A few weeks ago, I was in a major funk and rather than spend $250 on a therapist, I turned instead to my Kindle (which is currently on sale for $189, I might add). And thankfully, in about one minute, I found the prescription I needed to make me smile again.
The bestseller I decided to crack open was “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. Rubin, a former lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-author, sets off on a 12-month journey in which she tackles one happiness project after another. From de-cluttering her home, to refraining from gossiping, to finding time to put exercise back into her life, to writing a novel in one month (now that I’ve got to try), to doing the things she loved when she was 10 years old, Gretchen Rubin’s book managed to help me get through my recent rough patch while inspiring me to try things I haven’t done in a really long time.
Now that I’ve finished reading the book, I decided to embark on a few happiness projects of my own. And while I do believe that de-clutter should be on my list, too, for some reason, going through my mail, my closets and the basement doesn’t make me happy; it just gets me overwhelmed.
I will, however, enroll in a creative writing class. I’ve always loved storytelling and would like to try to write a novel. Most likely, this will be a young adult novel since my vocabulary is about as strong as a fifth grader’s, but either way, I’m definitely going to look into a class that will encourage me to take my love of writing to the next level.
I’ve also applied for a musical theater workshop at the BMI Music Publishing House (I have aspirations of becoming a lyricist). I have no idea if I’ll be accepted (sent them several of my favorite song parodies), but my feeling is this: nothing ventured, nothing gained! I will keep you posted if that one actually happens.
I am determined to lose weight. OK. That’s more like a New Year’s resolution, but I’m currently reading “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” and am hoping that if my brain makes better choices, my body will be much better for it!
I want to take lots of amazing vacations with my family. Or maybe just one really fun vacation where we make tons of memories, take lots of pictures and relax!
I want to sleep more, selfishly because they say that the more you sleep, the better it is for your metabolism. And I want to get back to doing what I loved before I had kids. (I already do the things I loved when I was 10 — singing when no one is around). I actually did take up one sport that I used to love sans kids… rollerblading.
In the early ’90s, I used to rollerblade in Central Park every evening after work and on weekends and come to think of it, I looked pretty damn good back then. So this past Sunday, I strapped on my blades and panted all the way down Pinebrook Blvd., passing cars and exhaust fumes in my wake. While I survived my first outing, this morning’s adventure was not as successful. While blading along the road, listening to “Escape” (I was tired of my lady, we’ve been together too long), I must have slipped on a twig and the next thing I knew, I went crashing into the ground — along with my iPhone — which, incidentally, now has a cracked screen (guess it’s time for an iPhone 4G then). Anyway, I decided to cross the street and blade back home and a friend saw me puffing along the side of the road and asked me if I wanted a ride. I declined and huffed it all the way back to my house (which sits on an incredibly steep hill, I might add).
Something tells me that even though rollerblading made me happy when I was 22, it might not make me so happy right about now — especially since I need to cough over some cash to fix my phone. Maybe I just need to invest in a new pair of blades or should pick a better route the next time I hit the open road.
Either way, I’m working out my happiness projects one assignment at a time. How about you? Have any happiness projects you’d like to tackle?