Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Happiness Project

A very good friend gifted me The Happiness Project.
I think I've heard of it and I'm excited to read the book.
Kate thought we could read it together and discuss.
I wanted to start an ongoing list of books read this year anyway. What better way to start the year than with this book.

I've read the introduction.
I'm excited.
I need get "me" back - the outgoing, bubbly, happy, helpful, passionate, caring, etc person. Not the timid, squashed, frustrated, angry, nervous, jaded, etc person.

So Happiness Project.

The first paragraph of the introduction says:

A "happiness project" is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolution, when you identify concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions."

This seems helpful and appropriate for New Year's Day.

Identify joyful, satisfying, and engaging aspects of life:

farming (the daily rhythm of it, being outside, harvesting, caring and tending for living things)

reading (nonfiction, fiction, periodicals)


feeling heard and validated

spending time with friends and family who share similar life values and goals

cooking (mostly baking)


spending time at home

Identify guilty, angry, boring, remorseful aspects of life:

feeling unsettled, unmoored, purposeless

feeling unheard

not spending "enough" time with our children, giving them undivided attention

thinking that others expectations take precedence over my own of my life, taking others suggestions too seriously

Concrete Measurable Resolutions:

- move to our farm
- permit myself time to spend with children, ignoring other pressing "to-do"'s, perhaps choosing one day/week, hour/day that is just for hanging out
- start working on Christmas presents now
- farm, research, farm, live = immediate to do's include ordering chicks and figuring out what seeds are needed
- bake, bake, bake - devote one day at least to be "baking day"
- write up a daily rhythm and stick to it, adjusting as needed as our lives develop
- surround myself with supportive friends and family, host weekly or monthly pot lucks and book groups
- read, always have a book going
- photograph regularly for myself, not just for clients, dream up a personal project

And do you make resolutions?

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