Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Resolutions...

One of my resolutions should be my physical appearance.  I need clothes that will make me look prettier.  The too big tshirt/jeans combo isn't working, even for my life as a stay at home mom.  It works on occasion, but it's getting tired day after day.

I also need to figure out a new morning routine that will incorporate some makeup to make me look more presentable.

Finally, part of this and another goal is to take better care of my health.  Each of us has but one body, and going to the gym and eating healthy are a priority.  In addition, doing so will make me feel better about myself AND make me feel prettier.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another quote

"I believe, that love is the answer.  I believe, that love will find the way."
--Blessid Union of Souls

Quotes

  • Without hope men are only half alive.  With hope they dream and think and work.  --Charles Sawyer
  • The important thing is not that we can live on hope alone, but that life is not worth living without it.  --Harvey Milk
  • We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.  --John F Kennedy
  • Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.  --Dale Carnegie
  • If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.  And so today I still have a dream.  --Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.  --Geena Davis
  • Take chances, make mistakes.  That's how you grow.  Pain nourishes your courage.  You have to fail in order to practice being brave.  --Mary Tyler Moore
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  --Robert Frost
  • You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover is yourself.  --Alan Alda
  • Be bold.  If you're going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball.  --Billie Jean King

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun

So I read that Gretchen chose to celebrate a passion in September.  One thing she and her blog readers suggested was to think about what was fun for you as a kid and that's probably something fun for you now.

  • Reading.  Save my hectic college years, I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember.
  • Band.  I enjoyed being in the band, though I didn't really so much love practicing my instrument.  But I loved being surrounded by likeminded people frequently.
  • Entertaining.  Not so much something from my childhood, but I love having a house full of people.
  • Baking.  Again, not so much from my childhood, but I love taking the time to bake.



On a different note, one thing mentioned in The Happiness Project is that sometimes there are things that need to be done (like cleaning) that maybe just maybe have to come second for something that makes you happy.  This came up on the iPod this morning:


It refers, of course, to the dichotomy between taking care of yourself and taking care of the important things.

Of course, if I spent less time playing Bejeweled on facebook, I'd have more time for fun AND for the important things....

This is tough.

We had a rough night in these parts.  Baby went to sleep very quickly, but then woke at 2, 3, 4, 5, 5:30, before I just got him up at 5:45.  It's hard to be positive, look on the bright side, and be motivated to do stuff when I'm feeling so frustrated and exhausted (because of course, I stayed up too late last night too).  It's hard for me, while going through that to not keep score, "Well, I got up with him this many times and HE'S only gotten up that many times," never mind that HE has to get up for work in an hour.

But, that's part of the point of this project--to get over myself and to be more supportive of my family.

I just hope that by committing to it, I can get rid of the nagging voice in my head that says, "What about ME??"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gratitude

I am home alone with the boys this morning.  Everyone was getting antsy, so we decided to go for a walk to the park.  The process of getting out the door took FOREVER by the time we put on socks and shoes, went potty, got on sunblock, etc etc etc.  By this point, the baby was screaming because I had to put him down in his swing... I hoped that getting outside would calm him/get him to sleep.

We walked to the end of the street and I took one look at him.  This poor, exhausted child.

It appears I've been successful at my September goal of getting him to nap in his crib, but it makes things difficult on the weekend. 

It appears that I'm ungrateful for achieving my own goal!  How ridiculous can I possibly be!?! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Balance

I'm highly confident that making myself happy means moving.  I want to move about 30-60 minutes southeast of where we now live, in the same state.  It never occurred to me, when we bought this house, that loving the house and loving the area in which the house rests are two very different things. 

My husband and I have talked about moving.  He's OFFERED for us to move.

Key to his happiness is his work.  My husband LOVES his work; he doesn't dread Mondays, gets up with vim and vigor, talks about his work, thinks about his work... all the indicators that someone is happy is what he is.

We are in a climate where it's not a great time to be a teacher in the state of NJ.  Finding a new job is difficult because so many have lost their jobs.  Finding the promotion my husband is desperate for is proving to be difficult too. 

The jobs are where we live now and farther north.  Moving 30 minutes away from here would mean his current job is 55 minutes away. 

So, how does one balance her own happiness with that of her husband?  Especially when what brings him happiness is what brings home the proverbial bacon?  It makes me so sad and frustrated to know that not only will we not be moving within two years, but that we also will probably not be moving ever.  (I've been called a black and white girl, that there are no shades of gray.  I don't know how true that is, but I do have a hard time seeing how things can change in this regard.)

GNP

There's a man I knew in my college years, who passed a few weeks ago.  He was such a positive force in so many peoples' lives, and he was known for his "starred thoughts."  There's an event in his honor today, and the event page listed many of his starred thoughts.  They're great and an inspiration:

"What is wrong with the world? There's not enough clapping."
"Work harder to create a better environment."
"Never miss an opportunity to be nice."
"You're at your best when things are at their worst."
"Work smarter not harder."
"Don't waste time on the stupid things."
"Set a goal; then reach it."
"Always set the bar a little higher."
"Don't quit when things are difficult."
"Success needs a great attitude."
"Every time you don't do something because you're afraid of failure, you failed."
"If you give less than 100%, everyone around you will suffer."
"Appreciate what you have.

