Happiness is…

Normally, I wouldn’t spend much time coming up with resolutions for the new year. My new year usually started on my birthday. For some reason, in my head, it’s easier for me to recognize the sign of a “new year” as the changing of my age. This makes sense, I’m sure, but while everyone else was starting a new year, I was focusing on the end of my very own.

Starting resolutions in January seemed so daunting. Knowing the statistics surrounding unkept resolutions you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure. You can almost see the traditional goals swirling around above, thick in the air, “This will be the year I start eating better. The year I start an exercise routine. The year I start a hobby, find a job I love, cook more, blah, blah, blah.” Anyway you slice it, January usually isn’t the best time to start these resolutions, because it’s not realistic. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean things will magically change or get better. I think, because I have such a hard time sticking to goals, starting resolutions privately and not on the same day billions of other people are starting theirs, made me somehow think I’d be able to stick to them better. I’m surprised it has taken so many years for me to realize that it’s not working that way either.

I bought The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as soon as it came out last year after reading Gretchen’s blog on a semi-regular basis. The point of the project was for her to become a happier person, not from a depressed state-of-mind but from a normal, everyday, “I’m happy but I could be happier” state-of-mind, something I think every single person could benefit from. I, myself, being a generally happy, many times overly happy, person, found I could really use this book right now. Lately, work has been a struggle, especially some of the personalities that I am required to deal with on a daily basis. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve let others’ moods affect my own, negatively. I’m tired of it. It adds much more stress than I need and it’s not fun to be around or make for a very fun work environment. It’s also starting to affect how I act when I get home. My patience grows very thin throughout the day and when I get home I’m surprised if there is any left. Then my frustration grows because not able to get as much stuff done at home because I feel like I haven’t had any time to myself all day! It’s a vicious cycle. Anyway, this only started becoming an issue recently, probably because things aren’t getting any better. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do other than change my own attitude towards everything. My pride gets in the way of this a bit because I’m not a huge fan of giving my full consent to someone to walk all over me. (I also have a hard time knowing when to keep my mouth shut!) Granted I do think it takes a bigger person to turn the other cheek. How many times can it get slapped, though, is the question.

So, what comes to mind as I think about things I’d like to change in my own life to take more control of my happiness are the following lists:

Things I need more of…

  1. Meditation
  2. Sleep
  3. Exercise
  4. Patience

Things I need less of…

  1. Unhealthy food
  2. Negativity
  3. Unnecessary stress
  4. Craziness

There are plenty more that should be on both of those lists but that’s a good start.

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