26 Topics, Serenity Project

Serenity Project 26: Look Back in Wonder

Wow. What a year.

I started the Serenity Project because I felt frazzled and overwhelmed much of the time. While I wasn’t unhappy per se, I knew I was allowing life to pass in a blur of multi-tasking.

So I embarked on a plan to spend two weeks on each of a variety of the suggestions which appear in the popular media, to see which of them would truly make an impact on my serenity.

Serenity Project 26: Look Back


And, unlike vague intentions from previous years, the public declaration (and schedule) I set served as a powerful accountability tool. Within the first few weeks I was getting to bed earlier, finding more excuses for joy, and questioning my devotion to my to-do list. I was devouring insightful content from others, posting tips regularly, and enjoying this new lens on life.

But, ironically, with a long family visit looming, serenity posts themselves were, of course, one more thing to do. Roughly 100 days in, I panicked, declared it all too much, and walked away. Or so I thought… The summer months brought some respite and I discovered the powerful satisfaction of returning to a task and the momentum in finding success the second time.

I imagine 2017 also held a bucketful of ups and downs for you. I hope in the next few days you can pause, look back, and find a sense of wonder for all you’ve accomplished and learned. Whether you’ve navigated heartbreaking losses or launched headfirst into new challenges, you might be a little surprised at what unfolded this year. I know I am. Aside from my serene pursuits, I’ve run three half-marathons, published two books, and read 34 (give or take) by other people. I’ve heard Gretchen Rubin speak, been to my first political march, and slept in nine beds which were not my own. I’ve connected in person with three dear-but-distant friends, and biked over 500 miles in small but regular trips.

So, what now? Will I retire to a purple hammock, having cracked the secret of serenity? Well, no! But I’m making tangible progress. In the next few days I’ll post my serenity rankings, showing which topics gave the most bang for their buck. In preparing that, I realize there are several which I didn’t score, as I didn’t feel I’d given that behavior a decent chance. So I’ll be returning to those, followed by a revival of the topics which were high scorers, but where my habits have slipped.

As I move forward, I’ll be thinking how to bundle some of this content and learning to make it easier for you to consume when you need it. I’m working on a book to help indie authors stress less, and am excited to spend more time in 2018 on my own novels, too.

In the meantime, please, please, if you do nothing else, take a few minutes to look back in wonder at your year. I’d love to hear what stands out for you.

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3 Comment

  1. Reply
    Julie Valerie
    December 29, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Oh, wow. Is it over? Has the year finally drawn to an end? Are we at our 26th installment of the Serenity Project?!? Say it isn’t so!

    I’m going to dearly miss this program. Pauline, wow. It was amazing. YOU are amazing.

    Eagerly awaiting the book edition. (But no pressure. That wouldn’t be serene.)


    1. Reply
      December 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      You’re so kind, Julie. No, even though that was topic 26, there’s still plenty of work to do. And since you twist my arm, I’ll think about a book, too 😉

  2. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    January 10, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Pauline, I have enjoyed/am enjoying the Serenity Project and look forward to more about it because it really is an ongoing, permanent sort of thing, isn’t it? Not the sort of thing one actually ever completes. This was a good post for me to read just as I was gearing up to tackle too many things. Now I’m going to sit quietly with another cup of tea and regroup, prioritize, and remind myself that the world will keep spinning if I don’t get it all done today!

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