Friday, February 8, 2013
My Happy Beginning
Recently, I was whining over lunch to a good friend of mine. I said, although I am not depressed and have so much to be thankful for, I am not entirely happy a lot of the time either. I have two beautiful daughters, a husband that still loves me as much as he did when I was 16, and a roof over my head with beloved family living near by. What's not to love?
Sometimes, as mommies, we lose a piece of ourselves in being a servant to everyone else. I'm not saying that serving others is a bad thing; just the opposite! I really believe that serving God and family is the highest calling that a person can have. We have to be careful, though, to remember what it is that we love about ourselves, as we are loving everybody else. When the drudgery of everyday existence snuffs out that little light that resides within each of us, it doesn't just effect one person, right? When Mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy! Perhaps, the truest statement ever.
My smart friend admitted to often feeling the same way. She is crazy intelligent, a great mama, and incredibly giving of her time. But, she agreed that when she looks at a dirty bathroom, she often thinks, "Is anyone really going to notice if it stays dirty one more day? Is what I do around here really important?"
What a relief! Here I was thinking that I was the only Mom who is entirely unmoved and unmotivated by soap scum! To say the least, I appreciate her honesty. She recommended that I pick up a copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a New York times bestseller. Just the fact that this book has spent a year on the New York Bestsellers list is evidence alone that a lot of us women, whether working at home or elsewhere, struggle with finding happiness. The author, Rubin, was feeling bogged down by her everyday existence and decided to dedicate one year of her time and energy to becoming a happier person. In the introduction, she talks about always waiting for her life to change on its own.
Hello! That's me! Maybe one day we'll start eating dinner at our dining room table regularly. Maybe one day I'll save up the money to go to a blogger convention. Maybe one day I will read a book that does not have a smug looking Scotsman or scantily clothed pirate on the front. Just kidding...The Happiness Project counts, right?! The list could go on. I am really just starting the book, but I am already inspired. So I thought I would undertake my own happiness project. Like Rubin, it is not practical for me to pick up and move to Bali or Naples for a few months (would interfere with a few things), but I can make a few changes here and there to fan the little flame within me.
My Grown Up Happiness List:
1.) Always assume people are thinking nice things about you (because they usually are and if they weren't, do you really want to know that?)
2.) Make some time to be quiet with God everyday (much harder than you think...have to do it in my parked car so I don't get distracted).
3.) Be the kind of person who REALLY prays for people when they say they will (I love those guys).
4.) Stick a card in someone's mailbox just because.
5.) Trashy novels and TV are only allowed after 8pm...TV time is something for Hubby and I to do together.
6.) At LEAST take a long walk everyday so body does not move any further south (God help me).
7.) Organize or clean something everyday to make a happier space. Nothing bums me out more than crap laying everywhere.
8.) Call my husband's family more. I love them SO much! I just HATE talking on the phone.
9.) Make the drive to Atlanta with my family. We live in the sticks (not even pizza delivery for Pete's sake) and Atlanta is an urban adventure just waiting to happen.
10.) Stop using my credit card (I feel better about myself when I know what I am spending).
11.) Speak the truth if I am asked for it. Trust that people will still love me even when I disagree!
12.) Do something creative that brings joy to another person #my Dad's 76th birthday present.
13.) Let my husband see the best version of me from time to time...he usually gets the "it's 6pm and please get your ass home soon" version.
14.) Listen to more classical music. It makes me feel like I am living in a beautiful, period film.
15.) Be a better listener. Stop thinking about what you are going to say next and just "be" attentive to what they are saying.
Okay, you've read mine! Now what's on yours? It's really quite liberating to put it out there for everyone to see. If you don't want to broadcast it, then tell a friend. Do something to hold yourself accountable to making some happiness changes. Only keep it to yourself if it's like, "Stop visiting Asian massage parlors," okay?
No, on second thought, you should really tell someone that.