So, I've been slowly taking in the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. I picked it up just for fun, but have been interested in seeing what would happen if I tried incorporating some of her challenges into my life as well. The book goes month by month, and I'm only to the month of June... but here's an update. I'll list her "challenges" so far. The ones with a * are the ones I've tried putting into action in my own life.
January - Boost energy
*Go to sleep earlier - the hubby encouraged this, and it helps so much! (No more late night talk shows!)
*Exercise better - this is a continuous struggle, but with the nice weather coming, should get easier soon!
*Toss, restore, organize - an ongoing stress-reducer for me.
Tackle a nagging task - I have a closet and room in mind... I just haven't gotten there yet.
*Act more energetic - people who know me at work, see this side of me all the time.
February - Remember Love
*Quit nagging - I don't know that I am a big nag. The hubby says I tend to just use "wife voodoo magic!"
*Don't expect praise or appreciation - I only starred this one because while I don't expect it, this isn't an issue in our marriage. My hubby is very good at noticing and complimenting the things I do - and I hope I'm the same for him.
Fight right - I only didn't star this one because we haven't fought lately. Although, with most things I would say we do fight well. We like each other too much to hold grudges.
No dumping - "Dumping" as defined in this book is like when we vent about our bad days, our insecurities, and our frustrations - not necessarily with each other, but just bringing our negative feelings home. I didn't star this one, because the hubby and I daily bring these things to one another. We talk about our days - the good and the bad, we share what's bothering us, and we help each other look at ways to deal with it. It's a really good part of our relationship... So I won't be stopping anytime soon.
*Give proofs of love - We're pretty affectionate, we send and leave notes, make each other's favorite foods, spend time with each other... There's lots of proofs of love in our house. I like it.
March - Aim Higher
*Launch a blog - I've had a blog for 15 months now! Whoa.
*Enjoy the fun of failure - Working in a church, there are always things that go wrong or don't work like you thought they would. The fun is enjoying the people anyway! When things don't work out, you learn from them and move on. Now, if I could only apply this principle in my personal life...
*Ask for help - I'm starting to do this more. It's hard for me. But I'm trying!
*Work smart - I'm trying to get more done at the office - and then leave it there. That's my goal: to not bring work home so much.
*Enjoy now - I've always aimed for this one. I try to be "in the moment" as much as possible, even when I'm stressed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - but I'm always trying.
April - Lighten Up
*Sing in the morning - Ha! Always! In the car, on the way to work...
*Acknowledge the reality of people's feelings - I think I do this well... I've always been a good listener.
*Be a treasure house of happy memories - I have lots of happy memories, and I try to share them. I'm trying to record more of them in fun ways - on the blog, in books, mementos around the house, etc.
Take time for projects - This one I want to do a lot more of. I have several projects in mind that I want to do or at least try. But I feel like I don't have time for them... This is something I would like to work on!
May - Be Serious About Play
*Find more fun - I think we can find fun wherever we want to. Even on days when I feel like there is so much to do, and I'm so stressed, I still find a little fun in the day!
*Take time to be silly - I work with kids because I like to be silly. I can do this.
Go off the path - I haven't been doing this as often as I used to. I like to explore and try new things, new foods, new adventures. We leave this Saturday for Europe - maybe that will start me up again!
Start a collection - Hmmm... I haven't started any collections lately. And I don't know that I need to. I'm not a big fan of having stuff just to have it. I like to have things in my home that I love and cherish and use. I'll think about this one some more...
June - Make Time For Friends
Remember birthdays - I am horrible at remembering birthdays. I always have been. I will continue to try to work on this!
*Be generous - I genuinely try to be generous as often as I can, in as many ways as I can. I feels good and I like to see people surprised and happy. (Note - it's not usually big, grand ways - just little things.)
*Show up - I always show up with my friends, and when we're together, nothing else matters!
*Don't gossip - I try not to. I don't always succeed. But I try not to.
Make three new friends - I think I've made one new friend this month. It's a start!
Uff-da. So there you have it. The things I'm working on for now. When I get through the second half of the book, I'll give you another update. It's a good book - it makes you think about the things in your life that could make you happier, too. Like you see in my notes above, there are several things that were the author's goals that I just don't feel are issues for me... But they lead me to think of other things I could be working on, too. And let's face it - we all have things we could be working on to make ourselves happier people!
Have a good Tuesday!
Things I am thankful for today:
1. A surprise birthday party at work today (it's still a week away)! Balloons, cake, cards, presents, and surprise visitors - so cute!
2. Diane - for planning the party and going the extra mile to make me feel special. Thank you.
3. Andrea, Dawn, Chuck, Pat, and Bill for stopping by to wish me Happy Birthday!
4. Pastor Penny was back - the whole staff was back together today!
5. Getting to stop by book group tonight, even though I couldn't stay - still nice to check in with everyone!
6. My little sister, Kayla's, choir concert - very good!
7. Godiva chocolates. Thanks, Jen!
8. 4 days til our vacation!
9. Getting all kinds of travel advice and tips - so fun!
10. Feeling loved.