Monday, May 3, 2010

My Happiness Project - the May Plan

It's Happiness Monday! I love My Happiness Project, where I decided to spend a year "finding" happiness with the help of Gretchen Rubin and her awesome book. Check out her website for more information. And buy the book! It's never too late to start your own Happiness Project.

May is for my love, Husband.  Poor guy's had to wait through 4 months to get a month devoted to him.  But that's ok:
  1. It was busy season.
  2. He didn't know what he was missing.
  3. There's a good reason I waited until May.  Read on.
It's our anniversary - we've been married 12 years this month.  It doesn't seem that long in the grand scheme of life, and it actually seems like just yesterday to me.  But if you put into perspective that we've been married for ALL of the school age years, it suddenly seems longer.  And more significant.  Worthy of something major, right?


May's Happiness Resolutions are:
  1. Buy Some Happiness.  I do this every month.  Gretchen spent a month buying happiness, but I decided to spread it out over the year because 1) I don't have unlimited cash and 2) I wanted to tie my buys into each month's theme.  This month's purchase is a trip for JUST US.  It makes me hyperventilate just typing this because it's so close in time now.  It's one thing to talk about it conceptually several months ago.  It's one thing to buy the tickets, reserve the room, get the passports, write out the notes for the children.  All of those "things" have ocurred over many months.   I've never left the kids (unless you count my hospital stay to have Youngest and 2 single over nights where we stayed within an hour of Oldest and were gone for 24 hours) and I'm a little terrified anxious tearful about it.   I know this will be good for us, it's what married couples do on occasion, right?  It just seems so far away and such a long time - 72 hours if you're wondering.  Good thing it's for a very good reason (in addition to the general reason of spending QT with my Swee-ty).  Come back Thursday for what we're doing on our trip. 
  2. Ask for time.  Instead of getting annoyed that he doesn't recognize when I need a break, just ask for the break.  Like right now.  They're at McDonald's having a grand old breakfast together and here I am tippy-typing on the computer in the morning, rather than at midnight.  Now THAT'S something that makes me happy and when Mama's happy . . . you know, everyone is. 
  3. Don't assign tasks - just do them.  Garbage, for example.  Sometimes I let it go for a really long time "just to see" how long it will take him to empty it.  Guess what?  I'm a lot more annoyed on those days than when I just take it out myself.  Really.
  4. Let him recover from busy season.  The guy's been working non-stop, 7 days a week for 3.5 months.  That takes some healing time.  And I need to let him have it instead of thinking of ways for him to give time to us. 
  5. Don't expect change.  Think of a way to live with it or work around it.  But he is who he is.  And in my life, he's fairly chronically late.  When I let it bother me, I get very angry.  When I look at the big picture and all of his awesome qualities, it's really not that big a deal.
  6. Make a list of his best qualities and give it to him
  7. Don't dump my insecurities on him (too much, at least).  This is tough for women, I think.  We need to talk, emote, get it out.  Sometimes we do it too much with our husbands and make them think we're more unhappy than what we are.  It's a balance, though, because some of the important things need to be discussed between a husband and a wife.  But does he NEED to hear every day how much the kids try my nerves from 4-6?  No, he knows.  And it starts to sound like I'm blaming him for not being here when I go on forever about it.  They're kids.  It's a tough time of day for them.  I'm not a bad mother for feeling exasperated by their antics during that time, so I need not emote about it to him incessantly. 
  8. Besides our trip, have 3 "just us" dates nights.  When Oldest was little (less than 3), we used to have date night every Saturday - with just the two of us.  Life has crept in on us in the last 5 years and now it's hard to get time to ourselves - there always seems to be a pre-arranged function to attend these days.  These are fine and important too, but we don't bond at them and it's important that we do.  We're both busy people, we need to keep our connections strong. 
So there you have it.  Feel free to mock me about my fear over leaving my kids.  I've been getting a lot of double takes when I share it's my first time. 

The truth is, though, I can't even remember what life was like before kids - lazy weekend days with nothing to do and actually being bored.  And while I sometimes want to get off the merry-go-round for a breather, most of the time I cherish this busy, busy life.  It's not going to last forever. 

There will come a day when we have only each other and our memories of these years.  It's important to keep our connections strong now so that we DO still like hanging around each other when the kids have gone.
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