My February happiness project summary is a bit overdue. Strangely enough, I am having a hard time reflecting back as the months blend into one another. For me, this project has become very dynamic and organic.
While Gretchen Rubin — the author of The Happiness Project — was very organized and methodical. Ostensibly, she is everything I am not. My approach is closer to the “fly-by-the-seat-your-pants” method.
My action steps are often incorporated mid-month, while others are discarded, and yet others morph into something else. While this approach may appear completely random, it works well for me. My commitment to this project has remained unchanged and over time, this experiment has become my own. I have found that more than organized themes and action steps, it is mindfulness which has been the life changer for me.
Instead of sticking to pre-defined parameters and become a copycat, my Happiness Project very much reflect Florence and this is also what makes writing a summary a bit more of a convoluted task.
February Happiness Project Summary
I imagine that few partners possess identical love languages. While this can be an obstacle — and it was for me for a while — it does not have to be so.
Yes, there is a tendency to think “if he loved me, he would make an effort to speak my love language.” Maybe this is true, but mostly it is not. We do come wired a very specific way and communicating love comes more easily in some ways rather than others.
While, I believe we should make an effort to speak our mates’ love languages, focusing solely on the delivery system can make us miss the message.
I feel I have been vastly successful at seeing and accepting hubs acts of love at face value even if they are not expressed in primary love language (for more information on The Love Languages, I would advise you read the book).
I am much happier accepting what is rather than focusing on what is not.
This action step involved not saying “sorry” for events not of my doing. For instance, a tire blew while we were on the highway. In the past, it was customary for me to exclaim “sorry!” This apology was not an “I’m sorry this happened” but instead a “sorry-I-should-have-stopped-this-somehow.”
Silly and sad bordering on the pathetic. Nonetheless, this was a habit I picked up in childhood and which I honed over decades. It was an apology as if I must apologize for my very existence.
I no longer wish to apologize for being here nor for who I am.
I was mindful of this habit even though sometimes it was only after I had uttered the forbidden words. However, I see awareness as the first step toward lasting change.
February was the second month I intended to make a family dinner so that we could gather together around a meal as a family. I was unsuccessful the previous month and I gave up this goal before a week had gone by in February.
While for most families breakfast is the chaotic meal of the day, this is not the case for us. It is at dinner time that my kids have a chance to socialize with their friends and participate in other activities. It is also the time I run out of steam and get lazy.
I had a stroke of genius and scrapped the dinner idea and decided to focus on breakfast instead.
This new focus has been widely successful for which I am so grateful. There is also a bonus to changing course: my eldest son, his wife and their children have joined us every week. Moreover, they often hang around and we get to spend time as a family.
I vary the dishes I serve weekly although there always seems to be an egg dish, some meat, and a sweet treat. I intend to share some of my new found recipes at some point.
This theme has been a hard one for me. Therefore my goal for February was simply to determine my true goal for this conflicted area of my life.
On one hand, I would call myself friend deprived. This is not to mean I do not have friends because that is not the case. What I mean is that this theme is a neglected aspect of my life.
On the other hand, I do not have a huge desire to expand a massive amount of energy on this theme. Allow me to share my reasons for these feelings:
- I have a finite amount of time and energy.
- My desire is to focus my energy on these relationships: my husband, our children and their spouses, my grandchildren, the friends I already have, and last but not least, myself (this include my spiritual life).
- Lastly, I have made a commitment to some clients to give them some of my time.
For these reasons, I no longer intend to add more “friends” to my already full plate. If I make new acquaintances organically, that’s wonderful. I no longer contemplate action steps which will cause me to actively pursue making new friends nor in spending more time with current ones. This decision is not for a lack of desire but instead, it comes from an awareness of my limits.
My best friend and I have continued to write letters — as in snail mail — which has been really fun.
I have come to the realization that since I work from home, I do have a lot of unscheduled time. My problem is that I do not have enough me-time scheduled. A lack I intend to correct.