Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a Weekend!

So this weekend has been one of the best weekends in a long time. 

Friday night: B and I met up with a couple for drinks. We stayed at the bar so long, they kicked us out; and we went to a 24-hour Starbucks till almost 2 in the morning. (What did we do without 24-hour Starbucks?!) 

Saturday: Even though I only got 3 hours of sleep, I still managed to make it through work. I took the kids I nanny to Barnes and Noble for "Story Time" and they were absolutely adorable, as usual. I had a half-day at work and went to my friend Marissa's daughter's first birthday party! She was so cute in her pink tutu and couldn't stop smiling! 

After the party, B and I sporadically got a couple's massage. We had been wanting to do this for our Anniversary, but with me working all the time, and him being in Med School, we never got around to planning/executing it. 

It was this hole-in-the-wall type of place, but boy was is amazing! The people were so nice and it was absolutely relaxing. Now, it wasn't as nice as when we got massages in Mexico, but in my opinion, I don't think you can really go wrong with a massage?

Sunday (today): I got an iMac!!!!!!! 

I have a MacBook, but I've reeeaaallly been wanting the desktop (21.5-inch) because of it's large display. My eyes hurt looking at my 13-inch laptop. It was a hefty purchase, but I worked very hard to earn it and I'm very pleased with my decision. 

[BTW, I cut back on my hours at work. I was having such a hard time keeping up at home. Six days a week/eight hours a day was too much. Now, I have every other Saturday off, and when I do work Saturdays, it's for four hours instead of eight. I think I'm going to be a lot happier with this schedule.] 

It's a bummer it's almost Monday, but I have lots to look forward to this week:
My best friend is coming in town and we're going (along with B) to see 
TAYLOR SWIFT in concert!!!!   
I'm super excited, y'all! I'll be rockin' out in my cowboy boots and sundress =)


I hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wishful Wednesday: Character's Role

Kelsey at The Seattle Smith’s topic for Wishful Wednesday is:

‘I wish’ .... I could play a character’s role in a book and it would be ______!

Hermione Jean Granger
[from Harry Potter, if you live under a rock]

I went with my first instinct here. If I thought about it a little longer I might have picked someone else, but since she was the first to pop in my mind, I’m going with it. Why would I want to play her? Because she’s BADASS, that’s why! First of all, she’s at the top of her class, excelling academically as a witch.... she’s completely passionate in everything she does... AND she’s fierce. [Um, hello, she knocked Malfoy a good one!]

If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series, you’re missing out! Honestly, I never thought I’d be one of “those people,” but I started reading the first one as a challenge to see what all the hype was about, and I’m proud to say I’m obsessed hooked! I can’t wait for the seventh movie to come out!!! Blake claims he’s a fan because he loves all the movies, but since he hasn’t read the books I call him a “half-blood fan.” [only HP fans will get this joke]

I know, I’m a nerd.

[Now, if I were to pick a non-fictional character, I would play Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love. (Well, I guess it’s more like a biography.) But still! She got to spend a year traveling to Italy, India, and Indonesia—eating, praying, and loving. What an adventurous experience! P.S. Julia Roberts will play this role in the movie that comes out this summer. I can’t wait!]

If you want in on the Wishful Wednesdays fun, hop on over to Kelsey's blog at The Seattle Smith’s If you participated, post me your link so I can see who you chose!


Monday, February 22, 2010

#4. Lighten Up

To catch up, scroll down to My Happiness Project in my archives.

The subgroups in the Lighten Up topic, from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, are:
* Sing in the morning
* Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
* Be a treasure house of happy memories
* Take time for projects

Basically, this chapter was about lightening the mood in everyday life. For Gretchen, it was about creating a “peaceful, cheerful, even joyous atmosphere at home.” She wanted “to be more lighthearted.”

[*Note: I am citing from Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. The following are my own thoughts based on what I read in her book. I am in no way taking credit for her research, writing, creativity, and opinions.]

