Mario Villalobos

The Halfway Point

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So said Annie Dillard in the Writing Life. This is one of those few quotes I always come back to that give me hope and motivation to keep moving forward, to keep living life. And boy have I been living life these past six months. I’m halfway through completing my goal of writing an entry a day for a full year, and I’m amused at the fact that it landed on Daylight Savings. I lost an hour, but I didn’t lose my day.

I love the path I’m on. A girl kickstarted this whole journey, but she was just the MacGuffin hiding the path I was always going to embark upon in the end. I’m not a big believer in destiny because of the simple fact that I want to feel like I control my life, not some outside force, be it intelligent or mindless. I want to live my days spent doing what I want so that I could live the life I want. The path I’ve travelled has had its ups and downs, its exciting days and long days. I’ve accomplished a lot, and I’ve worked hard, and I’ve documented it all as best and as honestly as I could, and I’m grateful for all of it.

I began it by starting my novel. I forced myself to wake up at 5 AM so that I could write at least 300 words every morning, and I haven’t deviated from that routine in 182 days. As of today, I’m 56,769 words into my novel. I recently started journalling about my novel in my beautiful Confidant notebook, and that has only increased my resilience and excitement toward this story. I’m using as many tools as I can to help me handle this project, and I’m loving every minute of it. As long as those 300 words get written, though, I’m happy. The rest is gravy.

I then focused on my health and fitness. I stopped eating out. Except for that week I went out firefighting and that other week I vacationed in San Diego, I’ve cooked every single meal I’ve consumed in the past six months. Every breakfast, every dinner, every lunch or snack has not only been prepared by me, but has also been Paleo approved. Since October 1st, I’ve been doing one Insanity program after another. From doing Insanity: the Asylum Volume 1 again in October, to the hybrid Insanity/Insanity: the Asylum Volume 1 workout in November, to Insanity: the Asylum Volume 2 in December, and to Insanity Max: 30 in January, February, and March, I’ve been as physically active and fit as I possibly could be.

And to complete the big three areas of my life — mental, physical, and spiritual — I re-developed the habit of meditating 15 minutes every morning. As of this morning, I’ve meditated for 15 minutes every morning for 162 consecutive days. To me, these three habits dictated how the rest of my day went, and colored how I live my life in a very beautiful way.

Speaking of color, I began to focus on my home during this journey. Here’s a picture of the main area of my small studio apartment. It’s colorful and pleasing and it makes me happy. I thought about every gadget, every poster, every book that is in that picture, and in the end, they all make me super happy and comfortable. I love my little studio apartment. It’s my home.

I was able to afford most of what is in that picture from the new job I got a few weeks after starting this blog. A few months before, I had quit my job of two years, and I was unemployed for two months. Luckily, I found my current job — an IT guy at a K-12 school — and the rest is history. I’m getting paid more than I’ve ever been paid in my life, and I love my job, I love my co-workers, and I love working with students. It’s really a dream job, and I’m so grateful to have it.

Finally, I started and continued to maintain this blog. I write every entry for this blog at the end of the day, after I’ve completed every single task on my todo list, after working for eight hours at work, after completing one, sometimes two, Insanity workouts, after writing my novel, after transcribing the Great Gatsby by hand, after shopping for and preparing my own food, after reading every night, after all of that, I get to write as honestly and as frankly about my day to an audience of friends and family. Sometimes all of that tires me out, so I write something really quickly, leaving typos and awkwardly constructed sentences and grammatical errors that I’m too tired to correct, but in the end, I write something, and that’s what matters. I have a collection of entries that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

And I get to spend the next six months, the next 183 days, to do it all over again. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what I’m going to accomplish, what I won’t be able to accomplish, who I might meet, or what I might do, but I’m super excited to find out. I hope to have all of you along for the ride. I promise you won’t be disappointed.