So I started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin over the holidays. I’m quite a sucker for self-help books and those novels that have these moral-of-the story realizations. To be honest I can totally relate with Gretchen (naaaaks close kami?!) I am not depressed nor am I unhappy. I feel like I am exactly where I want to be or at least where I envisioned myself five years ago. It’s just that I know I can do better or I know I have the potential to be happier without sacrificing what I have now and without doing the whole Eat-Pray-Love stint in my life.
What is happiness? Have you ever asked yourself what truly makes you happy? When I was young, single and carefree my notion of happiness is to be independent and to explore and see the world. To travel and to experience life in different cultures, immerse myself with knowledge just because and surround myself with people that are wealthy of such wisdom. I guess it’s the generalization of happiness just like love that keeps our expectations far from reality. All that mushy, romantic gestures we often see in the movies makes us wish we have that in real life. Same goes with happiness, the idea of being happy includes all things fun and spontaneous. But that’s not always the case. If there’s one thing I’ve learned growing up it is that we make our own reality and that we are responsible for our own happiness.
My happiness is my family. Yes, walang halong chozzz toh. I love being a mom and a stay-at-home hands-on mom to be exact. I’m glad I get to see my kids grow and be with them whenever they call “Mommy” (well for lil’ Mr. GJG, it’s just crying). I like the feeling of being needed and the fact that they prefer me instead of their yaya. I am happy. I have no regrets trading off my not-so-glamorous work as a full time model or my would’ve been flight attendant/advertising career. Graduating Cum Laude in College wasn’t a big deal for me and what I’ve learned is definitely not put to waste. I never felt sorry for not pursuing my dreams. I realized those aren’t mine but are dreams of the people around me for me (family, parents, friends perhaps) or even strangers who know me from a distance. They’ve been silently wishing I’ve utilized my knowledge, skills and talents when in fact I am using them everyday.
What’s keeping me to fully acknowledge and attain my happiness is the everyday little things.They creep up on me every single day and when accumulated can actually drown me causing stress and anxiety. That’s why I started my own happiness project so that despite having a cranky morning, dealing with horrible traffic and the other small things that when dealt badly can turn into big nasty things I can still manage to be happy.
I’m documenting my happiness project for everyone to see. It’s a twelve-month project that can help me maximize or improve my happiness. If you’re too caught up with work or other important things that you cannot read the book then feel free to join me as we create our happiness project together. Disclaimer: I summarize each month based on my understanding. Join me at your own risk.
January is devoted to BOOST ENERGY.
If you’re starting your own happiness project you must have the energy to be truly happy and in order to have the energy, you must do the the following:
Go to sleep earlier.
Toss, restore, organize.
Tackle a nagging task.
Act more energetic.
As nocturnal as I am I try to go to sleep early or at least just try and have 7-8 hours of sleep. This maybe challenging most especially for moms like me. My lil’ Mr. GJG sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night to feed so I have an intermission and most of the time ideas come pouring at night. I’m so nocturnal so this is a challenge. What I do though if I cannot commit to sleeping early every night is I make up for it on weekends or take power naps in between the day. Sleep if you can.
Exercising is the least task that I put time into but I’m making an effort to hit the gym at least twice a week, one on a weekday and one on a weekend. But if I cannot commit, I just do yoga at home and crunches for at least 30-minutes just so I can work out. This I have to make as a hobby.
My heart rate even before I started running, so out of shape. LOL
Color-blocking for more inspiration to sweat it out.
I’ve been on a cleaning frenzy even before the new year arrived. Every nook and cranny in our house was spotless because we did some major cleaning before 2012 ended. It’s sort of my tradition to have the house spotless before the new year comes. It’s therapeutic knowing whenever you open any cabinets the items inside are neatly placed. Same goes with my shoe cabinet and closet. Got rid of those I don’t use to give way for new ones.
If you forgot you have a piece of clothing in your closet, throw it away or give it to someone you know will use it. It’s a waste to keep it in your closet if you have no plans of wearing it no matter how pretty or how you got it on sale.
Acting more energetic is something I’ve somehow mastered. When you have a toddler who is very much hyper you can’t help but be influenced or at least make an effort to level up to her energy. Plus, coffee helps too you know?
The last of the list is to tackle a nagging task and my nagging task is to arrange our digital photos, choose a bunch and have them printed plus layout lil’ Ms. GJG’s 1st birthday photos and have them printed in a book. I know it seems easy but believe me for someone who loves taking photos I have to sift through thousands of photos dating from 2008! 4 years worth of photos that includes milestones of two kids, celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases and New Years. Good luck to me! I haven’t started but I promise to sit down and start doing it before January ends. After all, I cannot move to February if I haven’t finished my January to dos.
Here’s to our happiness project!