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Archive for April, 2011

Today is the last day of the fourth month of my Happiness Project for 2011.

To recap, I chose to focus on Marriage. My resolutions for the month were to:

  • Be more physically affectionate
  • Give proofs of love
  • Express appreciation
  • Leave things unsaid
  • No nagging
  • Stop snapping
  • Cease the backseat driving
  • Imitate Martha Stewart (good little housewife)

As I mentioned in my Happiness Project update, I found this month to be pretty easy compared to the previous months. I imagine this is mostly because I have been deliberately trying to improve this area of my life for the last 6 months already so there wasn’t as much improvement needed here as there was in my other months. 

Be More Physically Affectionate

At the beginning of the month I said that “I do try my best to show my affection through touch and personal contact but there are some days when life gets in the way. I’m tired, I’ve had a bad day or I’m just too busy to even think about it. I need to make this a priority, regardless of the type of day I’m having.” For most of the month, I do believe that I have shown more affection, however, this last week I have fallen off the wagon. I’ve been tired, haven’t been in the best spirits and I’ve noticed that this was one of the first things I’ve dropped. Last night I asked my husband how he thinks I did this month and he said everything was good except for this one. I apologized and acknowledged that I did in fact fall short at this goal. He said it was okay and he understood, however, I am not okay with it. On the first day I said I’d make this a priority and yet it was the first thing to be forgotten. This is unacceptable in my eyes and I am going to make an extra effort to focus on this in the upcoming months. 

Give Proofs of Love

I did give proofs of love this month but I wish I had done more. Again, my fatigue got in the way of my effort and creativity. I left a few notes in his lunch pail, I sent a number if sweet text messages and on our anniversary I covered the house in adoring post-it notes. I suppose it has more meaning when you receive a cute note once in awhile rather than everyday so maybe the amount of “proofs” I gave was a good amount. Besides, I have the rest of the year to continue with this resolution so I still have plenty of time to get creative. 

Express Appreciation

This goal has had a strange twist. In the beginning I was very appreciative, saying thank you for tons of stuff, even giving thanks for things done months in the past. Now that the month is over, I have realized that I have become so accustomed to showing appreciation that I don’t even notice when I’m doing it anymore. I going to assume that’s a good thing. Saying thank you has become a habit now and I hope it sticks! 

By focusing on my appreciation of all the good things he does I definitely noticed a lot more of the little things and I think the fact that I have become aware of them and that I have said thanks made him want to do even more. Win-win! 🙂

Leave Things Unsaid

In the beginning of the month, this was my most difficult goal. I think as the month went on though, it became easier to keep my mouth shut. Perhaps this is simply because I am worn out and don’t want to take the big effort to talk, I’m hoping it is more a matter of me becoming aware of what I do say and choosing to keep certain things unsaid. I guess time will tell. 

No Nagging

I haven’t nagged once during the whole month. I wasn’t a big nagger in the first place though so I’m not going to gloat about this success too much. 

Stop Snapping

I have not snapped once during the whole month! Now this one deserves some triumphant fist pumps! Snapping is a natural response for me and is really hard to control when I’m feeling particularly annoyed or frustrated. The fact that I made it through an entire month is awesome. I don’t want to jinx it but I think I just might have broken the habit and can avoid snapping for the rest of the year. *fist pump* 

Cease the Backseat Driving

This one has been a little difficult as I have a hard time biting my tongue but I actually managed to get through the entire month with only speaking up one time. I apologized immediately so no harm was done. 

Imitate Martha Stewart (good little housewife)

I did really well with this one for the first few weeks as well and then slacked off as I became more tired. I hope to get my act together and do a good cleaning this weekend but it’s just so hard to force myself to get off my butt and clean when I’m feeling exhausted. I’m pretty sure my husband understands that when I’m extra tired the housework is going to suffer slightly and he’s ok with that. He has his bad days too and knows how good it feels to just take a day or two to rest and leave the dirty dishes in the sink. As long as I don’t let the dirtiness go too far, and I keep up with the chores when I’m feeling better, I think everything will be super! 

The overall “a-ha” message I received from this month is that when I’m feeling drained, everything suffers. Even the simple things like leaving a note or touching my husband seems overwhelming. Ultimately, sleep and exercise really are a huge part of my overall happiness. When my sleep suffers and I don’t get enough time on my treadmill I quickly become exhausted which leads to less exercise which in turn drains me further. And when I’m beat, I’m less likely to do any of the other things that contribute to my happiness. 

As each new month approaches, I am adding more and more to my plate. As a consequence, my time becomes limited and I start to slack on the previous goals. As my social calendar fills up, my friendships improves but my free time for exercise becomes restricted. The more time I spend on hobbies I enjoy, the less time I have for sleep. I think it’s now time for me to set my priorities. Although all these goals are important to me, I need to manage my schedule better and put certain things, like exercise, at the top of the list.

