With the Treat in Realizing Your Benefits …
The first few weeks after I carefully considered, created, and then started living in harmony with my own Joie de Vivre Schedule, I couldn’t believe the immediate difference it made. My basic needs, wants and responsibilities, as well as the number of hours in each and every day had obviously remained the same. But suddenly there was the gift in an already secured time and place for everything that actually mattered most, and all of those everythings could more effortlessly just happen in their coordinated time and place slots. I really had to laugh — both with relief and in amazement.
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I found myself feeling freed up, excited as the time for each next scheduled activity arrived, and eager to make the most of it. There was (and still is) less time wasted coming and going, trying to coordinate with and/or wait for others, deciding what to do next, and/or getting interrupted when I’m in the middle of something. I felt (and still feel) both more focused and relaxed, clear, supported, and productive. And then as the natural result of first being seen, heard, and respected by myself, I found I could more easily open up to respond with overall expanded energy, optimism, cooperation, and flexibility. All of this makes for blossoming blue skies, a very satisfied and happy camper — and equally grateful tent mates.
Of course, as soon as I thought I’d signed this sweet deal in ink, Life decided to test the strength of my intentions and resolve. But even when that flood of unexpected and non-negotiable events rushed in to undermine my specified time slots, I still found the basic structure and defined priorities continued to support me. I got to further refine the art of swapping this for that, and letting go of things that had suddenly become less important in the current circumstances. I just kept telling myself, “In each moment, I now have all the time I need to do what matters most, and I’m actually doing it. It’s up to me to make this happen.”
Working on the line in a restaurant can certainly give you a crash course in that critical life lesson. I remember one night years ago when the reservations were mistakenly way overbooked where I was cheffing, there was literally a line out the door and down the block, we were having power outages in the kitchen, and my fresh fish delivery hadn’t arrived by the time we opened for dinner. My order board was instantly jammed and more just kept coming in. It was at that sink-or-swim moment that I reminded myself we made essentially everything to order from scratch, it could only be cooked so fast, there were only so many burners, and as long as I kept them full and remained focused, that was the best anyone could ever do. So instead of walking out the back door, I decided I might as well relax and enjoy the process. I did and it worked.
And when I was celebrating my birthday last January, I realized preparing for this new personal year had also come with a parallel epiphany that I really wanted to share with you now. Because it can work in some way for all of us.
Having your own Joie de Vivre Schedule is all about creating a respectful and supportive structure that keeps providing you with uplifting, positive re-enforcement, rather than the weight in a constant sense of conflicting interests and/or dreaded obligations. That doesn’t mean no planning, preparation or self-discipline are required. But instead of feeling either trapped or deprived, I’ve found I not only get what I truly both need and want, but additional surprise bonuses keep showing up as well. So both making and following this kind of schedule has proved life-sustaining in a way I can realistically maintain both with greater happiness and for the long haul. It’s like keeping a well-stocked pantry full of ready possibilities, and realizing these collective benefits is the greatest treat of all.
So now that I’ve completed this Joie de Vivre Schedule series of seven tips and treats, I hope you’ll feel free to grab and go with whatever parts can best work to help support you at this point in your own life right now. And in the meantime, here’s a little eye candy for you to nibble on, while you set yourself up for greater ease in the joy of living and eating well.
Related Link: Joie de Vivre Schedule Tip #6
Bon Appétit! Kay