Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Happiness Project

Monday April 18, 2011

I previously blogged about the book we are reading this month for our new book club. The Happiness Project. I'm almost done with it and can honestly say I've gotten a lot of great tips. Each month she choose an area in her life to work on.

January she focused on vitality. Exercise better, I try, there are days where I would rather crawl in a hole and never come out again than get up and go to class, I only go 2 days a week, I should be able to manage that. But I had taken quite a long sabbatical and am now trying harder to get back into it. Going to sleep earlier. Well this is tough for me since I am a terrible night owl. I do find that on the days where I work out, bedtime sounds terrific at the normal time of 9 p.m. Toss, restore, organize. I've tackled a few rooms, closets, drawers, etc. Purging and reminding myself, "QUIT BUYING THIS JUNK. JUST BECAUSE IT'S IN THE DOLLAR SECTION AT TARGET DOES NOT MEAN YOU NEED IT!" I also included my kids on this project. I told them each to go in their room and pick out 5 things they no longer wanted. Tatumn filled a few bags, in which I was so very, very thankful! Turner, well, we are working on him.

February was Marriage month! Yeesh! Can I skip this chapter? Teasing. Quit Nagging, well......how does one stop? In all honesty, I feel like if I don't ask it won't get done. But she says, don't ask, do it yourself. So I've been trying, but you can't change 8 years in 1 month ;) Don't expect praise or appreciation. Oh my gosh, until I read this book, I didn't know how bad I was. "Ben, did you see how good the floors look? Did you see I cleaned your bathroom? Tatumn, did you notice I cleaned your room?" Yes, I'm terrible, as she would say, I expect gold stars. But I'm listening to her advice and now when I do a chore I think to myself, "I am doing this for me, no one else, but me. I like to have a clean home. I want my kids to function in an organized home." It really helps when you think of it that way, and to be honest, I feel more proud for doing it.

March: Aim Higher.
Launch a blog. Wow I've done this!! Yippee! Ask for help. I did, at Menards when I was buying stuff to pot plants. I walked away feeling like I actually knew what I was doing. Enjoy Now. She writes, "The fun part doesn't come later, now is the fun part." Don't wait 5 years to enjoy your job because you will be getting paid more, enjoy it now, just as it is, be thankful you have a job!

April: Lighten Up.
Sing in the morning. Sometimes I do this, the children laugh and that is way better than the alternative, whining! Be a treasure house of happy memories. Because I have an obsession with scrap booking I feel I do a pretty good job of this. But to me, making those memories is key. I've tried to something memorable with my kids since I read this. Whether it be reading them a book, watching them play outside, taking them to the park, or just snuggling them on the couch. When Tatumn was little, we had our struggles. I brought her to a play therapist. He put us on a routine of taking 5 minutes out of our day to do one-on-one time together. I'll be honest, there were days where we didn't do that. How awful, but I know we are not the only family out there that doesn't make time for each other. It really makes me sick to think out of all the minutes in the day, 5 was unreachable. I've changed that, and hope it has a significant effect on how my kids raise their own children.

May: Leisure
Take time to be silly. Oh, my poor kids, if you want to see a crazy mom rock out to Justin Bieber, meet in my driveway at 8:45. Our drives to school are pretty wild. Oddly enough, my kids don't get embarrassed by it. Guess I have to try harder! Go off the path. I'm excited to do this. Next time we go out to dinner, I'm going to try a new restaurant or item off the menu. Next time I need to buy a gift, I'm going to shop somewhere besides Target ;) Start a collection. I'm so upset with myself for not starting this earlier. The other day I was thrift store shopping and came across the cutest white ceramic Buddha. He was adorable. He held a candle and their was a little hole in his belly where I would assume light would shine through. I think that was my calling, white ceramic objects that will look cool displayed in little clusters on a shelf, that will be my collection. And I hope the little Buddha is waiting for me!

June: Friendship
Remember birthdays. I try, I wish I could be more organized to send a card. I myself love cards. But for now I try to at least say happy birthday on facebook, lame, I know. Be generous. I love giving! It does make a person feel happier, giving and receiving. I try to help my friends whenever I can. I'd rather clean their house than mine ;) Don't gossip. Wow, this has hit home quite a bit lately. I've gotten caught up in my fair share of dramatic events recently and I'm DONE! Done with it all. If it doesn't pertain to me, I don't want to hear it, unless it's good news of course. I decided that keeping a journal is the easiest way to get things off my chest, not telling so and so, who will then go and tell so and so, who will then go and tell so and so, who will then get mad at me. ;)

July: Money
Indulge in a modest splurge. The best advice any one could give me. Honestly, clearance racks scream my name. I'm done! If I don't need it, I don't buy it. If I feel like shopping, just to shop, I go with a notebook. The other day, Turner and I went to Target, my weakness, and walked just about every aisle. I jotted down things I would have liked to buy. I left with milk, eggs, butter, OK.....one thing that was not needed.....mountain dew. Oh well, $4 beats the usual $50. Buy needful things, again that is relative to the above.

August: Eternity
This chapter I really thought was going to bore me, I didn't care to imitate a spiritual master. Yet within this chapter I think I found the most important bit of advice. Do it, don't wait until tomorrow, you may not be here tomorrow. The other day Turner was begging to walk down to the park. I kept saying no, Mom is tired, Mom has homework, Mom has cleaning to do, all of which was very true. However, I looked at him and thought, if today was the last day I'd have to spend with him, would I want to watch him play alone while I was doing homework, sit him in front of the t.v. while I did dishes. NO! I would want to hear him laugh, see him run around, see the excitement of being at the park on his little face. So many of us parents take our time with our kids for granted, I think all we need is to spend a few minutes with a parent who has lost a child. I think we would appreciate what we have a whole lot more!

I'm currently on September, but look forward to sharing with you some fun facts for the upcoming months. If this seems like a book you would enjoy, it's $11 well spent!

-Court

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