Sing in the Morning:
In order to get her mornings running more smoothly, Gretchen came up with a resolution to start singing in the morning. She did this for her children, but I say it could work in any home. Here’s my morning song pick. Please watch a snip-bit of it; I promise it’ll make you laugh!


“The days are long, but the years are short.” Remember that.

Acknowledge the Reality of People’s Feelings:
This subgroup pertained mostly to her children, but since my job is to nanny two and a half-year-old twins six days a week/eight hours a day, I’m going to go ahead and say I can relate. Gretchen read the books Siblings Without Rivalry and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. In these books, the authors state that we should acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings, even if they are feelings such as anger, frustration, fear, etc. There are many different tips she gives, but one of my favorite, and something I have been doing (or at least trying to do), since I was fifteen is: Don’t say “no” or “stop.” With all of my experience with children I try to say positive phrases. Instead of saying, “Stop running,” I say, “Use walking feet.” Or, “Please make a better choice,” instead of, “Stop doing that.” Even with the twins, I don’t like to use the word “No.” Of course it’s inevitable in the heat of the moment. “Nooo! Don’t knock over the basketball hoop!” But for the most part, I use positive phrases. I find they react and listen much better.

Be a Treasure House of Happy Memories:
“Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present.”

Although Blake and I don’t have children yet, I’ve already started commemorating our memories. After reading about keepsaking (apparently that’s not a real word?), I got motivated. Umm, how many of us use Facebook (or something else) as a way to store our photographs? How many of y’all just let your pictures sit in iPhoto or Picasa? I’m totally and completely guilty of this. But, not anymore! I uploaded over 200 pictures and had them developed. There were pictures since July! I put all of them in photo albums and wrote little captions next to them. I am not relying on Facebook any longer!

Gretchen says that sending out fast and fun little e-mails periodically (to friends and family members) boosts everyone’s happiness. I think this is so true, and I’m proud to say I already do this. I’m always sending my parents quick e-mails through my iPhone. Pictures, too. It makes me happy when the gesture is returned, or when B sends me random sweet little love texts. It always puts a smile on my face.

Another important topic is family traditions. Do you have any family traditions? B’s family has so many, especially for the holidays. I love all of them—some I have participated in, and others I will once we’re married. We even talk about the traditions we want to do when we have a family of our own. One thing we plan to do is get one another a Christmas ornament every year. It can be something funny or sentimental, or from a vacation/place we are living in. I’m also going to start using my iPhoto more and create an album for us every year.

Organization tip: Gretchen uses file boxes to store items for her children. She labels it by sections: birthday cards, invitations, school awards, etc. My mom used three-ring binders with protective sheets. I think this is a definite must! It’s too easy to let important things become clutter, and this is a way to keep important memories, but keep them out of the way. How fun would it be for your children to look back at their kindergarten artwork when they’re thirty?

Take Time for Projects:
“Traditions often involve projects... [which] take time, energy, planning, and patientce.”
“Happiness has four stages.... we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall happiness.”

Gretchen talks about how “taking photographs sometimes makes it hard to savor a moment when it’s happening...,” and it reminded me of an old episode of Regis and Kelly. Kelly was talking about how she’s always trying to take pictures of her family, especially on vacations, and she feels like she misses the moments/experiences because she was too busy behind the camera. [Does that sounds like you?] B and I often miss out on many photo-opp’s because we’re too busy enjoying the moment. Then, I look back and wish I had a picture of it. However, there are plenty of people who are way too busy taking pictures that they don’t bask in the moment. There needs to be a happy medium. It’s true that pictures will help us remember happy moments (because honestly, would you remember everything that made you happy?) but you shouldn’t be too worried about capturing every moment. Relax.
[Here's a pic I didn't want to stop to take, but I'm glad we did.]

