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.....