Thursday, August 11, 2011

Introducing: My Happiness Project

After years of hearing about Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, I finally picked up a copy to read on the airplane to and from my 20-year high school reunion a couple of weekends ago. 

I was immediately inspired to pursue a Happiness Project of my own. 

Like Gretchen, I’m not interested in “extraordinary change”; I don’t need to change careers or move to a different country.  And like Gretchen, I don’t want to “reject my life”; I’ve got a good thing going here! 

As she puts it, “I [want] to change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen.” 
It sounds like just the thing I need to do right now. 
I’ve been a stay-at-home for four years now, and, while I am fortunate to feel totally comfortable in that role, rather than conflicted with a desire to return to work, I can see how some small changes to my life could really increase my everyday contentment and engagement with what is going on around me. 

I find myself to be much more impatient and prone to angry outbursts than I ever have been in my life before.  I’ve got the little aches and pains that start to plague a body heading very quickly toward age 40.  I’ve got two little children whose upbringing and well-being are central to my concerns, and my own life is very focused on doing this motherhood thing “right”.  I have a deep and abiding love for and faith in God, but feel that I do not necessarily reflect that day-to-day or maintain relationship-building with the most important Person in my life.  I have the most amazing husband I could have ever hoped for, and with two little children in the house, I want to guard against our marriage turning into a co-parenting relationship. 

These are the features of my life that make me think a Happiness Project could make a real difference.
Whenever people write about their efforts to increase their happiness, they always subject themselves to criticism that they are being “self-indulgent” and “whiny.”  I have spent too many of my adult years being overly-concerned with what other people think of me, seeking approval outside of myself, and fearing criticism.  (You’ll probably see something about that in my Happiness Project down the road!)  So, I will put all of that aside, because I think this project could really hold some solid benefits for me.  However, I DO welcome your thoughts and feedback along the way!
On Saturday, I'll share with you my first set of Project Resolutions!


Carin Winkelman said...

Now this should be interesting! Can't wait to see how it all develops! I'm still not sure about reading this book myself (I've seen it mentioned by others), mostly because I don't think happiness can ever be a project, but it's still interesting, so who knows...I might still order it.
Thanks by the way for you kind words on my lengthy blog post, much appreciated! said...

Funny thing is... I bought this book, and haven't read it yet, time flies!!
Better dust of the spider webs, and read it.
Thank you for inspiring me <3
I can not wait to read about your progress.
Take care :]

scrapwordsmom said...

Looking forward to this. I have so wanted this book...maybe I will buy it this year.

I am like you. Perfectly happy where I am right now...:)