bybmg: The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

Happiness is not determined by what's happening around you, but rather what's happening inside you. 

I just started reading the book The Happiness Project. I somehow scored it cheap/free on Kindle a long while back, and it has just been sitting there on my virtual shelf waiting for me.

I like the premise of it just from reading the first few pages. It's not that I am unhappy, I just feel like I could be happier.  Russ and I keep going back to the YOLO idea (you only live once). Some days I just feel like I should be getting more out of things. I sometimes feel discontented. A few quotes that have hit me from the book so far:

"I had everything I could possibly want -- yet I was failing to appreciate it." (Kindle location 86)

"How could I set a higher standard for myself as a wife, a mother, a writer, a friend? How could I let go of everyday annoyances to keep a larger, more transcendent perspective?" (Kindle location 91)

"I wanted to change myself but accept myself. I wanted to take myself less seriously -- and also more seriously." (Kindle location 118)

So, I'm going to dig into this book a little and share some of it here.  More for a place for me to record it than anything. Maybe, you might get something out of my reflections too or join me in reading the book.

The author took one focus each month for a year. Though I may not agree with all of her focuses or feel that they apply to me, I will still consider them. I don't want to have to read through her whole book to get started. Taking things monthly is a good pace. Trying to change it all at once is overwhelming. She started in January. I'm going to try to start now. In January, her focus was VITALITY (Boost Energy). I feel like this section applied to me in some aspects. She talked about going to sleep earlier, exercising, tossing/restoring/organizing, tackling nagging tasks, and acting more energetic.

In all honestly, I do go to sleep pretty early, so I feel like I have a good grasp on that.

I truly don't feel like I have much time or want to devote a ton of time to exercise. I know it's important. I do. But right now it seems like time away from my kids. She did mention just instituting a simple 10 minute walk, so I think that will be my goal. I will bring my running walking shoes to school and go for a 10 minute walk sometime in my day. That way, there's no weather interruptions. There's no gym fee. If I'm here at work, I can walk. Starting tomorrow. I'm going to make myself a sticker chart. For. Real.

Tossing/Storing/Organizing is something that always makes me feel better. Dear old Goodwill benefits a lot from my constant purging (and also from my shopping!). I will continue to do purge, but I want to make a list of some focused areas I would like to hit this month:
  • my sock/underwear drawer
  • my shoes
  • the closet in Wesley's room
  • our file box
  • the closet in Henry's room
  • my sewing area
  • Henry's toys (again! - I feel like I do this all the time)
  • the kitchen cabinets
  • institute a 10 minute tidy up time before bed (I'll need a sticker chart for that, too!)
My challenge for this is to really simplify. I need to let go of the "some day I might use this" stuff. I need to let go of the "nostalgic" stuff. Seriously. We have sleeping bags we got for our wedding that have NEVER been used. I know, the boys might need a sleeping bag SOME day, but when that day comes, I will buy a new one or borrow one. Our house is small. I have Christmas platters I never get out. We don't host Christmas stuff. I know. Some day we will, so I will keep a COUPLE around...but not a the multitude that I have. We have a set of glasses we NEVER use. I don't plan to document all my purging, but I will share some with you as I see fit.
Tacking Nagging Tasks is something I've been wanting to do so badly, but just get too lazy. I'm beginning to make a list. For sure they won't get all done this month, but it's a place to start.

That list includes:
  • cleaning all windows (which have not been done since we moved into the house 4 years ago...)
  • clean out the pantry (so much stuff in there we rarely use...and I have a bazillion of those reusable shopping bags) - and I realize this goes in the tossing/organizing section as well.
  • write a will (Sorry, mom, still haven't gotten this done, but I will!)
  • set up an actual college savings account (529 or whatever it's called) for the boys instead of just a random saving account.
  • finish the jewelry display I started 2 years ago
  • and some more things...I'll share them as I think of them/see fit
 Acting More Energetic is something I've always struggled with. I'm not an enthusiastic person. I'm introverted, and I just don't get super excited. But I try to be conscious of this.

So, that's it. I'll update you and see how these things go. Anyone with me?

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