The Happiness Project

I started reading this book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin this weekend and it's really resonating with me.  She's basically taking a mindful look at her life and behavior and actively trying to become more happy by improving the way she lives.  I like it because I feel like I do the exact same thing - but then, doesn't everyone?  I sometimes wander through a day in a fog, not really doing anything of value, and still feel tired at the end of it - probably because I'm not doing anything to stimulate myself and that's draining.  I do dumb things that don't make me happy - I'll drink too much, I'll eat too much, I'll not-think too much, and what am I left with?  Nothing of much value.  And I'm not talking about "things", though more things like money would be awesome, you know what I mean, but when it comes down to it, living your life more mindfully cannot be a bad thing.  So in the most general and non-identifiable of terms, that's what I am going to start doing. 

Actually, I can make this a list.  What would make you happier?  Here's what would probably make me happier:
1. Living in the moment, which is something I know I think about all the time because I am a planner and tend to gloss over the present in order to think about the future.  In some cases, that is fine and even necessary, but I know I am missing out.
2. Being truer to myself.  Thinking about the things that make me happy and actually doing them, instead of stumbling and grasping and wasting time and energy on dumb stuff that doesn't.
3. I know this is dumb, but being more confident about how I look.  This is what I mean: when I don't feel comfortable with the way I look, I become the creep I was in high school and that helps nobody.  I am the type of person who has a better time when I feel good about how I look, and that includes the following: how I look on the outside in terms of what I am wearing, how my hair and makeup look, and how I feel on the inside in terms of getting exercise, eating better, and drinking less.  So, well, I guess we'll do that.
3a. Also, being happy with what I have.  I am always thinking what I buy is slightly wrong, so I need     something else to make it perfect.  Dumb way to think, and expensive.  Work with what I have, and be cute and stop overthinking it.
4. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.  This was a phrase I heard once when I was a kid, and it stuck with me, because after I heard it, the other shoe did drop.  So I guess I feel like when things are going really well, I'm always waiting for something to go wrong.  And things are really, really great in my life right now on so many levels, so I know I am wasting time thinking about everything that is going to now go wrong because I don't deserve to have a happy life.  Which, yes, I realize is TERRIBLE, and has to be worked on ASAP because nobody can go through life like that - if someone told me that is basically their life philosophy, I would be horrified.  So why is it sneakily mine?  Got to stop that right now.

(note: This is a total brain dump.  I will be writing a Saved by the Bell Thursday to make up for this post haste.)

5. Quit living in total fear of being a disappointment and as a result, people not loving me.  This is also a bad one, obviously.  I don't want Bink to EVER think this way about herself, but if it's such a prevalent attitude in my own life, how can she not pick up on that?

So that's what I've got to work on.  Reading this over, I realize that I am in a semi-constant state of panic, waiting for everything to go wrong and people realizing that I am a total fraud and failure.  That needs to end, NOW. 

So how was your weekend?  :)


  1. I've not read the book, but it's been suggested to me before. Maybe I'll put it on my Nook soon.

    I think you and I are in similar places right now. Today, I woke up feeling like I was in transition--like some big change was going on in my life. It was a good feeling. I've been stuck lately, in a big 'ol rut, and I'm finally feeling like I'm coming out of it.

    Although my blog has been suffering, I've found that one thing that makes me and my family much happier is spending less time online. Paying more attention to The Kid has changed both of our lives, and we're happier than we've ever been in our mother-son relationship. I guess I kind of realized all of a sudden that he was going to be in Kindergarten in the fall and my time at home with him is running out, so that time needs to be quality. Yeah, I'm running behind on my writing goals and I'm disappointed in that, but I can catch up later.

    I don't think your goal of looking and feeling better about yourself is dumb. I feel the same way. Also, I stopped drinking and started eating healthier and working out. It's all really helped so far, so good luck you you!

  2. I always think that half the battle is self-reflection. BUT...I hear you being REALLY hard on yourself here. There's a balance. Self-reflection = good, relentless criticism of one's self = bad. And this brings me back to my every-year New Year's resolution: Be gentle with yourself. You have a lifetime to get it all right. Just be you, and know that the important people love you for it. Of course, live in the moment and eat well and don't drink too much and don't waste time waiting for bad things to happen, and be inspired by this book! But cut yourself some slack, too. You are such a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend...

  3. Ha, you guys are totally right and the best. If anyone told me they were feeling this way, I'd sock them in the jaw. It's a process, and now I feel really good about the good things that are happening, which should not be a surprise, but it is :) MWAH MWAH MWAH.

  4. Oh, and also, whenever anything is weird in my life, I blame cheese and booze. Right away, regardless of the issue.