Monday, February 8, 2010

Happiness took a hit last week

Monday is Happiness Project Day - inspired by Gretchen Rubin, her book and website called the Happiness Project.  Not only do I recommend her book, but I love her blog as well.  Very inspiring.

As today's titles suggests, I hit some bumps, struggled  failed miserably for parts of last week.  There were a couple of days where I would literally snarl with rage over challenges I faced.  Challenges that were legitimately frustrating, but I'd handled similar situations in January just fine, so what gave out last week?  Examples include:
  1. The Puppy's continued house training accidents.
  2. Youngest not napping enough, or at all.
  3. Youngest not eating or drinking to the point of "near dehydration."  Funny how fear can manifest as rage, isn't it?
  4. Having a long, difficult decision making meeting, where some people left unhappy.
  5. Oldest having to stay home from school sick on the first day I had to myself get "stuff" done.
So if these are issues I handled just fine last month, why did I give way to unhappiness last week?  The answer, in retrospect, is easy.  I put aside at least 4 of Missy's Maxims and allowed myself to get swept away by fear, resentment, frustration and fatigue.  I broke these:
  1. Proactive, not reactive.
  2. BE in the moment.
  3. STAR - Stop, Think, Act Right.
  4. Practice patience.
I can cut myself a little slack (remembering my maxim to strive for betterment, not perfection) and recognize that really sick kids are stressful, not getting anything accomplished in your life for almost a week is really stressful and the world continuing to operate regardless of your need to STOP for awhile is stressful as well.

For a few nights I went to bed saying, "Please let tomorrow be better."  Then it wasn't (worse actually) and I felt more and more helpless with my escalating reactions to life's general annoyances.  Until Wednesday night, when I went to bed saying, "Tomorrow WILL be better.  I am the one who can make it so."  And . . . it was.  Considerably.  

I learned a couple of things about myself this week, integral to my happiness for this project:
  1. When I'm not accomplishing, I get increasingly frustrated and angry until I can "right" it.
  2. Being proactive, rather than reactive, might be the single most important maxim on my list.  
One final note.  Some of you may (or may not!) be wondering how I "scored" in January's resolutions.  Out of 31 days:
  1. Food diary and exercise - I kept the food diary 29/31 days and I averaged 5 days per week on exercising.  I lost 9 pounds.  Met that goal splendidly.  We were also supposed to eat in 4x/week and we did, which is a little boring, but does save money.
  2. Skin care nightly - I did this 23/31 times.  Pretty good.
  3. Putting the dishes in the dishwasher nightly - 28/31 times - score!
  4. IBBE - In bed by eleven nightly - 20/31 times.  Definitely needs improvement - because I'm still tired!  For February I've moved the bedtime back to 10:45pm nightly.  Ugh.  
So that's January.  How did you do?   

And let me know - what do you do when you get off track - when you allow life to control you, rather than controlling your response to life?  

Here's to a happier week for all!  

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