*****
So what do you think? What are some ways you “lighten up”? What do you need to improve on? Plus, I could really use your opinions. There are several more chapters to go... so... do you think I'm writing too much, not enough? Do you want to know more from the book, or more of my opinions/experiences? More pictures? I can take the criticism, people! =D

Have a happy week, everyone! xoxo

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

#3. Aim Higher

If you’re new and/or confused about the following post, scroll down to My Happiness Project archive to get caught up!

The subgroups in the Aim Higher topic, from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, are:
* Launch a blog
* Enjoy the fun of failure
* Ask for help
* Work smart
* Enjoy now

[Note: I am citing from Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. The following are my own thoughts based on what I read in her book. I am in no way taking credit for her research, writing, creativity, and opinions.]

The topic Aim Higher was mostly about work. I think we’ll all be able to relate (especially the first subgroup)...

Launch a Blog:
“The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. If you do new things—[for me, it’s a new gym routine, and now sewing]—you’re more apt to feel happy than people who stick to more familiar activities.” How many of us feel like we’re in a “rut” at times? Gretchen talks about her thoughts on starting a blog, which was suggested by a friend. She writes about her reluctances, and the advice she was given.

I first became involved in the blog world back in August 2009, when I googled something like, “medical school significant others.” People’s blogs (some that I’m following now) popped up on my screen. Having just moved away from home to support my boyfriend in his journey through med school, I was looking for advice from other women in how they deal with being away from home, working, and filling their time while their spouse is studying at all hours of the day, etc.

Then, I thought, Maybe I should start a blog? I fiddled with the idea for days, coming up with different titles, asking B, and my best friend Lauren what they thought. B wasn’t took keen on the idea at first, having not known anyone else with a blog. But, I thought, I’ll give it a shot. I know some people back home probably think it’s a silly thing, but you know what? I don’t care! Even before I started reading The Happiness Project, I knew blogging made me happy. Blogging has brought me “into contact with new people and new experiences, which are also powerful sources of happiness,” just like it did for Gretchen. It’s a “way to connect with people who [share] my interest.”

Through blogging, I have found so many people going through the same experiences and emotions as me. They’ve offered knowledgeable and unselfish advice, and I’ve done the same for them. [THANK YOU!!] I’ve even found another blogger whose spouse goes to school with B! I love what Gretchen has to say about spending too much time thinking about what to write: “If I wanted to get anything accomplished, I needed to keep pushing ahead without constantly second-guessing myself.”

Enjoy the Fun of Failure:
Have you ever failed at something? C’mon, of course you have! We all have! It sucks doesn’t it? But, you know, looking back, was it all bad? Probably not. You probably learned a heck of a whole lot along the way. For instance, while I was in my teaching internships, I went in with a lot of confidence. I thought, Yeah, I know what I’m doing. However, I soon found out that what I thought would work, in fact, didn’t! At first, I was pretty bummed because I was so sure of what I was doing, but after I looked back, I realized I learned a lot and just kept moving forward.

Ask for Help:
I can completely relate when Gretchen shares that she “often had the immature and counterproductive impulse to pretend to know things that [she] didn’t.” I’m going to take it one step further though and say I like (or at least think I like) to figure things out for myself. Maybe it’s more of a pride thing? All throughout high school and in the beginning of college I would never really ask teachers for help in school. I always thought to myself, Oh, I don’t want to bother them; I’ll just figure it out on my own. Come to find out, that that’s not really smart. People don’t mind you asking for help. In fact, I’ve found that most people actually love to do so. I didn’t like to study in groups either because I feared people might think I was “dumb” if I didn’t know an answer. Truthfully, the best way to learn is by asking others. Now, I don’t even hesitate to seek people’s help.

