Monday, February 10, 2014
November Happiness Resolutions: Finally!
At long last, I am writing about my progress for the Happiness Project, which was put on hold during the month's of December and January. I have been reluctant to bring it up again, but things in my life have completely changed, to the point where my goals have somewhat shifted.
I feel like I was doing a lot of great things in Virginia, but it took a lot of work. Here, I don't feel like I have to try so hard....something I am actually grateful for. I tend to have more time to concentrate on other things besides trying to make ends meat. I am very blessed.
Needless to say, my goals for November were not met with as much vigor as the goals I set in September and October. At first, I was ashamed that I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. Then I had to remember my 10th commandment, Don't Be So Hard on Yourself.
Spirituality: Start attending the family history center
This did not happen. I was told that Rexburg has free family history services that are one of the best in the country. That makes me so happy. I am looking forward to dedicating one night to family history, and better do it before my schedule starts filling up.
Marriage: Sing the words to my sweetheart when I am stressed. Come up with slogans or funny liners to help diffuse the tension when annoying habits enter the room.
It's true. We do this now. When we are starting to get irritated, all we have to do is sing to each other and all of a sudden, we don't remember why we are arguing anymore. Of course this isn't a sure fire thing either. Sometimes when we try it, it just makes things worse. I think if anything though, it helps us realize what the super important things are that we need to discuss. Anything other than "super important", is most likely to be diffused with a couple measures of song.
Finances: Combine and join accounts. Start living out of one account.
We took this step as I entered into my new job. We have yet to budget and discuss a savings plan, but I am excited to stop living on two separate accounts and stop having conversations of 'yours' and 'my' money. It creates unnecessary tension that makes marriage even harder.
Family/Friends: Schedule time to be with friends instead of going home to be on my own. Start a FB page with memorabilia.
Leaving Virginia was actually easy, except when it came to leaving my friends and acquaintances. That is always the hardest part for me. I feel like I did a lot of growing up in VA, and I know I had relationships that were meant for me at that time in life. I couldn't have gotten through joblessness without comfort and ease, and without my motivators, you know who you are. I couldn't have learned that men are from mars and that some of the stuff they do is because they are men, without some of you. It would have been extremely rough not to have sounding boards for my joy, as well as my sorrow. I also wouldn't have grown so much without the opportunity to serve and mourn with some of you who mourned. I did a lot of growing up, and a lot of growing together with some of you over the past 3 years! Scheduling time to let you know is important to me. Therefore, this goal will continue on.
I have been able to take pictures that remind me of some of you or something you said. I am bound to keep up this tradition.
Intellect: Start writing about behavioral issues on the blog to develop awareness and record understanding/growth on the subject.
This was put on hold as I had to deal with my own internal/behavioral issues, particularly around anxiety, finding joy in the journey, handing over the reigns, and having hope.
Health: Meditate at least 30 minutes per day.
I did this one night. It was hard to meditate in our 720 square foot apartment. I find that my peace comes when I am in the restroom. This is my dedicated private time. My sweetheart knows that if I am in there, I won't respond to him. It has taken several months for me to be clear about this, but when I have my restroom time to myself, I know it is going to be a good day. In other news, I now have an office where there is a lovely chair that I like to lounge in and read. I am going to use this as part of my meditation practices. While you might not consider meditation, reading, because in some ways it is active, I am going to use that time to gain knowledge, and think about what I am reading.
Time: Continue throwing things away. Scan unnecessary but wanted paperwork, photos, and memorabilia.
You would be so proud of me. I have gotten rid of a ton of stuff. Even now, I look and see that there is more I can do. So, if I keep it up, it is most likely that by this time next year, I will have less than I have now. As for paperwork scanning, that is most necessarily on hold as we have to troubleshoot our scanner and such. If only I had the scanner I used for my first project....thank you Bobbi. Maybe that is something worth looking into. I can say it has brought me a certain satisfaction knowing I don't have mounds of papers lying around. I am also very good at only keeping pertinent information. I don't like papers strewn about the house, and am very good about throwing away things that are unnecessary. I do have to caution others wanting to do the same: be careful not to throw away important documentation!! I was on such a throw-away binge that I ended up throwing away some of my sweetheart's important papers. In your hurry to get rid of unnecessaries, BE CAREFUL!
Passion: Go to the art museum. Go for a hike. Finish one book other than intellect studies.
Go to the art museum: I was able to go the National Art Museum before I left DC. It is by far my most favorite museum. I went on the same day my sweetheart and I attended the Botanical Gardens Christmas-themed exposition. At first, I thought that my sweetheart was going to be too tired to make it through. He surprised me though by thoroughly enjoying the art. I think my favorite moment was when we were looking at this Impressionist piece of a castle in ruins on a shore. In the painting, there were several sheep, two goats, and a shepherd watching his flock. My sweetheart continued to describe the landscape by saying something like "See these two goats, they are like androids. See the sheep, they are like Apple, and look there is Steve Jobs," he said pointing at the shepherd. I was laughing so hard. If any of you know my sweetheart, you know how much he likes to tell people that Apple is for people who don't want a challenge, yours truly included.
I was so happy to see my favorite pieces of art still displayed at the museum, including The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole. I remember first seeing these pieces when I first visiting the art museum three years ago. I stood in front of the one of the four entitled Manhood. It depicts a man on his boat of life, standing, praying to the sky as his boat floats toward heavy rapids. The painting shows three demons and one angel accompanying him through this phase of life. The description is what touched me deeply: " In the painting, Manhood, the youth has grown into an adult and now faces the trials of life. The boat is damaged and the tiller is gone. The river has become a terrible rush of white water with menacing rocks, dangerous whirlpools, and surging currents. The warm sunlight of youth has been clouded over with dark and stormy skies and torrential rains. The trees have become wind-beaten, gnarled, leafless trunks. The fresh grass is gone, replaced by hard and unforgiving rock.
In the boat, the man no longer displays confidence or even control. The angel appears high in the sky, still watching over the man, who does not see the angel. Man must rely on his faith that the angel is there to help him. Cole states, "Trouble is characteristic of the period of Manhood. In childhood, there is no carking care: in youth, no despairing thought. It is only when experience has taught us the realities of the world, that we lift from our eyes the golden veil of early life; that we feel deep and abiding sorrow: and in the Picture, the gloomy, eclipse-like tone, the conflicting elements, the trees riven by tempest, are the allegory; and the Ocean, dimly seen, figures the end of life, which the Voyager is now approaching.""
Go hiking: We went up to the Shenendoah mountains and did two hikes in one day. Pretty intense...I loved it. We both love the outdoors so much, and are so excited we are in an area that will let us explore this avenue more! We are definitely outdoorsy people.
Finish one book other than intellect studies: I should first say that I haven't even gotten through the intellect studies material at all. I have finished several books though including some of my favorite youth reads like Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume.
I have to reiterate how excited I am to have more time to dedicate to reading. I have a bookcase full of books that I have read and some I haven't read, and am super excited to sit for a while and finish great stories that take me places I have never been.
While I haven't been able to accomplish everything I set out to do, I really feel like I am at a place in life where I will be able to do so many more things that contribute to my overall happiness. This major life change and future life changes couldn't have been/are not possible without a loving Heavenly Father who is very aware of what will help me grow....and that is something I need to remember. I am grateful I am finally at a place where I have the ability to read, cook, sing, attend religious activities, grow in knowledge and understanding daily, and grow my little family without crazy distraction.