Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Happiness Project

I recently began reading "The Happiness Project" and today, have decided, it is time to begin my own. I am normally vehemently opposed to any sort of 'self-help' book as I typically feel they only serve to give sweeping generalizations on what must be one's personality flaws and, in the end, make one feel even worse about themselves. The appeal of this book, however, began in the intro. The author, like me, is not unhappy or seeking an escape from the life they have or sweeping lifestyle changes. She simply feels as though she is wasting the everyday. I am so fortunate and I want to learn to embrace it more, instead of constantly feeling like I am letting life fly by me.

The first order of business on my list? Exercise. Everyone knows that exercise is essential to a healthy way of life and yet, we put it off every chance we get. My issue is not that I dislike being active, it is that I dislike pointedly exercising. Sending me off to the gym to monotonously elliptical (yep, just became a verb) is like sending a kid to bed without dinner. I sulk all through the process, while halfheartedly exercising and then go grab a Big Mac when I am finished. What I do rock climbing, bike rides, swimming, hiking....the active things you do, not purely for the exercise, but for the joy of doing them. Each day, I want to make sure I do SOMETHING. Nothing huge, just something each day to keep my metabolism up, my endorphins flowing, and my brain happy.

I also had a realization that I need to actively fight the traps present at work. I do not want to fall into that trap of checking every single receipt to see how much people tipped me and talking badly about them if they don't tip well or being pissed off if I get screwed by a table. I will often spend more time with tables I believe will tip me well and have a strong tendency to ignore families. In truth, I really dislike other peoples children, so I tend to steer clear of them, but it also affects how I perform at work. I am now, pledging not to look at that nagging little tip line. In the long really does not matter what is on it. One person tips you 5% another person will tip you balances out and you just can't win every time. Then there is....even if it doesn't balance...what is the point of stressing over $3??? I see girls storm around all night after one bad tip....which causes an avalanche of bad tips because who wants to be nice to the mean girl they are fairly certain is spitting in their food and wants to stab them in the eye? The answer may shock you...but not many people do. The other trap at work? Taking coworkers BS to heart. People get cranky at work....they project their own issues all over other happens. I have decided that short of pointed aggression, the best thing to do is just smile and move passed it.  Why make work more work than it needs to be?

Then there are my relationships. I grew up not having many friends and never building long term friendships because we moved a lot. To this day, I still have trouble maintaining my friendships. I sort of stop maintaining them and then eventually they just disappear. I know I need to make a point of keeping the people I love in my life, I just do not necessarily know how to. This is one of the parts of my project that will require the most effort from me.

Clutter. Holy cow, I have so much sentimental STUFF everywhere. It's like I am carrying around my baggage in the form of nicknacks. They are EVERYWHERE. Things that were given to me by old flames, my mother, essentially if I have issues with them...I still have their crap lingering around my house. It is time to clean house and get rid of the things that clutter both my home and my brain. With that, it is also time to go through the closets. It is time for the feather boa to is a truly beautiful boa...but I spend all my time with trying to figure out where the HELL to stuff it. I have clothes that I have planned on repairing or making into patterns for years....and never did. If their cause is of so little importance in my mind...I can probably get rid of them. Time to clean out everything I don't wear anymore, take the dry cleaning to the cleaners after four years of that stuff being in bags. Time to mentally and physically clean house. A cluttered house is not a happy house.

I have also decided my life calls for a new volunteer project. I was hesitant to add one as I work 5 to 6 days a week....then had the realization that what I am really doing with my days off? Watching tv and going to the pool? Two mornings a week will now be devoted to taking care of two of my passions.

There is so much more to consider here... I know I need to make these into time oriented obtainable goals, as that is the most likely way to succeed in them. I also know I need to put more consideration into other parts of my life so I can add onto my list of goals for my Happiness Project. For today...I feel pretty good about what I have realized and decided.

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