Work Smart:
This is a good one! (Well, they all are, but this is what I need to improve on immensely!) Gretchen felt like she “never had enough time for all the work [she] wanted to do.” After reading this chapter, I started paying better attention to how I spend my time throughout the day. I’m over wishing for more hours in a day, and I’m not willing to give up my sleep; so, I need to find ways to squeeze in what I want to do. I’ll be the first to admit I have a guilty pleasure watching shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Desperate Housewives, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes I’m just going to have to give them up. I can’t allow them to take over my life! Now with technology though, we can record or watch them commercial-free on-line. Hallelujah! Instead of stopping to do the dishes to watch Private Practice, I’ll just catch it on-line whenever I have some extra time. And honestly, now that I’ve started doing that, I’ve realized I have less of an urge to watch TV (and sometimes don’t even catch them on-line). [My one exception is Grey’s Anatomy. I’ll throw away whatever I’m doing to watch it!]

Another tip Gretchen gives is waking up earlier each morning to get work done. If y’all are parents, you probably already do this. With me, I just have my furbaby. I T-R-Y to wake up early... honestly! If I don’t have to be at work until eleven, I’ll set my alarm for 6:45A.M. (My intentions are to go to the gym, catch up on e-mails, and/or run errands, etc.) Indy will whine to go out, which I’ll roll out of bed to do, but if the sun isn’t up yet, neither am I! I’ll put Indy back to bed and set my alarm for 9:30 or so. I’m satisfied for the moment because I caught some extra zzzzz’s, but then I’m upset at the end of the day because I feel like didn’t get anything accomplished. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that I need to work on A.S.A.P.!
Any ideas on ways to motivate myself to GET UP IN THE MORNING!? I’m reluctant to become a coffee drinker. I like coffee, but I don’t keep a maker in the house. Would it really make that much of a difference?

Enjoy Now:

“...doing what you love is itself the reward.”

It goes back to Enjoy the Fun of Failure. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing NOW, then failure isn’t so scary. At least in my opinion.

*****
 If you’re still reading this, you’re amazing! I know it was long, but thanks for bearing with me. If you’re reading the book now, which some of you told me you are—or at least bought it—what are your thoughts so far?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roses Are Red...


Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
and cupcakes are, too!



I baked/made this cupcake & cookie rose bouquet for a girls-only Valentine’s dinner. Seven of us Med school significant others each brought a different dish; from won tons to turtle bars. We exchanged recipes, played Apples to Apples, and just talked for over five hours. It’s always comforting to talk to other young women who are going through the same situations, and are experiencing similar emotions as me. Although they try, no one can understand what it’s like dating and living with a medical student, unless they’re doing it (or have done it), too. I must say, though, I'm having some of the best & most memorable moments in my life right now!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!
 


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Poor Poodle Puppy

This is the face of my poor furbaby =(
He got neutered yesterday and had to have two separate incisions for his puppy-privates.
PLUS, he got a microchip implanted (ouch!) in him...
...AND... 4 baby teeth pulled!!
He didn't come home with a cone, but today B noticed his incisions looked open and took him to the vet. They had to put two staples in for a week!
Needless to say, he's a pitiful poodle.
I feel guilty to say I think he looks adorable when he tries to pick up his "blankie" though.
Poor poodle puppy....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My New BFF

Who says money can’t buy friends?! Here’s proof that you can:

Yep, this is my new best friend. I bought her for $30 at a garage sale. She’s a beauty. I’m so excited! B’s mom was in town this weekend for his birthday and helped me get set up. The only sewing experience I have is sewing buttons and years of Pointe shoes, but never anything on a machine. After practicing on some extra fabric I had, I made a little pin cushion (stuffed with cotton balls because it’s all I had), a bandanna for Indy; and I sewed four small patches together (kind of like a quilt). I surprised myself! (I guess it's all the Martha Stewart I watch.) I was such a nerd, too, because every time I made something I’d run out to show B my “creation.” [hehe]

My boss asked me what a 23-year-old is doing with a sewing machine. I told him I want to be able to make things like curtains, pillows, quilts, etc., and one day baby/kids clothes.

I told my mom I love the way my new sewing machine smells. It smells like a grandma just made a quilt. Ahh... (I know I’m a goofball.) Well, I’ll be sure to post my finished products. I know a lot of you sew out there... what’s your specialty???



