happy friday

in january of this year, i started a new series.  the first friday of every month i talk about the corresponding chapter from the book, “the happiness project.”  january can be read here, and february here.

are you participating? how are you doing on your goals? it’s crazy how fast a month passes, isn’t it? i am still integrating january’s goals – still purging of unnecessary items in our home. still organizing. after all, this is an ongoing event for a family. it’s a constant ebb and flow of what we need and what we’re done with. i am STILL TRYING TO SLEEP MORE! oh, this is so difficult for me – i don’t have trouble sleeping. i am a great sleeper, over-achiever in fact. i have trouble making myself go to bed because there are so many wonderful things i want to be doing. i literally can’t turn off my mind from, “i should read about….” or “i should make……” or “i should do this now to save our family time tomorrow……..” anyone else struggle with this?

from february – i feel like things are underway – i have good goals set for growth + i’m trying really hard to not complain, a.k.a. “dump” on my husband and family – this was a little harder the past couple of days while i’ve been sick.

FOR MARCH – the theme is “aim higher!” sounds motivating, right? Gretchen starts the very first paragraph with this, “happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness.”“the happy outperform the less happy.” i find this interesting. i consider myself to be a happy person. i know that due to my husbands work situation, we could get by financially without me doing anything outside of motherhood duties to bring any extra income into our family. i could choose to take care of my family and make no effort to go above and beyond what that requires. yet, in order for me to really be happy — i fill my time with a bajillion other “work” tasks. such as blogging, creating, designing for anyone who needs help with a project. i am constantly trying to learn more. and this extra work, makes me extremely happy. it fuels me to be better in every category of my life. i find that when i don’t have a project or something to focus my extra time on, i’m more irritated and less happy. the busier i am, the harder i am working, the happier i am. this life/work balance creates a huge core of happiness in my life. what do you think?

Gretchen asks, “what do i do in my spare time?” for me, that is art. paint. design graphics. craft. “people who love their work bring an intensity and enthusiasm that’s impossible to match through sheer diligence.” “enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.” as a mother, i have always integrated this philosophy into raising our kids. by the time our kids are 4-8 years old, i give them dozens of experiences trying different sports, different activities, then i observe what they love doing – and encourage those activities/hobbies. you will notice, that what kids do well – what they love doing – is what they excel at. don’t we all want to spend our lives doing just what we love?

in this chapter, gretchen stressed the point to, “Be Gretchen.” and one of my favorite points of this book is the emphasis to “be Jane.” if you have read this blog for a while, you know that i am not entirely active in my childhood religion. it took me till i was in my late twenties to be able to admit my true feelings out loud. and by doing so, i learned courage. it was easy for me to be true to my character, style, my interests, my food likes, what music i liked to listen to, etc etc etc – but it was almost impossible for me to admit how i felt about religion. life changing. but, once i did, i have been riding this sort of confidence high for the past 8 years. it was freeing, and self-inspiring to be honest. be jane.

“The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. If you do new things – visit a museum for the first time, learn a new game, travel to a new place, meet new people – you’re more apt to feel happy than people who stick to more familiar activities.” i think i was born with an itch to do this. hence, why i look forward to big moves, new homes, and constantly search for new places to visit. i get a natural buzz from new situations. do you integrate “new” into your life?

Gretchen goes on to talk about enjoying the fun of failure, and asking for help. “Benjamin Franklin, along with twelve friends formed a club for mutual improvement that met weekly for forty years.” how cool is that? sounds a lot like the sorority i was a part of in college… and, an online mother’s forum i am a part of here in boston. yet, in how many areas of our life can we use help? all of them? none? has our society evolved to a point that asking for help indicates weakness? help is also the idea of a community i just founded with shelby, the owner of Soel boutique in Provo, Utah. together, we have a vision of a community that helps one another, and have started, “utah bloggers.a community of aspirants, or in less elaborate terms, a “goals group.” yet, i could form SO MANY of these groups – a walking group, an eating healthy group, a i-have-a-husband-who-travels-for-work-often group. you get the idea. what “help” group would you form?

the chapter finished with a section on, “work smart” and “enjoy now” — for march, i am going to focus on working a little each day towards some bigger projects i am currently obsessing over + building my community. what will you do? have you read the book yet? i’d love you to join me on this 2012 happy high.

enjoy your weekend! xo.

{image by me, via}

3 responses to “happy friday”

  1. I am reading and enjoying the book. Love what you wrote too. Thanks for sharing! I love the notion of everyone being themselves and not trying to conform just because it may be easier. It’s the uniqueness in ourselves that makes life great.

  2. Hey Jane!
    I love the idea of reading that book and setting personal life goals for yourself, it’s very intriguing. I just randomly looked at your blog again after many months of not reading it (due to thinking it was private! Lol). I loved seeing all your creative ideas from Utah and I just wanted to say that I am over the moon excited to see that you are back to sharing your world with us! Your blog is so great, keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your thoughts on being yourself – being YOU. It is a good reminder. Love it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *