26 Topics, Serenity Project

100 Days of Serenity

It’s been a little over 100 days since I started the Serenity Project and I saw I owed it to myself and those around me to take a long, honest look at its effect.

100 Days of Serenity

Having torn myself away from my lavender-scented pillow and taken a few deep breaths, here’s what I found:

  • I’m actually less serene than when I started. I’m sleeping badly, eating more and exercising less. My marriage feels wobbly and my day job abounds with self-imposed anxiety. Frankly, I’m a serenity fraud.
  • Although I never claimed to have all the serenity answers, the truth is that my approach of 26 two-week topics, with progress documented here, isn’t working for me. It seems that trying to be serene, while writing about being serene, while juggling the rest of life’s little challenges, is wrecking the very thing I’m seeking.
  • I remain convinced that others are struggling with their own serenity journey, and while I’ve made a handful of wonderful connections here, I don’t believe my voice adds fresh insight to the subject. There are, after all, 2.6 billion results for “stress” on Google.
  • Despondent doesn’t begin to describe how I feel going on the record with this, but as of today I’m giving myself permission to quit. A shout-out is due here to my two biggest blog supporters (you know who you are) and my husband, who warned me last autumn that launching a third novel and a serenity project at the same time was, as we Brits like to say, frankly bonkers.

This isn’t the end of my Serenity Project but I’m taking it back into stealth mode, working on my habits and mindset quietly and at a flexible pace. You shouldn’t expect regular updates here. I’m also taking a break from Twitter and Facebook, as I’m no longer convinced they add to my wellbeing. If you want to get in touch, please leave a comment here or email instead.

For what it’s worth, some of the topics truly did make a difference to how I felt and I warmly encourage you to experiment for yourself, if you would like a smidgen more serenity in your life. My favourite techniques were Treasure Your Twilight and Joy Every Day. I’ll be revisiting and reviving these for myself. In time, I may post further topic ideas here, as there is so much more I’d like to explore in this field. And I reserve the right to make pretty images occasionally…

The Serenity Project

For now, though, I need a bit of self-reflection and serene silence. I wish you well and hope you also find the path to glide more and flap less.

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    April 14, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Pauline, that really sounds sensible to me. I was afraid writing about the project was taking a toll on you. “Stealth mode” will undoubtedly feel a lot more serene. I never started on Facebook because I thought it would be something that would just make life more hectic. I like to build a lot of flexibility into my day, and that can’t be maintained when the schedule is overloaded. Something’s gotta give! Of course, when and if you do decide to post more on the topic, I want to read it! There might come a day when writing a post would feel therapeutic rather than like that one more thing that could push one over the edge.

  2. Reply
    Pauline Wiles
    April 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Jean, thanks for the ongoing kindness and support: I truly appreciate it. One of the things I hope to get back to, when life settles a little, is the simple pleasure of baking. And I’ll be leaning on your wonderful blog as my guide!

  3. Reply
    April J Harris
    April 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I can totally understand feeling so overwhelmed – in fact I’ve definitely been there! I’ve enjoyed your Serenity Project posts and I’m looking forward to catching up on the ones I missed as I’ve been struggling to keep up with so many things too. I do think you are a good voice on the subject – sometimes we are best at teaching that which we need most to learn. I’m sorry that you are feeling much less than serene, and I hope that things will soon settle down a bit for you. Thinking of you and please do email if I can help in any way!

    1. Reply
      April 18, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Thanks so much, April. It was lovely to read your kind words.

  4. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    May 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Pauline, for whenever life settles enough for the simple pleasure of baking, I just posted my Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze (with perhaps a few “tips for muffin success” not included in my blueberry muffin post). I am currently working on (strictly in my mind!) ways to increase my serenity and my energy; if I figure it out, I’ll let you know! For starters, I may soon shut my computer off for several days, just to see what happens.

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      May 8, 2017 at 9:46 am

      What a comforting recipe, thanks Jean. Curious to know how a few days without the computer goes.

  5. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    May 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Pauline, I went three and a half days without the computer, tablet, internet, email, etc. And I think it did me a world of good! My aim, going forward, is to decide on a schedule and stick to it; I think I’ve been spending far too much time in front of the screen.

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