Monday, February 8, 2010

#2. Remember Love

Continuation of...

Gretchen Rubin divides her book into 12 months. Each month is a different resolution. Her second month is: Remember Love. Her subgroups are: quit nagging; don’t expect praise or appreciation; fight right; no dumping; give proofs of love.

This chapter was mostly about marriage, but even though I’m not married yet, I’ve been with B for over three years now and know what love is. Before I begin my reflection, I want to share a huge, valid point Gretchen made:

“I had come to understand one critical fact about my happiness project: I couldn’t change anyone else.”

Quit Nagging: Because I am documenting my experiences while reading The Happiness Project, (kind of like Julie & Julia, but not as fabulously) I asked B if he thinks I nag him. He said, “Not unconsciously. But you know you’re nagging on purpose. You’re just not a nagging person.” Yes! Go me! When I do “nag” it’s in situations where I’ll ask B a hundred times to feed the dog because I’m just so worried he may forget to.

One recent situation, and it may sound very mundane to some, was when B had a bowl of mixed nuts sitting on the coffee table. They were there for a couple of days and I politely asked him to put them in a Tupperware and in the pantry. He wanted to leave them out for when he wanted to snack, but this reminded me of the diseased nuts at a bar, and so he said he’d put them away. Before reading this chapter, I became agitated when they still weren’t put away. I asked him again. (Nagging....) Any way, just the other day, I saw a container of nuts laying on the coffee table. Remembering what Gretchen said, “I couldn’t change anyone else,” I simply swiped the container on my way to the pantry. I wasn’t even irritated that B had left them out. I actually felt happier. I just felt a relief that they were out of the way, and I honestly didn’t care that I had to do it. I have two hands. I was already on my way to the kitchen, wasn’t I?

Don’t Expect Praise or Appreciation: Okay, so as much as I’d like to think I don’t have anything to say about this, I do. I, like a lot of people I know, swoon over a “gold star.” Everyone likes to be praised and appreciated for their hard work, don’t they? Don’t women like to be acknowledged for doing their significant other’s laundry? Or cooking a meal? Gretchen made me realize that “If you do [things, like chores] for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and be grateful and to give you credit. If you do it for yourself, you don’t expect other people to react in a particular way.”

I could chose not to do B’s laundry, but I do it because I want him to have clean clothes, and heck, I’m doing mine anyway. I honestly don’t mind. And he always says thank you.

Fight Right: Would you call me a liar if I told you B and I have never had a fight in the three years we’ve been together? I’m sure you are right now behind gritted teeth, but it’s true. We’ve never had a fight. Yes, disputes and debates, but never a full-blown yelling and shouting fight. Can I get snappy? Yes...but B knows I only ever snap when I’m beyond starving; and instead of arguing, he just feeds me. Then, I calm down and talk rationally.

How a couple fights matters more than how much they fight.” 

It’s just not in our personalities to fight. Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about this subgroup because I don’t have enough experience in it. I know that there will come a day where we can’t decide on some important life decision, but we know how to listen to one another. I once heard on a show (I can’t remember which one) that said to forget the saying “never go to bed angry.” For years I’ve lived by this because you know—what if? But, they said if you force yourself to talk before going to bed, you’re probably going to make things worse. Think about it... you’re upset; you’re exhausted; you’re not thinking clearly; and you’re more than likely going to say things you don’t mean to say. Instead, sleep on it, and have a clear mind in the morning. It’s worth a shot, right?

No Dumping: I definitely do this. I dump all of my feeling, insecurities, rants, etc. onto my boyfriend. Aren’t most of us guilty of this? I live with him, and he’s whom I see most often, so I’m always telling him about the things that went wrong in my day. I’ve come to realize this may not be the most genius idea. “Spouses pick up each other’s moods so easily. A 30 percent increase in one spouse’s happiness boosts the other spouse’s happiness, while a drop in one spouse’s happiness drags the other down.” This makes a lot of sense. Whenever B is happy, I feel myself getting happier. Whenever he’s down in the dumps, I start feeling blue, too.

