Walks are very under rated, I think. In line with my love of travel, I also love exploring new areas by foot. I’ve been known to drive to suburbs and walk around, just looking at houses. Maybe that sounds weird…

Movies by yourself are great. I love going with mom and Musicman too, but there’s somethign coompletely self indulgent about going alone. I love it.


23 BC Doan 09.18.08 at 11:53 pm

Dear Kelly,

You’ve listed a great list of things to do to recharge your spirit, not only for yourself, but for many other people as well. I’ll be doing some of these myself, as I so needed, too. Thank you!

BC Doan’s last blog post..Positive Energy: It Takes Time to Change

24 Chris 09.19.08 at 2:56 am

I would love to give you an advice and say positive things but those are over played. What I can give you though is my attention. As you continue to write about your journey and your life’s cross roads, I will keep coming back to read what you’ve written. Obviously I can’t listen so I’ll just let my eyes do the listening.

Chris’s last blog post..One Fine Day

25 Kelly 09.19.08 at 7:33 am

Glad to be of service :)

This is beautifully written, and I agree advice is often over played. Your attention means a lot to me :)


26 Wearing Mascara 09.19.08 at 9:38 am


I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and have been a silent reader until now! Great post! It’s great to take time and try to enjoy yourself as much as you can to enjoy your day. Keep up the great blogging and I hope everything gets better for you!


27 Chaochao 09.22.08 at 11:17 pm

I really got a lot from your blog.thank you so much.I am from china, and i hope everything goes well with you

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