Do these 5 little things, not just to change your life, but to make yourself happier, and maybe even make a big decision to move across the country.
With my imminent move from New York to Portland, I have been contemplating… what is going to be different?
I somehow had this idea that moving to a new place will make me happier, less busy, and feel more fulfilled in general. But why do I think moving to Portland is going to change anything? Why is it going to make my life better?
The truth is, if I continue to do similar things, and continue to fill up my time and make myself busy, nothing will change. I’ll feel just as restless as I did in New York, I’d want to change things around and keep improving and fixing things.
If I'm not happy where I am right now, it doesn't matter where I move to, my life will be exactly the same way.
Big changes like moving, changing jobs, or even changing relationships never really changed anything. What’s really going to make my life different are the little things, the things that I can do differently, right now, without moving anywhere.
So I started digging… why did it feel different the 4 weeks that I was in Portland? What did I do so differently that made me so happy and decided to move across the country?
1. Me Time
I woke up early in the morning (mainly because my husband was working on east coast time and waking up at 6am). I benefited from it by having at least an extra hour of me time everyday.
That time of connecting with myself gave me clarity, and space to appreciate all the beautiful little things in life that I otherwise wouldn’t notice. It’s true when they say stop to smell the roses. If you don’t ever stop, you’ll never smell or see anything even though the most amazing things are happening right in front of you
2. Chai Latte (or your expression of it)
It sounds silly, but it was the way to show that my pleasure is important. It was simple, easy, and honestly, it was heavenly. With the extra me time and chai latte every morning, I sat there alone, staring at the beautiful morning sky, there was no words to describe the peaceful feelings that come with it.
3. Space Fillers - NOT!
I spent my usual 3 to 4 hours working everyday. But I didn’t have access to my usual yoga studio, or my usual pole dancing studio… so I ended up with a few extra hours in the day when I just puttered around the house. I like yoga and pole dancing, but they were space fillers for me. They were things to do because I have an afternoon free. Overtime, they became part of my routine. Without them, I had space for other things that I not only like, but they make me come alive.
4. Come Alive - And Do It Often
I wanted to do more rock climbing, both indoor and outdoor. I spent years thinking about that, yet I haven’t done that. The extra time and space I had in Portland allowed me to go climbing 3 times a week. It brought out a part of me who was dormant and was yearning for more. It turns out when you love doing something, doing it 3 times a week makes a heck of a lot of difference vs. doing it once every 3 months. It’s the difference between feeling alive and dormant.
5. Play & Connect
With the extra time that both of us had, we did touristy and Portlandian things that we otherwise would never have done.
The difference was passion. There was a fresh sense of passion in what we did, we were willing to try new things even if they were silly and ridiculous (like making a terrarium). The side effect was a fresh sense of passion in our relationship, even though everything seemed normal and the same. But the fact that we made time to play with each other led to a deeper connection that we weren’t aware of, until it disappeared when we got back home.
That’s why people tend to fall in love again when they go on vacation, because they actually make time and space for each other, hence seeing the beauty of having a partner in their lives. It’s something that I easily forget when I’m mired in the day to day details of doing life.
Not only I’m committed to moving to Portland geographically, I’m committed to moving our “Portland living” back to our New York life at the moment, and doing more of the little things that matter.
Share in the comment below: What little things are you going to do today that make you happy, and maybe change your life?
As featured in