Friday, May 18, 2012

To Do List

One of the most important Happiness Project resolutions I made for myself is to write a daily To Do list. The key to being successful is to follow the items listed. I have struggled with making this happen. Last night, I came up with a strategy to turning "I'll try to write a list" into actually doing.
  • Use fun paper and pens
  • Accept my handwriting
  • Take credit for completed items
I have plenty of scrapbooking paper that I haven't used and likely won't for scrapbooking. One of my life secrets is that all items in my house must be beautiful and/or useful. If I don't love it or use the thing, then it needs to go (donation or trash). Another life secret is to use the beautiful things I buy. For example, I'll indulge by purchasing beautiful stationary. But then I don't use it!  I tuck it into a dedicated drawer and admire it from time to time. I buy the pretty stuff with the intention of sharing a note written to people I care about. I'm embarrassed to admit, but I hate my handwriting. I don't want to mess up the pretty paper with my chicken scratch lettering, unpredictable spelling, and dropped words. My dyslexic brain is mistake prone. If I write a handwritten note to you, then take it as sign that I respect you a great deal. With practice, I'll keep learning to let go and let my handwriting escape into the world. 

So here's my list for today:
Silly to mention this, but I'm proud . . .
I didn't rewrite the list neatly for the sake of posting.

I'm always happier when I write a to do list and mark things off. I'm even okay with not finishing everything on the list, when I can see what I have done. Most of my days are fairly productive, but I don't take credit for all that I do. I seem to focus on all that is still left to do. 

You'll notice that most items on my list for today focus on taking care of me . . . a chance to restore. School is almost done for my kiddos.  I have a few days to enjoy time to myself. My children and husband agree that I deserve it. I'm taking them up on the offer.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Type Rider

Count me in. I'm going to leave my home for 40 days to pursue a passion.  My family won't notice that I'm gone and neither will my sweet dog and devoted, demented cat.

Maya Stein, aka Type Rider, began her journey on May 5, 2012. For a few minutes each day, I'll immerse myself in her account of riding her bike with typewriter in tow. Reading someone else's story can be almost as transforming as actually doing it. I would love to meet her along the way and tap out a few lines on the beautiful turquoise aqua-blue Remington. Her journey won't come far enough south for me to actually meet her . . . I would drive or walk for miles to thank her for sharing her passion. Instead, I'll enjoy the adventure vicariously through her blog.

Check out the NYT article to see how I heard about this groovy journey. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hope you had some luck with your resolutions over the past two weeks. Personally, I'm glad this is a journey and not a one and done kind of project.  I still have refining to do. :-)

Below is the guide for this week, which is taken directly from Gretchen Rubin's "Starter Kit". My brain needs time to process concepts like this, so I'll be thinking about my "Personal Commandments" tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm sure the refining will evolve over time.

Enjoy the process!!


Topic 2: Personal Commandments
First half of the meeting:
Resolutions report – how is everyone doing?
The entire group, or the group divided into twos and threes, discusses their success in keeping their resolutions since the last meeting. Remember, be specific! Vague generalities like “I saw a lot of movies, and it was great” or “I didn’t do a good job with the walking, I just didn’t find the time” won’t cut it! Ask each other:

  • How often did you manage to stick to your resolution?
  • If you stuck to your resolution, did it make you happier? Do you want to tweak it?
  • If you didn’t stick to it, what got in the way? Do you need to find a different resolution to help you make the change you’re seeking?

Second half of the meeting:
Your “Personal Commandments” are the overarching principles that you want to guide your actions and thoughts.
Activity: write your list of personal commandments. Aim to have more than five but no more than twelve.
For example, my Twelve Commandments are:
My Twelve Commandments:
1. Be Gretchen.
7. Spend out.
2. Let it go.
8. Identify the problem.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
9. Lighten up.
4. Do it now.
10. Do what ought to be done.
5. Be polite and be fair.
11. No calculation.
6. Enjoy the process.
12. There is only love.

What are your Personal Commandments? You can record them online at the Happiness Project Toolbox,  Visit Gretchen Rubin's site to download your own starter kit.