Bleeding Themes [Happiness Project]

posted in: Wholehearted Living | 0

This month (month two) of my Happiness Project, I discovered I have bleeding themes.

Sounds gory and scary, be reassured, it isn’t. A poor choice of words on my part to explain a phenomenon which occurs more often than not.

Let me explain.

When I first read the book, The Happiness Project, the author had nicely arranged her the themes by month. One subject per month; clean, organized, practical, and the makings of a great book.

Since I was copying Gretchen Rubin‘s idea (the author) for my Happiness Project, it seemed logical to implement her method.


One Theme Per Month

While I hadn’t fully planned my one theme per month calendar when I started my experiment, I had a good idea what my themes were for the first six months.

However, I quickly discovered that while the one theme per month was a great course of action for Gretchen Rubin, it wasn’t so great for Florence. You can read more about how I arrived at this conclusion in the following blog post: Picking my New Happiness Project Theme.

For November, I settled on multiple themes with a few action steps.

Let me preface by saying I am thrilled with my choice of working on multiple themes at one time, I nevertheless still encountered a new problem.


My Problem: Bleeding Themes

Let me further explain my poorly coined term of bleeding themes.

While I have decided upon about four themes and one to four small action steps per theme, I find myself wanting to incorporate some non-related action steps – or other subjects – into my ongoing month.

Bleeding refers to the “slipping” of extra-curricular action steps into my current plan. Kinda like when you miss a red sock in your load of whites when doing laundry.

Let me give a more pertinent example: children.


Bleeding Themes



“Children” is one of my central themes with multiple actions steps. As a matter of fact, along with marriage, this is my most significant theme.  For this reason, I was planning on working on this issue over the course of many months.

For November, I had decided to concentrate on the kids who live at home especially my youngests (twins) and my special needs child. However, I keep “slipping up.”

I have done so with just about every theme.

I do try to tell myself this is not what I agreed to work on, that there are still many months (as in 10) to work on other action steps, that I can only do so much, that humans work best when they concentrate on one task. Blah blah blah. To no avail.

It’s no use.

I also tell myself that life is short, so why put off until tomorrow what I can do today?

While I admire people who stick to one task and methodically proceed with their plan. Individuals who are clear, concise, disciplined and thorough. It appears that while on this project, I embody none of these qualities.

I am definitely more random and bouncy than disciplined and methodical.


My State of Being

Don’t get me wrong, Being random isn’t all bad. There is a flip side to everything, the proverbial “the other side of the coin” statement. Methodical can turn into unbending. Disciplined can turn into perfectionism.

On the other hand, a quality like randomness, which could first appear on the surface as being negative, can transform into flexible. Random can be a strength as readily as concise can become a weakness.

I am very creative. I bubble with ideas and excitement. I often joke that when I have new ideas my brain fizzes.

It’s the harnessing of that energy I have a hard time controlling.


No Big Deal

As I write this post, I have just uncovered something of value.

So what if my themes bleed?

What’s the big deal?

No one harmed.

I am spreading kindness and enjoying more happiness.

I feel energized with more aliveness.

I am happy, and if not, I now know I have the power as well as the ability to do something about it.

Instead of collecting problems, I find solutions.

I have goals, and I am meeting them albeit in – sometimes – an unorganized fashion.

So what, if sometimes I cross over a self-imposed line?

Big deal!


I seize the moment, that’s good, right?

YES, it is VERY good.

And, additionally, it makes me HAPPY!


Nourishing Action Steps

I started this post thinking I had a problem: bleeding themes.

I now realized I was wrong.

Instead, I have discovered a way to nourish myself – as well as others –  in body, mind, and spirit which I might add, is the whole purpose of this website in the first place. Upon making this unexpected discovery, don’t mind me if I smile, pat myself on the back, and celebrate.

Have a great day!


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