Give Back, Kids, LAvenue, Motherhood, Uncategorized

The Happiness Project

January 19, 2015
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Warning….this blog post is longer than my typical ramblings. Read at your leisure. Or not, I know life is busy. I just wanted to share my plan around the whole new year’s resolution talk. And invite you to book club it up with me. That’s all.

A famous author once wrote,“I’d always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations.” (Yeah, me too, like when I’m 90.) She opens her NY Times best selling novel with an outline of what this better version of herself looks like and writes,“I’d remember my friends’ birthdays, I’d learn Photoshop, I wouldn’t let my daughter watch TV during breakfast, I’d read Shakespeare. I’d spend more time laughing and having fun. I’d be more polite. I’d visit museums more often, I wouldn’t be scared to drive” Um, did she copy my list word for word? Well except for the Photoshop part, I just figured that bad boy out recently. Boom! And I would add in this part if it were my book:“I’d eat more meals at the kitchen table and put make-up on in my bathroom, NOT do both in the car during red lights.” These are the kinds of big and little things I agonize over when I think about wanting to be the best version of myself. Why can’t we just be happy with who we are, for better or for worse?! I think some of the things we agonize over can ultimately lead to a happier self and the rest better to put in check and stop fretting about. It’s OK if I choose Vogue over Shakespeare on occasion. So, it’s more like sifting through the list and finding the parts that will ultimately affect our overall happiness. Believe it or not, I do think I’d be more happy if I made time to eat in the kitchen and brush my hair, teeth, etc. before hopping in the car to start the day. And I know that I would be happier if I were nicer to Comcast customer service people. Ugh, that one is going to take some major zen channeling. And obviously if my hubby and I laughed about “stressful” situations with the kiddos more often, we’d have a lot more fun with parenting.

Well this author I quoted sets out to be her happiest self through years of research and comes up with an ultimate 12 month plan. Can you guess who I’m talking about yet? Gretchen Rubin of course, who wrote “The Happiness Project.” This book is classified as self-help, which instantly turns me off. Kind of. Admittedly, I’ve been known to purchase these types of reads from time to time only to find my eyes glazing over after a few chapters of more of the same message. Yawn fest. Well I’ve had “The Happieess Project” sitting on my bedside stand for months now. I’m sure most of you have already read it. Like a lot of things I’ve done in life (moving to DC in my late 20’s for a political job when all of my friends had been there since college, staring a blog in 2012 when bloggers be blogging since the early 2000’s, and now tackling this cult favorite read, I tend to show up a bit late to the party. (sigh)

Annnyway, I’ve been talking about getting around to figuring out my new year’s resolutions, but finally decided to be lazy (or maybe work harder than ever this year) and hire Gretchen Rubin to be my resolution life coach. In a sense I’m putting many a failed new years resolutions into the context of a happiness project. I like the idea of this. And the timing is perfect in so many ways. Rubin starts her 12 month happiness project in January and it’s January! Check. It’s the time of year when we start anew, fix what needs fixing, tune what needs tuning, and try to be on our best behavior. Check, check. And I’ve also been finding my happiness meter to be pretty erratic as of late. I go through grumpy phases which require some effort to pull myself out of the fog and get back on track again. Then life piles up and I’m back in the trenches. The roller coaster is exhausting. A self-help on happiness seems pretty timely. After reading the introduction, this book already feels different than the others I’ve taken for a spin.

So here’s my game plan. I’ll read a chapter at the beginning of each month (yikes, I’m already running behind!) and attempt to implement small changes to my daily routine based on Rubin’s rules. Care to join me on this little happiness project?! Come on, it’ll be fun! Even if you’ve read it before, it never hurts to have a refresher course to sharpen up those happiness skills. 😉

I’ll touch base with y’all every month and let you know what insights I’ve learned and how it’s going. In case you don’t have time for this little book club, maybe just the cliffs notes version from me will resonate with you. Capisce? Here we go…

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