No day but today.

I didn't write a post yesterday, though I definitely wrote on in my head many times.  So, today's post will be a jumble of today's thoughts and yesterday's.

  • Billy Joel--"This is the time to remember, cause it will not last forever."
  • In The Happiness Project book, one of her readers wrote a comment about depression.  Am I depressed?  Is that my problem?  Or am I just dissatisfied?  Is there a difference?
  • I'm not so much into prayer or, really, much about religion at all, but yet, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference."
On sarcasm.  It seems that snark is pervading our culture.  A google search "snark blog" yields more than 800,000 results.  Sarcasm is a way of life for us here in NJ, and my sarcastic sense of humor has formed the core of who I think myself to be.  But should it?  It's certainly not nice.  This morning, as I changed a gross diaper, I thought back to when my older son was the same age.  I joked, "I'm not feeding him solids until he's potty trained."  Maybe this isn't the nastiest thing in the whole world, but it definitely shows something about my character that maybe I don't want to be there. 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 

But then, if I don't have a sarcastic wit, can I still be funny?  Is it even possible to refrain from being so sarcastic?




    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Building my goals

    As I read and ponder Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, things are popping into my head. I know these will help me to form my own resolutions and goals for my own project. Many of them are going to be the same as hers--the more I read, there are more and more ways that I am like her. But yet, my life is still very different, so of course my project will go in a different direction.

    I'm not yet sure whether this will be a maternity leave project (which will go until September 2011, when I return to work...at this point, that gives me 12 months), a 2011 project, or a "my 33rd year on the earth" project. Nevertheless, here are some things that have popped into my mind.

    • While I am a fairly clean person, I am not at all a neat person. I live with a man who is also not a neat person, though we are each better at some things than others. Many times, he does not do his chores and it drives me nuts--perhaps I should instead be in charge of those things? Though, then I get yelled at for not letting him do anything. How can I figure out a way for us to mesh better so that my desire for a clean sink meshes with his not doing the dishes by the time we go to bed? How can I stop this from making me angry and resentful either because it's not done, I hate the dirty sink, and it makes it more difficult for me to cook or because I'm doing it even though it's not on my list of things to do?
    • I am home with a small boy, who is many times very needy. This makes it difficult for me to get things done around the house and just take some down time. How to resolve these competing needs/desires? How do I just "Get er done"?
    • Similarly, how can I find a balance between my desires to spend time with my boys, my parents, my friends, keep a clean house, go to the gym, have some fun, and not need to go to work just to pay for it all?
    • How to find a place for everything?
    • I too often overschedule. I need to better use my calendar and more importantly, learn to say NO. Too often, I have to cancel a plan because I didn't check that I already HAD plans. Too often, I am running from activity 1 to activity 2, getting frustrated with someone (of course, never me), all because I put too many things in one day.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    September's Challenge, Be More Affectionate

    So, I'm supposed to be more affectionate this month.

    At first glance, I think this will be tough--I hugs my three boys all the time. But then I read the article; hugs should be 20 seconds minimum. We definitely could use more cuddle time around here--more Mommy and Daddy cuddle while watching tv instead of both of us on our laptops, playing Bejeweled Blitz. As far as my preschooler, it's tough--he just wants to run all the time! I get lots of cuddle time with the baby, so that's easy!

    So my goal for this month is to give a minimum of five hugs a day!

    Passion

    I know I used to be passionate. I had lots of things that brought me joy. Now, I feel like my life is so mundane, that every day is so much like the day before. I live for my family, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

    I'm reading a book called The Happiness Project, which I had first heard about in one of my womens' magazines. In her intro, the author writes, "I wasn't depressed and I wasn't having a midlife crisis, but I was suffering from midlife malaise--a recurrent sense of discontent and almost a feeling of disbelief. "Can this be me?" I'd wonder..."

    I know this all comes from my lack of friends. I lament my/our lack of friends to my husband often, to which he replies that we have lots of friends. We're both right. See, our friends are ALL far away. I think our nearest friend lives 30 minutes away, which doesn't make hanging out especially easy. Combine this with everyone's lives being so damn busy, and we sit at home most weekend evenings.

    So, what's the solution? I'm hoping Gretchen Rubin knows. I'm not done with her intro, but it sounds like she's so much like me that perhaps she has some hope for me. Maybe she can point me in the direction of finding some friends? Maybe even some friends with whom I can talk about things other than the kids? Maybe she can help me to find something to be passionate about, and maybe even how to have the energy to do something about it?

    So, this is my goal--to read the book and to follow her advice. I'm going to read the book this week, and track my progress here.

    Resources:

    Women's Day Magazine Happiness Project
    Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project Toolbox