As February comes to a close today, it is also the end of the first month of My Happiness Project. I worked on having a more positive attitude and feeling thankful for the good things in my life. I feel like I made progress with each of my concrete steps:
Laugh at myself. This one was difficult at the beginning. My natural tendency is to get angry and frustrated over small, silly things. But that’s not the person I want to be. As the month went on, it was easier to remember in the heat of the moment to “laugh at myself.” I think this one will stick with me (hopefully) for awhile. It’s a great mantra to have- just remembering the fact that life is so precious, you shouldn’t waste time getting upset about little things like dropping an egg on the floor. I also like how this personal happiness task of mine ended up having added benefits for my daughter. Now she doesn’t see a mom who yells and curses if something doesn’t go right…we laugh about it together and then move on.
Drive calmly. I have gotten way better at this! I’m very proud of how I now drive in a calm state of mind. Just starting out in that mindset enables me to not freak out when the driver in front of me turns into a parking lot without using his blinker (my pet peeve). I used to be a crazy beeper, honking at people for the blinker thing, going too slow, or anything I felt was incorrect. Just today, I was behind a driver who didn’t make a move when the light turned green. I waited a respectable three seconds and then gently tapped on my horn to alert him to the light change. It was really very polite of me. I was saving him from the mean honks that were surely about to come from the people behind us!
Use good manners. I had to think about this one. Probably of all the action steps I chose for February, this one made the least impact on me. I don’t think I have atrocious manners to begin with, so I’m not even sure why I picked this. I did try to be nicer to my husband in the moments when I didn’t feel like being nice. I cut him slack if he came home late from work and tried not to nag about dumb things…like leaving his dirty clothes on the floor, not putting his dishes in the dishwasher, etc. (Instead of nagging him, I’ll just list my grievances with him here, in this public forum.) So I guess I succeeded at this one, but it’s still a work in progress.
Be nice to my dog. Another hard one for me. As I write this, Toby (my dog) is laying peacefully on his bed in the den. He stares at me with eyes that say, “Love me, Mommy.” So I feel bad even admitting that I am a bitch to him sometimes, but I am. He can be a challenging dog. He is big, high-energy, and anxious. He also has this annoying habit of settling down on the floor right behind where I am standing. So I turn around and trip over him. Or it will be nighttime and I’m stepping out of the bathroom after giving Lilly a bath, and who’s there right outside the door? Toby, again waiting to trip me. I am conscious now of when I am getting upset with him, so it’s easier to stop. Also, reading my friend Sarah’s post about her love for her dog made me appreciate mine more. (Thanks, Sarah!)
Journal of happy. My intention was to chronicle a happy moment each day, but I often forgot. Instead of beating myself up when I realized I’d gone six days without writing in my little book, I decided to try instead to just jot a happy moment down when the mood struck me. Better than nothing! Otherwise, I found myself staring at the journal at night trying to remember something cute Lilly did that day. So even though I didn’t stick to my plan of writing something each day, I still have a nice collection of ten happy memories from February that I will treasure forever.
So am I happier now than I was when I started this project? I would have to say yes. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I definitely have felt calmer and more easygoing lately…two things that greatly contribute to the happiness within myself and within my household.
I am glad this month’s challenge is over, and I’m looking forward to starting new happiness challenges tomorrow. My March focus will be Money. Yikes!
How about you- has anyone kept their New Year’s Resolutions so far this year?