Regardless of how far out one will actually depart on a trip, "The trip begins when you buy the ticket." What a profound and true statement this is. Let's use it live drama-free!
Much of our stress comes from not knowing what is going to happen in the near or distant future. For some it is fear of the predictability that nothing new will happen at all. Happiness comes from within and we are each responsible for generating our own without relying upon or blaming others when it happens or not.
Buying the ticket may be literal. When we plan a trip or vacation, it doesn't become real until we do something to lock it in. This may be when we purchase our plane tickets or pay the deposit on that cruise we've been dreaming about. The brilliance of buying the ticket is that the event is made real simply by being confirmed on the calendar, printing our tickets, or just having that confirmation email in my inbox. I am now able to count the remaining days absolutely and look forward to my trip. This sets new events in motion to support my departure like planning, dreaming, shopping and getting to share my excitement with others.
Set a weekly or monthly recurring date to get together with a friend or some family (in person or over the phone).
Every party is better with a theme! When you get together make it an experience by planning a specific activity or finding something to celebrate.
A birthday? A holiday? Something in the news really made you happy?
What's on the menu? Where will you meet?
What game(s) will you play?
Have a tasting of beers, wine, desserts or whatever foods or drinks interest you. Some dear friends of ours have an affinity for craft beers and introduced beer tastings at our weekly gathering. We take turns buying a build-your-own 6-pack. A bottle is selected, its label evaluated and description read, each person gets a small pour to taste and the judgement begins! It always makes for wonderful sharing and discussion and at $8.99 for the assorted 6-pack is a terrific conversational bang for our buck.
Casual Home Project
TIPS: Your planned activity is crucial for you to live drama-free and healthy.Set a calendar reminder on your phone or computer and resist letting anyone or anything interfere.
When someone suggests doing something during your blocked time, simply share that you already have something planned during that time and coordinate an alternate time that works for both of you.
Do not explain what you have planned as doing so often creates an unhealthy competitive situation for the other person and you to compare and judge whose activity is more important (anything you took the time and energy to plan, block and do must be truly important to you!). I am speaking from experience when I was establishing a routine to jog daily and I was pleasantly surprised how willing folks are to work out an alternate time without any explanation or defending from me.
Only share what you have planned when you want to invite them to join you. Otherwise, you don't owe anyone, including yourself, an explanation.
More importantly for me is when buying the ticket is not literal. It occurs when I take action to cause new things to happen. I do this by making plans, getting them on my calendar and following through. Just like the trip or vacation, having ANY event on the books gives us something to look forward to. Here are some suggestions. Structured activities and established routines are key.
Establish a structured activity that requires focus and will create a nice diversion for you.Again, this needs to become a scheduled event for you to have the ticket in hand and have it to look forward to.
Take a walk
Go for a drive somewhere you've never been
Read a book, magazine or favorite online articles
Play with your kids or pets
Standing poker game
A day out with the girls or boys
Meditate or pray
Play a sport or board game
Attend a public event (people watching alone is amazing!)