My Happiness Project

I’m starting a happiness project. You’re probably thinking, “what’s a happiness project?”

“A ‘happiness project’ is an approach to changing your life.” Gretchen Rubin writes in her book The Happiness Project. I’ve been following her blog for a while now and I’ve started reading her first book. In my post “A Change Will do You Good” I write about making changes in my life. I believe a happiness project will help me make those changes.

And I’m going to blog about it.

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Story: Exiled to the Backyard

He barks at the world, peering between the wood slats of the fence. He doesn’t bark because he can. He doesn’t bark because there is a noise he can’t identify. He barks because he is lonely. He barks to get someone’s attention.

He’s been exiled to the back yard again and forgotten. Its a nice day, not too hot and not too cold but he’s bored. The squirrels won’t play with him and there are no other dogs around. There’s no one to play with inside either, but at least he’d have his toys to play with and a nice cushy spot to nap on.

He lets out a big sigh and lays in a spot of sunshine facing the patio door. He stares at it as though he can will it open. Someone will let him in, eventually.

A Change Will Do You Good

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I really want in life. I want a house, a new car, a cottage and I want to be a successful freelance editor/writer. Some people say that the Universe will determine the path, all I need to do is focus on the destination. But I do feel I need to be an active participant in this journey. So I need to focus on what changes I can make in my life now so I can get there. 

One of those changes is to reduce our stress levels. My husband and I have been dealing with some stresses at home. We have a plan but it needs to wait until the new year. There are some things that are out of our control at the moment and a bit of time will give us the opportunity to deal with the stress.

In the meantime, I’ve started a new morning routine that allows me to squeeze in a few minutes of yoga during the week. Its also helping to regulate my poor sleeping habits. I’ll expand my yoga time as I get used to the routine. I’m also cutting out caffeine in the afternoon during the week, again. I started today and its going ok so far. We’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks. I’m hoping these small changes to my daily routine will help me sleep at night, and help me stay positive and motivated.

I look forward to my changes now and our changes in the new year.  

Gear up for Fall!

Summer is winding down and we’re enjoying the last few days of heat and sun. The fall equinox is peeking around the corner and will say hello on Sunday. We’re celebrating his arrival all weekend. We start with a feast tomorrow evening with friends of ours. Roasted chicken with potatoes, peppers, carrots and zuchinni and some sort of apple cake dessert. My mouth is watering in anticipation.

Then Saturday is ‘fall cleaning’ day, at least for me. I’ll be raking the acorns and oak leaves that litter the back yard, communing with nature and attempting to find balance.

Sunday is our second social day and the fall equinox. We’ll be celebrating our birthdays with family during the day and celebrating the return of our weekly gaming session with friends of ours in the evening.

I can’t think of a better way to gear up for fall!

Regrets

I try to live my life with no regrets but I am horribly flawed. There are a lot of things in life I know I should do, things I intend to do and things I avoid like the plague. Every new year I vow to improve some part of my life and then other things in life get in the way and ultimately the vow goes unfulfilled.  Every year I vow to be better at keeping in touch with family and friends; I vow to learn to meditate and get back into yoga; and I vow to be in a better position, financially, physically and emotionally. Every year I find myself swept up in day to day stresses, not keeping in touch with family and friends, not meditating or doing yoga and not in a better position than the year before, financially, physically and emotionally.

I’m bad at keeping in touch with people. Its not that I don’t value the relationships. Life gets busy and day to day stresses get in the way. And I don’t enjoy talking on the phone. I’d rather get quick updates by email or text and long updates in person. I’m bad at initiating conversations, networking and meeting new people. I’m quiet, contemplative and logical and very much an introvert. I would rather spend time writing, reading a good book, or watching a favourite TV show with my husband than socializing. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy spending time with family and friends. I just can’t handle large doses of social interactions.

There are a lot of things I wish I could be and a lot of things I wish I could do. And a lot of regrets when I let myself ignore the world and figuratively hide away under the covers with a book and a flashlight in hand, like a child avoiding bedtime. I wish I could change my nature. I wish I could be a social butterfly who enjoys hanging out all the time with family and friends. I wish I was comfortable talking for hours on the phone. I wish I was the type of person who had the confidence and know-how to advance my career to where I want to be. I wish I had stronger bonds with people and that I could feel a stronger emotional connection to life in general. I wish I could commune with nature and truly feel free.

I wish I could seize the day.

But I am horribly flawed.

New Beginnings

Growing up, September was always the time of new beginnings. September meant back to school, a new grade, new clothes and my birthday. The days were shorter and much cooler, and autumn was just around the corner. Even as an adult, September still signifies new beginnings for me. Its the end of summer and time to start pulling out the heavier sweaters as the nights cool and drop to single digits. The mornings are crisp and the leaves are already turning colours. Autumn is coming and I start looking ahead to Mabon, Thanksgiving and Halloween. It gets busy again at work with the second meeting season of the year, and doesn’t slow down until December. I look at things I can change or modify to make life easier for the winter months.

We’re trying to find a new set up for our living room, one that gives us lots of floor space and seating, while not looking crowded or giving the cats access to wires to chew on. Its been difficult trying to reorganize. The breaker for the front of the house is already pretty loaded and we had one scare already this year when one of the plugs in our bedroom started melting.

Because of this desire to reorganize I’m in to home decor, looking for design ideas for not only the living room but the whole house. This for me, is what has replaced the feeling of back to school and new beginnings.