First of all I would like to reiterate that this is not my own original thought. "The Happiness Project" is a book written by a very awesome woman named Gretchen Rubin. I am only beginning to read the book and beginning to try some of her suggestions. I would like to point out, however that this is the perfect example of what I have been talking about. I am not alone in my thoughts or feelings here.. It is not just me and I am not crazy. There are thousands, maybe even millions of women out there that are in the same state. Wondering why we are looking at this life that we always dreamed we'd have, the kids, the house the station wagon (70's nod) and the handsome husband and why we aren't just happy. Instead we are desperately unhappy. It's a conundrum? The article about "The Happiness Project" was also in my Woman's day mag and I feel like Gretchen might be saving my life.. ha ha ha ha... sorry girl to put that weight on you but really just knowing that others like me, with the yearning are out there is like a life raft. So I started by creating my "personal commandments". Gretchen has 12 I came up with 17 for now and may pare it down later but I think I might need all 17 for now. Here they are.
17 New and Improved Personal Commandments
• Be Leslie
• LET IT GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• ACT the way you want to feel.
• Do it now.
• Be polite
• Turn off the Television
• Do at least 1 thing today that is just for you for at least 10 minutes.
• Identify the problem. And then kick its’ ass
• Remind yourself that failure is AS important as success.
• Sing out loud
• Enjoy the hugs from your kids.
• Have loving and meaningful touch with your handsome husband
• Do one thing each day to make yourself FEEL prettier
• Embrace Creativity
• Remind yourself “There is only love.”
• Touch one person today with a smile, a comment, a compliment, or a word.
• Set small and very easily attainable goals.
The last one is funny since I think all 17 might be a bit much and in Leslie fashion I always have to set the bar high and make it difficult for myself. A few I borrowed from Gretchen as they are good lessons for all of us, but most are pertinent to my life. The next thing I plan to do is sit down and make a list of 200 things that make me smile that make me happy. I had a book once that had like 2000 things in it and it included things like new white sock and the smell of a new born baby and such. It always did make me smile and I think it is also an important lesson to get back to the appreciation for the small details that go into making our happiness a regular occurrence. So in the past two days I have sung out loud and VERY loud to boot. I have slowed down when my babies hug me and closed my eyes and really felt their love and stayed in the moment instead of rushing onto the next thing. I have made a point to touch my husband and connect with him in the eyes and get close to his face. I have worn makeup and fixed my hair and put on perfume. I have looked for ways to build others spirits, and I have WRITTEN. Written, sewed and painted. But writing is so spiritual for me and I think might be the key to my golden gates. After yesterdays post this one might seem like night and day. Maybe from the outside it looks a bit manic. It's true, the ups and downs of this coaster are a bit much for me and that is why I am seeking this change. A friend who is a LCSW once told me she read in a text book a saying that went something like this.. the people who are the most depressed and suicidal are the people who are the most in touch with reality. My reality has left me feeling a bit insane. It's left in me a deep deep yearning for some kind of happier and better life. This happiness project is bringing me a small bit of peace that I desperately needed. Tomorrow I will tell you about another lady I am interested in reading with, Aidan Donnelley Rowley.. She was recently interviewed by Gretchen Rubin on the subject of happiness and some of her thoughts blew my mind. So good luck and good night.. oh and happy thoughts.....
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
So yesterday was a gathering and sorting kind of day to read and re-read all the information on where to start and how to attack this thing. I still don't feel completely settled about it or organized. I have been reading Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" which is where this sort of started, that and the deep yearning to find the answers. Who better to go to to remind you how important life is than a dying person right? Great book. I highly recommend it for many reasons and even because it makes me feel like I myself CAN actually write a book someday. This book is short-ish and easy to read and follow. It's well organized and compact. All of which I can accomplish. Now finding something that others might want to hear is the next task. What can I say that people would pay to read? So but that is for another day or another BLOG. Back to what I am reading.. "The Last Lecture" and then as the universe likes to play random and totally amusing jokes on me, My Woman's Day magazine came in the mail yesterday. I ordered it for the recipes....he he he.. no more chicken right? But the entire months issue is like dedicated to happiness and to dads/husbands (oxymoronic I know). There is article after article on getting happy and getting what you want. That sort of brought me back to this thing that my mother says that I absolutely HATE HATE HATE. She says... "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" It makes me want to scream. I want to be both right and happy, why oh why can't it be both? I get the meaning of the saying I get it already. But why do WE the ladies always have to make the compromise? Men get to be both... ( well truthfully really they are almost never right but at least they THINK they are and they are almost always happy with themselves about it?) There was this one article in particular that illustrates my point to a "T". It's Called the Husband Whisperer, the article talks about nicer, more sweet, polite and kinder ways to get what you want done? Ways of rewarding him in a fashion he will find desirable in order to achieve your goals. It makes me feel like we are talking about a mentally handicapped five year old rather than a grown man. ( I know same diff right? ha ha ha) So this article says that