When I said lets chat soon I didn’t expect a month to pass but that’s what happened and I am not going to beat myself up over it. First of all I am so glad I started the W.I.S.E project, I needed it. An acquaintance said to me, “It doesn’t make sense, you are always happy!” Then begs the question, “What is happiness?” It’s like anything “You’ll know it when you see it!”
For the most part I try to stay positive and I would say I am generally a happy person but I was letting things in my life control me instead of me controlling them. Just the simple act of deciding to take control of my mind, my life and slow down and enjoy the little things has been amazing!
Wanting to be happier in no way means that I am depressed or that I am unhappy with my life. I have a good marriage and a wonderful family, I enjoy my job but I really have not been getting the best out of my life.
I was existing, and doing everything in my life on autopilot like a lot of busy moms. I was shoving food in my face without really tasting it, starting five books but never finishing them, snapping at my family.
I am smart enough to realize I cannot change anyone but me and I think I am off to a great start!
However…it has only been a little over a week.
Christmas was not great for me. I can remember waking up everyday caught up in a mass of tangled sheets and feeling worse than the day before. I felt this heaviness pushing me down. I was not only homesick, I had some personal issues that I was working through and though I realize that there are some things in life that we need to accept and move on, for me to do that I had to allow myself to feel everything that I was feeling and that was hard. For those of you that know me, you know I don’t shy away from feelings but the hard part was experiencing something painful all over again in memories and learning to accept it.
The day my husband went out of town for work I spent one whole day in my jammies feeling sad and watching movies that were even sadder. The next day I tore the house a part like a mad woman, decluttering, cleaning, getting rid of useless crap. That alone (though still a work in progress) helped me immensely. To organize my space helped me organize my mind. I saw a picture of our house we moved in just over five years ago. I remember the house seemed so large and I felt at the time so bare. I wanted to fill every inch. Well I did that and I hate it, I long to have it look like it did in that picture.
I have made a conscious effort to get more sleep and get up earlier. That to is a work in progress but it is definitely something that I am making progress with. I am eating better and drinking lots of water. I haven’t had bread, potatoes, junk food, alcohol or anything with cheese and gravy in over 10 days. YAY me. I am drinking a shit load of water. (By the way I have not given up alcohol, I barely make time for it as it is and red wine has minerals that are valuable to my well-being. I would be doing myself a disservice.)
I feel clearer and I feel like I have a lot more time because I am not tired and irritated 24/7
My phone still takes up a lot of my time and I hate it but baby steps people, baby steps…
My W.I.S.E. principals for January were wonder, imagination, smile and energize. I made a couple of notes and I am looking forward to the remainder of the month.
Wonder: I really do take pleasure simple in things like sunrises, sunsets, storm clouds, fluffy clouds, the color of the sky. I even saw the Northern lights the other night and they are always stunning. I don’t think this one will be an issue for me, I could lay in a field and look at the stars for hours on end. I don’t love the cold weather but I can see the beauty in winter, just like in any other season. I love the intricate designs the frost makes on the windows and the way a dusting of snow gently weights the branches down. I envy photographers who catch every moment of every season in all it’s beauty.
Imagination– I discovered I like to paint. I’m not an artist by any means but I’m not terrible and it relaxes me. I usually start with a plan but it is surprising how my mind leads the brush. That is imagination at it’s finest, when you can relax to a point that your ideas lead you, not the other way around. I also have put my imagination to the test in the kitchen and I have been successful. It’s easy to eat better when you are enjoying what you and can come up with creative and fun new ideas.
Smile– I try to smile at people all the time. When people smile back it is really uplifting. If could challenge you all to one thing, this would be it. Take a second to smile at people. It will make you feel good, or they will think you are crazy and walk the other way. It’s a gamble! But just smile. Happiness is a beautiful thing, it’s contagious and just smiling, even for yourself with lift your mood. Laugh lines look better than frown lines.
Energize– December was a soul sucker of a month so of course the thought of feeling more energized was appealing. I mentioned that I am eating better….to be clear a thousand times better. I am not eating mindlessly. I am taking the time to prepare and enjoy every bite of my food. I am not only paying attention to what I eat and what it does for me I am being creative with my meals and enjoying cooking again. I have more energy and I am getting plenty of rest. I have a massage booked and big plans to add more activity to my days. I read on my friends blog (check her out she is wonderful and funny) http://kerfree.com/ that using a Kettle ball is a quick, easy and effective workout. I think I will get one for work and home. I turn 42 next week and I know this is going to be a great year. I never liked to act my age so I am surely not about too start now.
Last night I started to read The Happiness Project and the Author Gretchen Rubin started a project similar to mine and her friends thought she was crazy. She is, crazy awesome and insightful. I can relate to a lot of it. Her life and circumstances are so much different than mine but she still has the same problems with her husbands clothes slung over chairs, stacks of crap on table, her kids things underfoot and though they seem like small things they have built up overtime to be frustrations that have weighed her down.
So far I have learned that I have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do but Rome wasn’t built in a day. One thing I do know, and Science says it’s so, is that a great deal of happiness is based on our own choices so choosing to be happier is a really great step.
If you are following along I would really like to hear from you and learn from your experiences. 40% of happiness is intentional and to me that is fabulous news. That means, no matter my genetics and my social economic circumstances I can deliberately change my happiness level. Would anybody ever deny that they wanted to be happier? Even the happiest people around would choose to be happier if they could. At least I think so…
The true secret of happiness lies in taking an active interest in all the details of daily life
~ William Morris
Be happy, be W.I.S.E. and lets chat soon! ‘