My best friend from high school posted about the Happiness Project
and her intention to read the book and dive in and blog weekly about it. I had one of those ah-ha moments as I read her post and followed over to the website...like something clicked into place.
I went out right after work to buy the book. I am a few chapters in. I am really enjoying the book, and gaining insights. But truthfully I think it is the structure I need more than anything. I have been on a journey towards a happiness project for the last few years; but it seems that I read, I try, I dabble, but things don't stick. Rather than beat myself up about that I see it as the tools have been collected waiting for a blueprint.
I am choosing to see it as fate reaching out through one of the most amazing woman I have had the privilege to have called true friend reaching through the pixels of the internet to show me some blueprints.
So I am going to step outside my comfort zone and blog a bit about the journey...
There are a zillion thoughts percolating through my mind, the pieces I have picked up along the way...living the Power of Now, true nutrition, exercise, love is all there is, spirituality, balance, organization (blech that will be an often revisited struggle in this blog I forsee), going to bed when tired (not that I am typing at 11:40 pm and I was tired enough to go to sleep at 5:30 pm!).
But I will leave those percolations percolating as I figure out what exactly my project means to me and how it will look...and as I do organize. I have 3 weeks left until nursing school starts and a disorganized mess of a house to tackle and a kitchen to paint...more than enough to keep me with resolutions for that time!
Following the previously mentioned amazing woman's lead on the blog posts, and her suggestion of 10 things you love about where you live...I am going to focus more on the very specific than many may due to my unique living situation. Though I may wax poetic a bit about RI in general...because yes it is home.
10. Lessons worth instilling aren't always easy to learn or live yourself. We live with my husband's Nana (who is now my Nana too :-) ). She is 94 years old and is amazingly independent, feisty and together! Living all together is a challenge to say the least at times. I am sure that often we aren't such a prize to live with as well. But despite; and in fact because of the difficulties it is a blessing. Family is often pushed aside in our culture I believe. I think my kids are learning about the centrality of family (which is a central value to us as their parents). They are learning it isn't a Hallmark card, but a daily action and it isn't always easy...but it is always worth it. They have come to know their Gigi in a way they never would otherwise. Years fly by and the inevitability of our short time here on earth shall come. They truly know Nana and that is a gift many don't get in their lives. And in return she knows her great grandchildren in an intimate fashion that most great grandparents never even get to dream of.
9. I have the economic freedom to return to school. I am going to nursing school at the moment. I still work 20 hours a week, though I will be cutting down to 14 this coming semester. Life is ridiculously crazy at that workload. If we had to completely float a household financially I just could not do what I am doing now. I would still be working as a Director at a group home and would probably stagnate there. But I am given the freedom to grow...there isn't a much better gift than that.
8. We have a big beautiful yard that is fenced in the back so my children can play and I can go pee without fear of a squished child in the yard.
7. Said yard is shaded by big beautiful oak trees making even the hottest days bearable (I also come to loathe these trees at the end of fall...but that is a different list). The neighborhood kids can play and escape the sun and I can sit in my zero gravity recliner and read and yes be happy!
6. Warwick is really centrally located. As a Rhode Islander that is big...much more than 30 minutes is a road trip...
5. On to general...Rhode Island...I love it, the beaches and Providence (Waterfire is fantastic!!) both within a half hour. Getting to Boston, NYC, mountains, beaches, country...it is all what I would call a short road trip and people from other parts of the country might call an extended drive.
4. The seasons. No I have not loved shoveling, but then again I do not hate it either! I can't imagine not seeing the leaves change their colors. See them fall. Picking apples and pumpkins at the local farms. Then mark the time of cold and snow and rejoicing when the crocuses peep through and enjoying the short time of the intoxicating smell of the Lilacs. I truthfully can't even fathom not being able to go to the beach in the summer...or truthfully it being a year long treat to jump in the ocean (though I do love walking the beach off season!).
3. Family. I am blessed with a great family (including the in-laws!) and just about all of them live right here in Little Rhody. I already feel a bit too far being in Warwick with my parents, brothers and Grandmother all being in South Kingstown. I can't imagine having to take a flight away from my "home" if I wanted to be a part of the huge extended family Christmas Eve, or to hug my Mom, or for my kids to see their cousins.
2. History. I have lived here my whole life with the exception of one semester spent in Richmond, Virginia (me and the South didn't mix well to say the least). Anywhere I go there are memories. Some of them aren't necessarily of the me being all I can be, but they were me nonetheless. There is a comfort in making new memories in old places....
1. Liberal Oasis. Despite being in the nation's minority on a plethora of issues near and dear to my heart...I live in ignorant bliss of that fact...except the boy scouts...