Over the last few days, I’ve been omitting some of the negative parts of my day. (If something absolutely terrible were to happen though, I would definitely share, but little quirks throughout the day aren’t necessary.) I don’t need to tell him every time I was annoyed at work. Who wants to hear that? I also came to realize I was happier not venting. Surprising? I think it’s because I wasn’t reliving the “not so good” parts of my day. I just sort of forgot about them by not bringing them up.

Give Proofs of Love: Some quotes I love from this subgroup that don’t need any expansions:

“Hugging relieves stress, boosts feelings of closeness, and even squelches pain.”

“One of the great joys of falling in love is the feeling that the most extraordinary person in the entire world has chosen you.”

“You should both go to bed at the same time.”

“...never criticize each other for more than one thing at a time.” (Good one!)

*****
Last but not least, I really liked this; and I know a lot of people who could benefit from this quote: 

Feeling right is about living the life that’s right for you—in occupation, location, marital status, and so on. It’s also about virtue: doing your duty, living up to the expectations you set for yourself,” NOT other people.

“When you give up expecting a spouse to change (within reason) you lessen anger and resentment, and that creates a more loving atmosphere in a [relationship].”

I hope y’all are off to a great week. I've loved reading your comments from the last couple of posts, and I’m glad I’ve inspired some of you to get the book. I can’t wait to hear your opinions and successes.

 



Sunday, February 7, 2010

White Coat Ceremony

B’s White Coat Ceremony was a fabulous celebration, to say the least.

I had so much fun cooking and preparing for the brunch I held at our house before the ceremony:
B’s oldest sister got “bear” cookies with little white coats on them. So cute!
I was so proud of him! He’s worked so hard this past semester. I got teary-eyed at the end of the ceremony when all of the first-year’s stood up and we applauded.

It’s nice having a boyfriend who goes to an osteopathic medical school—he already knows how to crack necks. I love the face he’s making while he’s cracking his sister, Michelle’s neck. [oh, brotherly-sisterly love]
Michelle and I having fun in the cadaver lab =)
My parents and me after dinner. I was so happy they came down for the day to celebrate with us.
It couldn’t have been a better day! This past weekend was B’s 23rd birthday and we had another family celebration. 2010 is proving to be a pretty awesome year!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Happiness Project: #1.

#1. Boost Energy: 2/1/10


Gretchen Rubin divides her book into 12 months. Each month is a different resolution. Her first month was to boost energy. The subgroups she picked to help boost her energy were: go to sleep earlier; exercise better; toss, restore, organize; tackle a nagging task; and act more energetic.

Go to sleep earlier:
This is something I have a problem with. Although I finish everything I need to do by a reasonable time each night, I find myself wanting to stay up later to do something for “me.” Whether it’s checking my Facebook or updating my blog. Or most commonly: catching up on my TV shows and spending time with B. There’s only a limited amount of time to spend with B each day. I’m at work all day; he’s usually studying in the afternoons and evenings, and by the time he’s finished, it’s my bedtime! Even though I’m secretly thinking, I could be sleeping right now, I stay up to chat and snuggle with him because it makes me happy. Sometimes, however, B will take a break from studying (only if he can) to hang out with me (even it is for only thirty minutes) then continue studying while I go to sleep. Gretchen’s tricks for getting a good night’s sleep:
“Near your bedtime, don’t do any work that requires alert thinking. Keep your bedroom slightly chilly. Do a few prebed stretches. Also—this is important—because light confuses the body’s circadian clock, keep the lights low around bedtime, say, if you go to the bathroom. Also, make sure your room is very dark when the lights are out.”
I’m going to try this! Tonight.

