I Resolve to Enjoy More Pajama Days in 2017
On January 1st this year, I broke a pattern that had gone unchallenged for better than forty years. This year, January 1st was one of three holiday pajama days.
I wore my dark blue pajama pants and appropriately embroidered “Expect the Best” light blue pajama top all day. After a hot bath in the early evening, I swapped that set of pajamas for a fresh pair. Those ones were pink and white striped pants with another appropriately embroidered top, this one reading, “Embrace the Moment.”
Note: This post is about both the literal benefits of pajama days and a metaphor for how I intend to live my life in 2017. The messages on my pajamas are not-so-subtle clues.
Pajama Days as Self-Care
At any time of year, pajama days are a balm for the soul, a wonderful form of self-care. I don’t know why.
It may be nothing more than being comfortable while enjoying a relaxing day at home.
It may be because pajamas, when you aren’t ill or exhausted, serve as a signal to everyone, especially yourself, that you are not going to be doing any work that day.
Or perhaps we make unconscious associations between pajamas and the cozy comforts of childhood. Those of you lucky enough to be able to wear flannel pajamas, or the increasingly popular one-piece footie pajamas, can speak to this possibility with more authority. Those particular pleasures, along with turtlenecks and heavy sweaters, have been denied me ever since menopause permanently altered my internal thermostat. (sigh)
The Significance of January 1st
January 1st was just one of three pajama days I enjoyed during the holidays. But it was, by far, the most significant because it was so different from how I have spent January 1st for more than 40 years.
Here’s what New Year’s Day and the week on either side of it looked like for most of my life.
December 26th–December 30th
In the little ebook I wrote (you can get your free copy below), I describe five simple steps to successfully making and achieving your intentions and goals.
I always spend the week before New Year’s Day working on steps one through four. Those steps are about reflection, imagination, and hope. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have a thing for new beginnings and the promise of transformation, so this was always an exhilarating week.
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After spending four days dreaming my ideal life, the 31st was for practicalities. The one piece of advice I ignored, to my detriment, was the bit about increasing your likelihood of success by limiting the number of goals established. Therefore, I inevitably needed to create both a detailed schedule and a multitude of tracking forms.
Time to spring out of bed, don the workout wear, and execute that plan! I could usually manage to take action in all of my many areas of self-improvement on January 1st. However, the thought of doing so every day for the rest of my life left me feeling weary and defeated.
January 2nd and Beyond
I would limp along for a while, tweaking my goals so they didn’t require action every single day. Eventually I’d give up tracking and would journal about my efforts instead. Unlike tracking forms, a journal offers ample space for rationalization!
A few days after giving up journalling, I would have forgotten that I’d ever set any goals.
The Last Couple of Years
Eventually I realized that I am more successful when I begin from intentions because they are based on personal values. Choosing anywhere from one to three words that captured what I desired, I would then craft goals to support my intentions. That was a kinder, gentler form of goal-setting that worked for me.
Nevertheless, because my intentions were always aimed at some form of perfection, January 1st was still the day when my life was going to be radically improved. Staying in pajamas all day was still unthinkable.
Lessons from Two Months of ProfoundJourney.com
I followed my usual process this year but, thanks to this site, the results are vastly different.
In the course of publishing 38 posts and an ebook in just two months, I came face-to-face once again with my obsessive ‘Go big or go home’ work ethic. This blog is a more-than-full-time labour of love, with every post exhaustively researched and carefully crafted. It was this very behaviour that took me into burnout not so long ago.
In my desire to master blogging, I subscribed to the sites of a dozen different ‘experts’. Each expert sent frequent posts detailing the many actions they thought essential to a successful site. Several were keen to sell me a course where, for $600, I could glean the trade secrets that were netting the expert a million dollars a year for sitting at home, living the dream.
I did not start this blog in order to make money. In fact it’s costing me a fair bit. Nevertheless, there were days when the siren call of the blogging experts got to me and I castigated myself for not having the energy nor the desire to ‘step up my game.’
The extent to which I criticize myself became crystal clear as I worked on each week’s posts. I wanted to be positive in my writing, and I am. I wanted to offer helpful, practical, research-based ideas, and I believe that I do.
But until I started this site, I had not identified the core task of my personal profound journey. It is to find and strike a balance between the extremes of no sense of purpose (as in the days immediately following burnout) versus unending self-flagellation in a quest for unattainable perfection. Too many of my posts have, for me at least, a faint whiff of self-improvement run amok.
Pajama Days as Metaphor
In 2017, I am devoting myself to finding that balance; to living more of my life in the relaxed ease and comfort that can be found when spending a day in pajamas.
My intention words are SELF-ACCEPTANCE and SAVOUR. In the coming weeks, I will be devoting entire posts to these two words and to the goals that accompany them.
In the meantime, I have unsubscribed from all of the blogging experts and am already revelling in the lost weight of their expectations.
I will continue to post every Thursday morning, but often it will be one post or two, rather than three.
While personal change posts will still be a significant part of the site (what’s life without some challenge to improve!), expect to see more posts reinforcing that we are each exactly where we are supposed to be right now and doing just fine, thanks.
If you are a subscriber, thank you so much! Since I won’t be doing quite as much posting, you will be getting a bit more subscriber-only content: little tidbits of fascination or inspiration included in your short weekly email.
I’d love to hear about your experiences. How are you doing on your profound journey? Any intentions/goals/resolutions you’d like to share? Did you enjoy a pajama day or two during the holidays? Please let us know in the comments below.