So I thought I'd talk a little bit this week about my little book (which I've talked about before) Victoria Moran's Creating a Charmed Life.
As I've said before, this is a little 'how to' book that I took to heart and it has sustained me through some hard times over the years and really given me guidance when I needed it most. It's at once lofty and down to earth. It's practical and easily digestible and I refer to it again and again. It has truly, truly assisted me - oftentimes when I've felt the most lost.
One of my favorite chapters is called "Play Your Free Square".
Ms. Moran believes that just as all Bingo players get to play the "Free Square" so, too in life, everybody has certain abilities, aptitudes and talents that they are just naturally good at - free squares, if you will. Since everybody in Bingo sort of takes the Free Square for granted, she believes that we, in life, take our 'Free Squares' for granted. Some things are just naturally easy for each of us and we tend not to think much of them, whether it's singing or math or cooking or whatever. And because we take these things for granted, we don't utilize them to our full advantage.
As I said, one of the things I love about this book is that it gives you concrete little lessons in living a better life and I've taken most of them to heart. I love to play my free squares.
Most notably to me, and the free square I play to my greatest assistance, is the one I usually play at work.
I think you all know that lawyering is not always very easy for me. It's stressful. And I have a lot of balls to keep in the air. Sometimes (or maybe I should say often) I feel overwhelmed.
Since being a lawyer is sort of crazy - oftentimes my desk and office will look like some sort of file cabinet explosion. Files stacked everywhere. Correspondence. Emails. Voicemails. Paperwork.
And messes absolutely stress me out.
But I'm really good at organizing.
So - when I'm feeling overwhelmed and crazy and full of anxiety at work I stop whatever I'm doing and play my free square and spend a few minutes organizing the mess.
It certainly doesn't result in less work or make what needs to be done any easier.
But it makes me feel better.
And as the mess becomes organized, my stress and anxiety drop and my ability to concentrate and focus becomes easier.
That little trick makes my life easier and more charmed. It helps me be a better lawyer. It helps me stay sane and maintain control when I want to throw up my hands and hide under the bed.
Pretty cool, huh?
The first time I consciously tried this was at my old job (where I was unhappy) and I just didn't think I could go on for one more minute. I had just read this book and I thought 'Well, I'm good at organizing, so I'll organize this mess.'
So I did.
And I felt better and then I got some work done.
I thought 'I am really on to something here.'
So there's one of my little tricks to leading a happier life - I play my free squares with joy.
What about y'all? Have you played your free squares today?
Image: Bingo Through the Magnifier by Jessa Mae Photography.