My family does a Chinese gift exchange every year for Christmas, and I was really looking forward to stealing my own gift, a Bullet blender system and CoQ10 smoothie mix, but my cousin told me I should choose her stack of various purple wrapped gifts. It was $60 of books. I love books. LOVE them and love writing, but I really was looking forward to something like a Bullet to change my life, one smoothie at a time. She told me that she had me in mind when she shopped this year. My uncle insisted that he gave me one of the books, too, though I remember just talking about needing to read that particular book, but I was pregnant and crazy when he allegedly gave it to me, so who knows. I remember everything he’s ever given me from a silver mirror and comb set when I was six, to the bottle of prosecco a couple of years ago, and “Oh the Places You’ll Go” that he gave Baby Q last year, before she was even born. I had my year of reading planned out with my book club and my personal reading bucket list. All of the books were about happiness (two were about poo, but that is a different story) so I figured the universe was trying to tell me something. So, I asked Alex where to start. I am not done with the final “Left Behind” book, but after reading all twelve in like eight months, I need a break. I am taking a happiness break just in time for the new year.
Alex, my cousin, suggested I start with “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I started a few days ago and am half way through, motivated for 2013, and am already working on my own happiness project instead of new year’s resolutions.
I am not quite ready to share all of my four major goals (I’ll work up to that on my new Saturday Happiness blog posts). I am working on making time to write and bake more. In the midst of making my list of things to tackle to achieve more happiness, I came up with a list of items I want to accomplish or do in tandem with my actual happiness project. These are not my ultimate goals and may seem superficial, but are items that if I become consistent, I really believe the rest will be cake to accomplish.
I want to look the way I feel. I am one who HATES waking up. More than anything, so I often throw my wet hair up in a bun and call it a day. I wear minimal makeup and make questionable fashion choices when I’m pressed for time. Jeff loves me no matter how I look and I never have to worry about letting myself go and loosing my man, but I do want to make him proud when we’re out. But it isn’t about that. I want to look the way I feel. I want to be false eyelashes and trim physique and big, Texas hair. Part of me justifies my laziness, yep I said it, by saying people should love me for me. But, I want to look the way I feel. I want to be like the other mommies in my neighborhood moms’ group and be made up, complete with eyeshadow, on Saturday at Kroger. I want to be at an early morning soccer game and not look like I just rolled out of bed and threw on my biggest sunglasses to hide my day-old mascara. I want to be the cute neighbor down the street. I want to be put together no matter what is going on. I want to change my attitude that full make up and done hair is a waste if no one sees me. I see me. Jeff sees me. My family sees me. No, looks aren’t everything, but if you dress for where you want to be, it does something to you inside. I don’t want to be in bed, so I need to quit dressing like I just rolled out of it. There, I said it, and man was that hard!
I can justify that I have three children, a full time job and a home-based business, but I have time to do all of those things, so I need to make time to look the way I feel. I feel young and beautiful. I may not need tons of makeup, but I feel awesome when I take the extra effort to really blowdry my hair out. Just freaking do it! Getting up before 5:30 is the real issue. I need to focus on my goal and that will help me to just get out of bed. Man it is hard when it is so cold. I am not sure what I’d do if I lived up North.
Secondly, I want to speak the way I feel. I have the vocabulary of a sailor. Part of me says, be me, but the other part says that I would be devastated if my children picked up my nasty habit. So, I am going to speak the way I want my children to hear me, no matter where I am. I am going to talk the way I would post to Facebook. I know that I have family, neighbors and church members on there, so how would I post? I once received a criticism on my writing that it was like the show “What About Jim”; almost funny. I need to be me. I am network TV and not cable. That is how I want to speak. Even if it makes me almost funny.
Thirdly, I want to listen and understand folks the way I wanted to be listened to and understood as a child and teen. No one ever listened to me and forced their perspectives onto me. At least that is how it felt. I want to be a better listener, offer less advice, and truly understand from where people are coming. I want Syd to feel understood, and Jeff to feel like he has my undivided attention. I want Easton to feel like I stop whatever I’m doing to listen to him and not like I’m pushing him to the side. When there is someone I don’t know well at work, I want to be able to stop what I’m doing and fully engage in what they’re telling me. I don’t want to halfheartedly listen because I am too busy with a budget report. I want to be the ear that they need.
Finally (for now, this may change when I finish the book!), I want to eat and feed my family the way I know is right. I just joined an organic veggie co-op. I want to bring my lunch, pack my children’s, and not get lazy with Q and give her high-fructose corn syrup filled bars when I need a minute to chop veggies for dinner. I want to plan ahead so I don’t make bad decisions. I don’t want to be lazy. I am much better, but there is always room to grow. If I feel that I shouldn’t eat wheat, I want to stick to it for more than five seconds. Again, quit being lazy! Maybe that should be one of the things I work on- don’t be lazy. Funny, I don’t feel like a lazy person.
Those aren’t my actual things to work on, just minor everyday things to strive to do better. Looking good may seem superficial, but I know that feeling like I look good on the outside will give me the confidence and boost to do the hard work I have ahead for improving my inside.
I can’t wait for 2013! So I am starting my Happiness Project now. I am making more time for writing and baking. NO EXCUSES this year for not blogging. Not only am I making time to blog, but I am adding a day- Saturday Happiness. I feel a sense of accomplishment already. It’s still 2012, and I started my resolutions.
Next week- Manic Monday: Why I shop at Wal-Mart twice a year.
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for steadfastness. Thank you for drive, will and helping me to JUST DO IT even when I don’t wanna. AMEN!
Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for happiness and the opportunity to increase it to levels I’ve never known. I am so thankful for being a part of such a creative family where we all push each other to greater levels. I am thankful my cousin talked me into opening her gift.
When I Have Kardashian Kash: We will spend a season following one of our sports teams in a lavish RV. Actually, I would drive and stay in nice hotels. Jeff can have the RV.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Banana Bread with Salted Caramel. this has been the most popular flavor of the month. Get some for your office, family, friends or it is great to give a girlfriend or wife as a get out of the doghouse free card. It is much yummier than flowers! http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com