Week 29: what can we change?

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Once a week, I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#20 Practice Mindfulness: articulate and savor the good moments

A few weeks ago, I postulated that perhaps as a secondary conclusion about the importance of articulating the good moments as a way to practice mindfulness, that it was, if not equally important, very very close to it, to refrain from articulating the mild annoyances about things I can’t change.

Not to say that I am successful at keeping my mouth shut, because I am not always. But I find it unhelpful to continually repeat complaints about things we can’t change. And even more importantly, repeatedly articulating those things make them consistently top-of-mind, therefore omnipresent.

Articulating our thoughts helps sear them into our memory. We need to be careful about which memories we choose to sear.

But here’s my little twisty thought on this matter: how do we know what we can change, and are there people who cannot parse the difference? Is it a question of will to stop complaining about things we cannot change, or is it pathological for some people?

For example, I have come to realize that I am less unsatisfied as a mother when I stop snarkily commenting on the weird/irritating/anxiety producing behaviors of my children on the reg.

Now, there is a difference between dealing with a behavior that needs to be corrected, and making regular sarcastic observations or snarky comments. The former is critical to raising healthy, safe children. The latter provides a brief escape hatch which ultimately leaves me grumpier and less ready to notice the good moments.

On the scale of being a miserable parent and being a happy parent, articulating good moments has the power to move the needle to the right. My snarkiness and complaining moves the needle to the left. Bridging the distance between miserable and happy is complicated by my own behavior and attitude.

I’ll admit, though, that it’s really hard not to be snarky or complain. Sometimes it just sneaks out of me. What is critically important is to not make a habit out of complaining.

And more importantly, to continue articulating the good moments.

#17 Track steps, water intake, monthly(ish) cycles

Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Lily Fields, welcome to the 21 century.

Thanks to my father, who was here with his wife Daisy (whom you may remember from our month-long ode to Mise en Place last year), I inherited his old Fitbit. The photo at the top of this article shows my eldest scalawag modeling the Fitbit whilst admiring a decorative object at a hotel (yes, seriously.)

It looks, for all intents and purposes, like a watch. Not that I didn’t know this kind of thing existed, but remember, it wasn’t until January that I had my first smartphone. So…I guess I am what is called an extremely slow and reluctant adopter of new technologies.

I can’t honestly say that I would have bought one of these for myself even had I known how life changing it can be when I’m trying to manage the basics of my health. I’m notoriously cheap and do not like to spend exorbitant sums of money on myself. So no. It would never have crossed my mind.

However. Now that I have an easy way to keep track of hydration, steps, sleep, even heart rate (let it be known that I impress even my typically unimpressed indulgent husband with my resting heart rate!), I feel like for the first time since I was pregnant, I finally have a handle on my health.

Episode 63: Foresight Sing With Your Feet

This week, we look at how we can love ourselves better by planning ahead.
  1. Episode 63: Foresight
  2. Episode 62: Memory
  3. Episode 61: Novelty
  4. Episode 60: How to Have Great Sex
  5. Episode 59: I Have A Theory

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

One thought on “Week 29: what can we change?

  1. Cutest Fitbit model I’ve ever seen!!
    So true for me too- the snarky mothering! Even tho she doesn’t really need active mothering at 35, my snarky comments only make me grumpier!!
    Good for you, on the health tracking! Just this week, I’ve started going going outside , and tracking the time.


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