Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life is a song.

So, as most of you know, I am always trying to be happier. I resolve, and I strive, and I talk, and I write about it. As my old pal Scotticus would say, I'm a human DO-ING as opposed to a human be-ing.

Yesterday I started out my morning a little disgruntled that I had a 3-hour flight, a 3-hour layover (which eventually grew into a 5-hour layover), and another 3-hour flight. Especially since some dude spilled coffee on my clean jeans mere MOMENTS before I walked out of the hotel, and then I got saddled with a chatty taxi-driver (one of life's greatest pet peeves). Anyway, once I checked in, I checked myself, and remembered how much I love to read, and that I hardly ever get to, and that 2 flights are the PERFECT opportunity to read without interruption, in fact, pretty much, without even stretching my legs. So I stopped at the airport bookstore to buy "The Help," which I have been wanting to read forever (and so far, is wonderful). While I was there I noticed a brightly colored non-fiction book called The Happiness Project.

I mean, honestly. This woman practically wrote this book for me. I ADORE projects!! She took a year (much like AJ Jacobs, Julie Powell, and Barbara Kingsolver) and determined how to make her life happier. She made an important distinction that she was not unhappy. She was not moving away from depression. She just wanted to make sure that life wasn't slipping by unnoticed. She wanted to make sure she was gleaning every ounce of joy out of the time she has been given. After all, not everyone can overcome ennui with a year of eating/praying/loving. Some of us just need to focus on the happy a little more. It shouldn't take an epic event to change your outlook on life.

She uses a lot of quotes and statistics-- I mean, really a girl after my own heart-- and one of them was Friedrich Nietzsche: The end of a melody is not its goal; but nonetheless, if the melody had not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either.

To me, that translates to LIFE IS A SONG. Some parts are better-- the catchy chorus you like to sing over and over. Some parts are tricky, that bit in the 2nd verse where you can never remember the words, or that one high note you can't JUST HIT. But it's a journey, and it ain't over till it's over, and I'm going to enjoy the hell of it while I'm here.

She focused on one area a month, and gave herself mini-objectives with each goal. She urges you to make your own goals, as everyone is different. I've picked 12 as well, but that was sort of a coincidence. I'm not putting time constraints on myself like she did, but that's OK. It's my project now. I'll go through them as I go through them. Here are my darling dozen:

  • health
  • wealth
  • home
  • friends
  • family
  • love
  • wisdom
  • knowledge
  • career
  • hobbies
  • beauty
  • positivity
I found the book to be very motivating, and full of good tips that can actually be followed, not just clouds of inspiration like "put positivity out in the universe and you will get it back." I mean, I believe that, in a way, but... HOW? Her tips range from the obvious (get more sleep), to the should-be-obvious (identify the problem), to the brilliant (never, ever put off a task that will take you less than 60 seconds; it will nag at you much longer than that), to seemingly sensible but not really pertinent to my life at the moment (don't use NO words with your kids; answer "can I go play?" with "yes, once you've finished all your chores" rather than "no! you haven't done any of your chores yet!").

I will be starting with the most very basic level-- health, and I'll be starting it on Tuesday morning when I get home from this trip. I hope you lovely readers enjoy my journey, and will all still be reading when I get to friends, which clearly include those of you who for all intents and purposes live inside my computer.


Anonymous krysten said...

i love this.

April 13, 2011 6:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

ditto what krysten said. please keep us updated as you progress.

April 14, 2011 7:59 AM  
Anonymous marci said...

yay :)
and I also love your 2011 clean slate cork board. such a good idea-- I stress out from clutter on the fridge that seems to accumulate there... now those happy things will have a home!

April 17, 2011 8:36 AM  

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