My Summer of Joy

My life has become too full and I’ve been doing too much. Working part time in my City job, coaching creative professionals the rest of the time, writing a new novel, blogging, tweeting, trying to see my friends in person, keeping up to date with more distant pals via Facebook, trying to keep fit, doing the gardening and making sure I spend time with my partner - it has all got overwhelming.

All these things which I should enjoy, I’ve been finding exhausting and draining. My energy has been flat and I’ve been feeling depleted. And that has affected how I engage in these activities. I’ve felt as if I’ve not really been present and there’s been a sense of boredom and frustration seeping into everything.

Which is why I have declared this summer My Summer of Joy.

What this means is that I am pressing Pause on everything that’s been on my agenda/ plan/ schedule so far and filling my life with only those people that bring me joy and only those activities that make my heart sing.

So the Pause button is on for:

  • coaching
  • novel writing
  • blogging and tweeting and facebooking (semi-paused)
  • anything that taps into my drive and ambition

And my heart and time are open to:

  • re-establishing warm connections with good friends
  • developing some weaker ties into better friendships
  • picnics
  • giving my garden more love and attention
  • getting back into shape
  • walks
  • tea parties
  • curiosity
  • lying in bed on Sunday mornings with my partner watching the clouds float across the window

My Summer of Joy has been in full swing now for a few weeks and I am finding that I have loads more energy, smiles and laughter are always hovering on my lips, I have connected with an old friend in a warmer and more authentic way, I’ve lost half a stone, my senses seem more alive to the sounds and sensations of being in nature… and more!

I was telling a friend about My Summer of Joy and she was so taken by the idea, she is also making this summer a Summer of Joy in her life. We are going to make sure that our Joys overlap by going on a long walk together sometime soon!

Will you join me in having a Summer of Joy, too?

I will be blogging less frequently over the summer but hope to bring you updates from time to time of the joyful activities and people I’ll be spending time with.

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Photo: thanks to DanLopez from flickr.com (CCL)

4 Responses to “My Summer of Joy”

  1. Thedoc Toriscrazy Says:

    What a marvelous idea Alex! Sounds like you needed a change and you found the wisdom and courage to make it. I will be joining you in my own way; although my situation is almost the opposite of yours. I have been working too little, socializing too little and just generally living the life of a hermit. So my Summer of Joy will consist of more work, more blogging, more Facebook and more socializing. Wish you lived closer & I would join you for some long walks & picnics!

  2. Alex Yang Says:

    Thedoc - yes, if only you were closer. We’d love to catch up. Any chance of a trip over to the UK soon?

    Jane - yes, let’s do something fun. I’ll give you a call shortly

  3. Julie Bull Says:

    Hello Yang Mai, I haven’t read your blog before so wanted to say it’s great and that I’m all up for project joy. I had a summer like this in 2010 sort of by accident but I was very struck by the number of wonderful things that happened once I made some space for them. This summer is a ‘challenging’ one for me. That’s the euphemism for having a really shitty time I think… but I’ve noticed of late that the some little bits of magic are coming my way through the gloom. There is always hope if you reconnect with the things and people that really matter. I look forward to hearing more …

  4. Alex Yang (pen name of Yang-May Ooi) Says:

    Hi Julie, thanks for sharing your experiences of “challenging” times. We all go through periods like that and they really are no fun at all … But, as you say, thank goodness for glimmers of hope through the gloom in the form of things and people that matter in our lives. I will be posting about these joyful connections - once I’ve had the space and time to reflect on them and savour them to the full!

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