when you for example want him to take out the trash be sure to say please and thank you and be sure to ask in a sweetish tone, it even goes so far as to say that you should go over and touch his arm or check when asking because men respond better to sweetness and touch. It says that instead of like the fourth or fifth time you ask screaming, "Take out the f-ing trash you jerk!" you should sweetly kiss him and say, "Would you mind please doing that for me now, it's just so heavy I don't know if I can carry it out myself." That you should pretend to be too weak to do it yourself??????? ( please note that I am paraphrasing said article) and also note that my kettle is screaming right now. My happiness meter is sinking and I'm going to the bad place..... ahhhhh... no one asks me nicely to make dinner or to do the laundry. They just complain about not having clean socks until half my brain is eaten away and I am left in shambles....and WHY WHY WHY would I ever "pretend" to be a weak woman??? This bring me back to the whole bionic woman thing...the whole woman's lib and 70's sexual revolution thing "I Blame Enjoli!". We fought to get here and frankly the fact of the matter is that in my humble but honest opinion women ARE intellectually superior to men. Oh no there I said it. If my husband reads this I'm gonna be in trouble for sure but hell I just don't care anymore. It's just true even if it makes people mad. We are more cunning, more sly, more vicious, more clever, more enlightened, more imaginative, more conniving, more intelligent and more organized at the delivery of said intelligence. AND THAT IS MY FRIENDS THE HEART OF WHY I AM ANGRY. Pretending that MEN are better or smarter and allowing men to get paid more, or having more a respectable position than me at work or pretending that their job is more important or more worthwhile than mine. I run this house, raise these kids, juggle these activities, pay these bills, and do these chores all while I work 30 hours a week to boot and all you do is work one 40 hour a week job, come home and clock out? And now I have to ask you nicely sweetly and with a loving touch five times to take out the trash? SAY WHAT??? Do you want to be right or happy? Hell I think I'm gonna have to go with right on this one? I refuse. I refuse to perpetuate the helpless woman persona. If not for me than for my daughter. If not for me than for my son. I want him to grow up not expecting to be asked nicely but to know I'm gonna kick his hinney if it's not done the first time around. the article even goes on to suggest that when something is done the way you'd like that you should then reward him with something of his liking in the bedroom. I know why not fruit snack or a dog treat? Really Really a reward for just pitching in and doing your part not even going above and beyond but just doing simple and menial tasks that you should just do anyhow WITHOUT being asked? But OK so I'll play along? What do you suggest? Maybe a blow job... lets talk about the blow job.. who is that for exactly? Do I get enjoyment from it? Is that favor often returned? My back,my knees, my neck , my lips, and my jaw are hurting but I should just keep at it until you are finished or ready for other avenues? I sometimes like it and it's sometimes a fun part of an evening but as a reward? NOPE NOPE NOPE.. now I just resent you the entire time I'm down there I am thinking of how much I hate you and MYSELF for doing this just because you took out the trash! I'm actually contemplating what it would be like to just bite it off and spit it at you, put it in the trash and ask you to take it out! Trust me you do not want me down there in that kind of mood. If I was just doing it becasue we were in the mood and having fun then fine OK great but as a reward? UUUUHHHH no no no...and even sex... I like most women I know take longer to orgasm. So I've decided I am going to try something new. I am going to get myself almost to orgasm then come to my husband get on and go for a few minutes and then when I am finished very quickly and he is not done yet I am going to get off and kiss him and say thanks and go to sleep (laughing to myself) and leave him there with his woodrow wondering what the hell just happened? What he does that to me?.. And come on you know it happens to you too much to ignore and too much for it not to bother you just a little? I'm going to do this at least three times and see what the outcome is. Will he get it? Will his behavior change? I'm not sure but I will mostly have proved I am right and voila I will also be happy.... So back to day one of the attempt at happiness.... it's not going so well but I have plans, BIG PLANS.... (evil laugh) bawaaaaha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I have been gone for quite some time...busy with kids and just contemplating. I love to write. It makes me feel......something, something resembling happiness. It makes me feel a little bit of greatness also. I need to feel greatness right now. I was re-reading my post and man I am ANGRY. I was sitting with a friend today and that was the topic of our conversation. Why am I a middle aged white woman with middle income and middle life so hugely PISSED? Well, clearly all the things I have outlined in my prior posts will explain the anger issue but who doesn't have problems right? I think through some serious thought today that the reason I find that I am most angry is that I am denying my own self HAPPINESS. I have no time for it I have no room on my schedule for it and frankly if you asked me today what would make me happy I don't even think I could come up with an answer for you. THAT IS PATHETIC. And also as a side note no ones fault by MINE. So today, here and now I vow to get HAPPY. Search for it , find it, and smother it with affection. I'm going to get happy if it kills me. I have been spending so much of my time and jeez like the past 10 years making others happy and not leaving anything for me. So little by little I will conquer happiness. Funny that I would word it as if it's a war... and well it is in my opinion. A war on sadness, mundanaity, anger, aggression. A fight to the death for my own happiness and funny that the only enemy I have is myself. So look out self and prepare for the ass kicking of a lifetime. Happiness is on it's way... I think I might feel it creeping up a bit now... see you soon.