Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happiness Project

I have just finished reading the first chapter of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I have come to the conclusion that a happiness project is what I'm actually embarking on. Mine isn't quite as well mapped- out as Rubin's and is certainly in its embryonic stage, but I think that is what I'm trying to accomplish with all of this uncluttering, simplifying, minimizing and frugalizing (new word, by me) of my life.  There were several passages that "spoke" to me, but the following was especially poignant and seems to capture where I am in this moment in my life:
I saw that the years were slipping by. 'What do I want from life, anway?' I asked myself. 'Well... I want to be happy.' But I had never thought about what made me happy or how I might be happier.
I had much to be happy about. [...] But too often I sniped at my husband or the cable guy. I felt dejected after even a minor professional setback. I drifted out of touch with old friends, I lost my temper easiy, I suffered bouts of melancholy, insecurity, listessness, and free-floating guilt. [...]
I wasn't depressed and I wasn't having a midlife crisis, but I was suffering from midlife malaise-- a recurrent sense of discontent and almost a feeling of disbelief. 'Can this be me?' I'd wonder as I picked up the morning newspapers or sat down to read e-mail. [...] 'Is this really it?' I found myself wondering, and answering, 'Yep, this is it.'
But though at times I felt dissatisfied, that something was missing, I also never forgot how fortunate I was. When I woke up in the middle of the night, as I often did, I'd walk from one room to another to gaze at my sleeping husband [...] and my [son] surrounded by [his] stuffed animals, all safe. I had everything I could possibly want-- yet I was failing to appreciate it. (emphasis mine)
Hence, I am embarking on an attempt to better appreciate my life and my family and to live in such a way that brings me happiness and contentment. As Rubin says "I wasn't as happy as I could be, and my life wasnt going to change unless I made it change." So I am going to make that change and move towards a happier life!!!

Thus begins my happiness project.

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