 

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Quote of the Week

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” ~ Samuel Butler

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Easy Street

Today is just one of those days. It’s dark, it’s dreary and the wind is just howling up a storm. I’m feeling exhausted, although I got a relatively good night’s sleep. My body is achy and weak, even though I haven’t exerted myself in any way. And I feel like I’m getting a cold – sore throat, stuffy nose…damn. But there’s a silver lining in my dark, gloomy cloud and it’s called Easy Street. When you’re having a bad day, you feel craptacular but you are committed to doing something you really don’t want to do, just take a short ride down Easy Street. You still finish the task at hand but in a half-assed way. You stay committed to your responsibility but it requires little or no real effort.

Beware, you can’t take this route frequently, or when you are completing something incredibly important, but when you really need that short cut to survive your day, Easy Street is there to save your sanity.

So this is it, no inspirational blog post for today. No spending hours scanning motivating video’s, quotes or articles. No enlightenment. Today I am simply taking Easy Street.

Here is a picture of a smiling fridge from todaysbigthing.com. Enjoy. 😛

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Total Awesomeness!

I am a huge fan of flash mobs but I have never seen anything like this before. It’s totally freaky and so totally awesome!

This “freeze” flash mob was done in New York City Grand Central train station. 207 Improv Everywhere agents froze in place at the exact same time for five minutes. The reaction from others is priceless! 

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Here’s another one of my much loved kindness stories from helpothers.org

Giving someone a chance to recharge

–posted by KingHartuc on Jan 20, 2007

Good day,

I was recently traveling and bad weather had surrounded the airport, causing many flights to get canceled or delayed.  I was sitting by the gate, having changed my flight to another one already and was watching the unfortunate airline rep at the gate counter.  She was being bombarded by a number of people who seemed to assume that the poor weather, flight cancellations and everything else causing them grief was her fault and each one in turn laid all of their grief on her and I could see she was being pushed to the brink.

A little ah-ha light bulb flashed in my mind and since I am apt to follow my instinct, I stood up and took my place in the line of people intent on sharing their bad day with her.  I patiently waited my turn and when I was finally standing in front of her, her weary eyes looked up to me, her forehead creased with stress and she asked “May I help you, sir?”

I said “Yes you can”.  I then asked her to act busy while I spoke to her.  I told her I stood in line to give her a 5 minute break.  While she typed (I have no idea what she typed), I explained to her that while all of these people were intent on ruining her day, the fact that she had other people in her life that really cared about her and that she had passions in her life that gave her life meaning was far more important than what was happening here today.  Given all of that, the stuff happening here wasn’t important and shouldn’t stress her out.  We chatted back and forth for a few minutes as she continued to look busy.

After seeing her regain her composure, I knew she had to get back to her work and I wished her a great day, telling her it was time for the next customer.  She looked up at me and I could see that her eyes were slightly welling up.  “Thank you so much”, she said, “I don’t know how to thank you for this”.

I smiled and told her the best way to thank me was to pass on the kindness to someone else when she had the opportunity. 

Have a great day.

Harry

How often do we have these exhausting, overwhelming days? Wouldn’t it be so nice to have someone deliberately give you a much needed break when you are on the brink of hysteria? Think about this the next time you see someone about to pull their hair out and offer to let them have a rest. A little bit of kindness can go a long way in turning a horrendous day into one filled with happiness.

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In this edition of The Little Things I’d like to remember those beautiful moments when you are lying in bed and you look over to see your loved one sound asleep.

Sleeping Next to a Loved One

There is just something so sweet and innocent about someone sleeping. Whether it’s your child, your pet or your spouse, they always look so darn adorable. But even better than catching them in a candid moment of sleep is being curled up right next to them. Sure, you may already be feeling extra cozy in your flannel pajamas, bundled up in your warm, freshly washed sheets but spooning up next to your spouse or draping an arm over your fat, snoring dog is the icing on top!

You instantly feel a little more safe, a little more secure and a whole lot happier. Regardless if it’s your cat, your first born or the love of your life, you can’t help but feel loved and trusted when they feel comfortable and vulnerable enough to fall asleep next to you. All you can do now is close you eyes, count some sheep and join them in dreamland for a night of awesomeness.

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Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope the Easter Bunny treated you all very well! 😉

Enjoy your day today, whether spent in rain or sun, alone or surrounded by family, with delicious food or a peanut butter sandwich. Just enjoy it! Forget about the negative. Embrace the little things. Hug your friends. Smile. Tell your family you love them. Most of all, be kind to each other.

Much love to everyone reading this! Happy Easter to all!

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