Exercise better:
I joined the YMCA right next door to B’s school and of course, just like every other American, I vowed to go a few times a week. I probably made it once a week—twice if I’m lucky. My excuse(s): “I’m too tired after work... I didn’t get enough sleep last night so I hit snooze and didn’t wake up early enough... I’m too hungry... I ate too much... I just don’t have the time...” Sound familiar? I need to become more self-motivated and get my butt up! Right now my motivation is: go to the gym, otherwise you’re just wasting your money! I know I’ll feel better if I at least start out by going three times a week for thirty minutes at a time. I’m determined to do it! *Note: After writing this, I actually went to the gym (after work!) and ran a mile on the treadmill (no stopping!) for the first time since I was in eighth grade. Hey, I have asthma, give me a break :)

Toss, restore, organize:
Thankfully, I don’t really have this problem. Having just moved into our rented house in July, I’ve already gone through this process and made a commitment to myself not to become cluttered. Sure, there’s one junk drawer in the kitchen that needs to be cleared out, but other than that, I’ve done really well with not holding onto things I don’t think I’ll use again (i.e., coupons to places I don’t go to, advertisements, already read magazines, etc.). One thing I absolutely loved was when Gretchen wrote: “...I started to apply the ‘one-minute rule’; I didn’t postpone any task that could be done in less than one minute.” Something that irked my mom when I was younger  to this day is that I drop my bag and shoes on the counter and floor as soon as I walk in the door. I’ve gotten better, but life would be a little easier if I just went straight to my closet and got the chore over with in one minute or less. Ta da! Done. *B's going to do this, too! Another tip is the “evening tidy-up.” Simply take ten minutes before bed to tidy-up. It’ll make the morning easier. You won’t be late for work or an appointment because you won’t be worrying about straightening up last minute.

Act more energetic:
I neeeeeed to do this! I know it works. If I feel like I’m in a funk, all I need to do is jump up, do a little Taylor-Swift-you-belong-with-me-music-video-dance and I’ve already boosted my energy. B sometimes makes me do this and it works. Try it!

What are some things you do to boost your energy? I’d love any advice. I feel like this is a major problem of mine (always has been) and I’m excited to break the habit. 


Monday, February 1, 2010

My Happiness Project

Getting Started: 1.31.10

After coming across Gretchen Rubins’ blog, I became curious about this so-called, “Happiness Project.” One review described her project as “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love...” Having absolutely loved Eat, Pray, Love (I highly recommend it; Julie Roberts is set to star in it August 13th), I thought this might be a book I’d really like to read. After thinking about it for about a month, I finally bought it.

I’ve decided that I’m going to write my own little thoughts throughout my reading. I figure I’ll benefit from it more if I reflect on my feelings and thoughts. I’m not sure if I can explain my reasons for choosing to read this book. When I was trying to describe it to B, he said, “Well aren’t you happy?” Me: “Yes, but I feel like I could be happier. It's hard to explain.” By the first page of the book, I was sold: Gretchen writes, “I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting me life.” I know I have a lot to be happy about: amazing family, boyfriend, friends, fantastic job, adorable and playful puppy, great health, youth, yada yada... BUT, I feel like I’m not taking advantage of what life has to offer. I want to do and experience more. And most importantly, I want to feel more relaxed, and less stressed and anxious.

Gretchen quotes the writer Colette: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” I think that’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling, and why I’m reading this book.

One very interesting thing Gretchen mentions in the introduction, and I recently heard about it on the Today show, is: “...in the determination of a person’s level of happiness, genetics accounts for about 50 percent; life circumstances, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, income, health, occupation, and religious affiliation, account for about 10 to 20 percent; and the remainder is a product of how a person thinks and acts.” That makes sense.

To sum things up, I’m determined to dive into this so-called Happiness Project and find out what it’s all about. Who knows what I’ll learn and if my life will be different? But if the purpose is to try to become happier, I figure I’ve got nothing to lose!

Have you read The Happiness Project, or know anyone who has? What are your thoughts?


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