Sunday Tea in a New Happy Place, Or:
Laughably Simple, Enneagram Sub-Types, Let It Be Easy
“They” say you’re not supposed to apologize for not having written in a while. No one cares as much as you do yourself, you don’t want to abandon your blog with the last post up one that’s apologizing for not writing, et cetera, et cetera, blah, blah. 😀
Well, sorry “them,” I’m gonna apologize. 😉 I mean, over three months ago I invited you to join me here every week to chat about what we’re learning and what’s saving our lives. And… then I disappeared. 😬🤦♀️
We moved. I mean, I didn’t move this newsletter somewhere else, my family and I actually moved all of our physical possessions from one house to another. Not real far, but still a lot of work. The new place is a fixer-upper, which is a gift, because that’s part of how we were able to afford it (it’s almost twice as big as our old place, hallelujah, thank You, God), but also that means… a lot of work. Most of which I’m not doing myself, but still, here we are. And we’re renting out our old place, through a property management company, because we discovered, to our surprise, that that was a thing we could do that might be a good idea.
Tea I’m Drinking
As yesterday, some Red Rose black tea. Yay tea. 😊
What I’m Reading
Well, this was a bit ago, at the end of October and beginning of November, but I read Streaking: The Simple Practice of Conscious, Consistent Actions That Create Life-Changing Results by Jeffery J. Downs and Jami L. Downs. Basically it’s about habit streaks or chains, although they make the argument that habits are things you do unconsciously, and so very few of the things we know we want to do become habits in and of themselves — how we do them might be unconscious and become a habit, but not the action of doing it at all. For example, most people won’t go to the gym or exercise without any conscious decision involved, no matter how long they’ve been doing it. It’ll get easier, but as I remember Dana White says in one of her books (paraphrasing here), “I’m never just going to find myself washing the dishes. ‘Oh, how did I get here??’”
Personally, I’d probably just change the definition of “habit” in this sort of context, but okay. Streaks. There are a few different “laws” to streaking (yes, they called the book that to grab your attention), let’s see if I still remember all of them. The first was to make it laughably simple. The idea is that the hard part is to maintain the streak every single day (or week, or five times a week, whatever you decide) for hundreds or thousands of days — not to do it once. That part should be easy. You should be able to do it even on your really crappy days.
I thought I was already starting small, but I found I could go smaller, make it easier, make it simpler. This was enormously helpful. I’ve tried to maintain habits and habit streaks before, but never had as much success with it before this book.
Second law is to keep a record — if you don’t have a record, you don’t have a streak. Not for sure. You want to know for sure.
And then the third law is to create a community. I haven’t done the best job with this one. A couple people know about some of my streaks I’ve started?
What’s Saving My Life
These streaks still are saving my life, despite my lack of community around them. Hey, wanna start streaking with me? 😉 They encourage only working on one streak for a long time, until you trust yourself to add another. Adding slowly, only when you’re sure that what you add won’t be a burden, “one more thing” to do, but also sure that you’re not going to “fail” at it — add these to build your self-confidence, not tear it down.
Well, I’ve added as slowly as I can stand to. 😁 For 68 days now, not counting today, I’ve meditated for at least five minutes every day. (Side note: They don’t encourage time-related streaks, because your attention shouldn’t be on the clock. This seems a little silly to me — just use a timer, certainly don’t keep checking the clock. I use the app Insight Timer for this, which I heard about from a different book, for its nice bell chime at the end.)
For 66 days now I’ve read at least one page of a book (generally nonfiction, though not necessarily always) in between bed and getting ready for bed. (This is supposed to encourage me to get ready for bed sooner — but not stay up all night reading, thus the nonfiction bit. It, um, maybe helps some, sometimes.)
For 59 days, counting today, I’ve at least checked my calendar and set my alarms. A few times I haven’t done that until towards the end of the day, but I don’t care. I’ve done it. It’s helped. It’s laughably simple.
For 54 days I’ve checked my streak records before bed, after reading about that part in the book. You don’t want to break a long-running streak just because you somehow forgot about it.
For 49 days now (this one also including today) I’ve at least opened my Bible daily.
For 44 days I’ve checked my daily check-in questions, from a course I bought, Daily Planning for ADHD Moms by Patricia Sung. Questions like, Did I write everything down today? What’s going on tomorrow?
For 20 days I’ve at least brushed my teeth once. 😊 I kind of love this one, because it’s a pet peeve of mine that whenever anyone talks about how to build new habits, they use brushing your teeth as an example of a habit you already have. That you don’t have to think about at all. Grrr. Not always the case with ADHD. There have been times in my life where I haven’t had to think about it much. This season… is apparently not one of them!
For one week, or nine days (I started in a week with only four days left), I’ve opened at least three unread emails in my inbox, five days a week. Yeah, I know. LAUGHABLY SIMPLE, I tell you!
And finally, for four days now, as of this afternoon, I’ve worked at least a little on my computer on my website, or on Saving My Life, or on My Felt Comfort Happy Place. Yay!!! Hello!
What I’m Learning
So I did kind of a deep dive into the Enneagram lately. I already thought I was the counter-type of the type 4. But I did more research into counter-types in general, and mine, in particular. I know it can be kind of a complicated topic, and overwhelming to an Enneagram beginner, but if you happen to be one of the counter-types, which doesn’t appear much like the other sub-types of its type, it’s kind of crucial.
We won’t get into all of that, but the mind-blowing thing for me, personally, is that the growth path is different for the counter-types. I’d never heard that, before! Uh, that’s kinda important, guys…
Also I’ve learned that, although the 4 counter-type is the “sunny 4,” we’re generally hard workers, and we can also tend towards self-sabotage, and even be a bit masochistic. This… did not resonate, at first. But I’m starting to see it.
So this year I’m trying to “let it be easy” and “follow the fun.” I’m hoping that that writing streak I mentioned above will help make posting this easy!
What I’m Listening To
Lots of things! Like EnneaSummer2021 on That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs. Episode 12, on counter-types, on Enneagram 2.0 with Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes. And other things I want to tell you about but I can’t right now because it’s time to post this and finish my last few streaks of the day and go to bed. Um, next time we’ll talk about sunlight and structure, and it’ll be great? Okay then!
Oh, and yesterday I posted My Felt Comfort Happy Place again, for a whole second time, so be sure to check that out if you want more cozy crafty goodness. A little more, anyway.
What about you? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Did you have a good Christmas? Or, since this is the Ninth Day of Christmas today, are you having a good Christmas? What have you been reading lately? Are you intrigued at all about this habit streaking thing? Do you love or hate the Enneagram, or have you never heard of it before, or are you actually kind of indifferent? Do tell! 😁