I think the biggest reason I'm so happy is variety. I know this doesn't work for everyone, but endless monotony of schedule, of obligations, of routine makes me a crazy person--so now that my time is not necessarily less regimented but is less structuredly regimented, I'm a very happy stasia.
I'm thinking about variety this morning because I'm at our house working on a spattering of different things, feeling good about getting productive shit done but thoroughly enjoying not having to leave for work at the zoo until noon. Yesterday, just as it will tomorrow, work started much earlier. Of course, some days, "work" is the zoo and some days it's the Community Cycling Center. And even within those two organizations the actual stuff I do changes all the time. Add to that some classes--PSU or Master Gardening--and the work involved in those, and add some volunteer commitments as well, and you have the varied life I love. It is so important to me to not be doing the same task over and over, to not even be doing different tasks at the same time over and over. It's so important to me to have choice in what I'm doing, when.
Of course, a relatively fluid structure works for me because I'm pretty good at doing (most:) stuff that I think needs to be done, even without an enforced deadline. I'm pretty self-directed: if I don't have to be at work until noon, I'm still going to get up relatively early and do other stuff that I think is important. Variety works for me because I legitimately crave it, and because I legitimately want to be doing all these different things and constantly figuring out how to fit them all together.
When I think of my teaching schedule a few years ago, it makes me kind of tired. Getting up at the same time very single day, making the same commute and going through the same bell schedule and having the same weekends...sure, the stuff within each day changed (teaching is nothing if not ever-changing), but rigid external structures like that make me nuts. [yes, I suppose you could argue that the very nature of time is a rigid structure, but I'm not going to go that far:)]
I'm so, so glad that life looks the way it does right now.