Because it’s about time that I did.
You know that saying “live every day to its fullest”?
After 2 years of pandemic, multiple lockdowns, and a severely restricted social life, many of us are ready to ‘get living’ again.
COVID isn’t over, but more and more people are moving on anyway. I’m still masking up for the most part, but many aren’t as concerned anymore.
However, to the point of this blog’s title.
Now that we’re officially into spring and having a balance of nice weather days vs not nice weather days, it got me thinking. It feels like there is so much to catch up on, make up for, and do this year, while we can, before another pandemic saddled winter.
I want to live as many days of my 2022 (and beyond) to a fuller extent as I can manage.
What does that mean to me?
In years past I have prioritized my ambitions under the thought that if I invested myself there first, I would reach my goals sooner, and then have more free time and space to devote to social connections and relationships later.
I felt like trying to juggle or balance my ambitions and social life would ultimately just hamper both, but instead I put almost all into one and much less into the other. This means that year after year, i’ve not taken to fostering friendships like I could have.
Each time I would see a friend post pictures on social media of themselves out enjoying the world, enjoying activities, good company, I would be envious and sometimes even sad. I wanted to be there too. I wanted to have that too.
And if you’re saying right now ‘but Lacey, there’s nothing stopping you from going out and enjoying the world yourself!’, you’re not wrong. The key is that I want to share it with people in the moment.
So when I say ‘living a fuller life’, I mean not neglecting friends and personal relationships. Because ambitions aren’t wrong or bad, but they need to be balanced. So I mean not slaving away on my computer as much, getting sun, fresh air, smiles and laughter with other people.
Ideally, I want to have more pictures of me, with friends (old or new), smiling, laughing, having a good time (indoors or out). I want to do my best to emulate the life that I see some of my friends living, the life that I’ve long desired but not worked for.
Because the truth is — ambition can be lonely. And I’ve been lonely a lot by choice, and it’s time to change that.
I sat down recently and decided to figure something out. The first day of spring officially is March 20th. Generally the weather is starting to get cooler by Halloween, but let’s say Oct 31st as a nice round spot. That’s 225 days.
But as I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, the weather doesn’t actually start being consistently nicer arbitrarily on March 20th. April still tends to be a month of weather in flux, especially in our modern climate change world. Some days are legitimately beautiful spring days, but we still have colder ones, wet ones, and even snowy ones.
But by May (at least here where I live), the balance of weather is mostly nice. It’s a really nice pocket. It’s arguably the best time of the year — before it gets scorching out and you need to run your AC constantly.
May 1st to Oct 31st is 182 days. I’m going to call that ‘peak weather of the year’ (or alternatively ‘peak not winter of the year’).
That is the portion of the year where I feel like maximal weather and sun can be enjoyed, and we spend the least amount of time shut in, cooped up, or worrying as much about COVID waves. That’s the number of days to really strive to live as if they were my last.
182 days is 49.8% of 365, so it’s pretty much exactly half the year.
Of course as I write this, May 1st is still roughly two weeks away, but we’re having a few pretty decent days even so.
I’ve spent so many past years chasing my ambitions and sacrificing social life, and spending beautiful days inside hunched over my keyboard working on something for business. Not that those things weren’t worthwhile or important in their own way, but I certainly did not have balance. And that was a long-standing issue.
I want this year to be different. I need it to.
I want to be able to look back and say I lived the heck out of my 182 days in 2022. I want to make connections and memories. I want more pictures of my smiling face next to other smiling faces. I want people to have met and become friends (or maybe even more) because of me. And a few modest accomplishments sprinkled in for good measure.
That’s what I want to do with my 182 days this year.
For some people, this probably sounds easy, it’s what they already do. But as I said, I’ve always struggled with balance.
There are always things that I may not want to deal with, or things I may be dwelling on, and I have often used chasing ambitions or working on creative projects as a distraction from those things.
If I’m going to commit to a more social, connected year, it’s going to involve changing habits, and dealing with certain things. I will have to be mindful to not fall back into old patterns.
Now I know I can’t literally just make social plans every single day, because I would burn out. But I have identified some recurring weekly and monthly events that I can go to, to meet new people, make new connections, and make some memories. And of course I will be planning hangs with existing friends.
These recurring events are very helpful because I genuinely have a hard time making plans. I find it very mentally taxing, taking all the variables into account. This is also why I haven’t planned my own birthday party in years, because there are too many logistics. I prefer when a thing is already planned and I can just show up.
To keep me mentally on track, i’ve added markers into my calendar — one per week so as to not be overwhelming — to let me know how many days are left. This way I can check in and ask myself ‘do I feel like I’m on a pace that I’m happy with, do I need to up my game more, or slow down more?’ Because I know my tendency is to overdo it and so this is a gentle reminder to be aware of my batteries.
As I said, it’s still mid April and I have already been largely on my new routine — going to a couple of events a week and making plans with friends. So i’ve gotten a head start and indeed have already found I am probably pushing myself a bit too fast. But I was starving when I started and when you’re starving it’s harder to pace yourself.
I’m curious to hear from you — Do you also feel like you want or plan to maximize your time with the good weather this year? How do you balance your social life, enjoying the weather, and pursuing your goals?