Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Happiness Project

I've always been a relatively happy person. And while I'm not known as the person who smiles all the time and is always in a good mood, generally, people that come in contact with me find me in good humor. In fact, there are only two times in my life that I can look back on and say that I've had significant moments on unhappiness--middle school, when I thought I was ugly, fat, and hated by everyone, and early college, when I was having similar thoughts.

This semester (and last semester, too) has been really rough. And while I wouldn't say that I've been unhappy, I've certainly had my moments. I'm homesick. I miss my fiance like crazy (I just realized today that we're now keeping up a long distance relationship--before, I just felt really lonely without him). The classes I'm taking now aren't thrilling me, and I'm wrestling with deciding if I want to jump into my PhD in the next few years, or if I want to wait, and where Dustin and I will live once I get my MA. I feel stupid in most of my classes, and I'm not exactly sure how to catch up. My cats are adorable, but they've chewed through a lot of money this semester (mostly in power adapters for my laptop). I don't know if Dustin will be able to find a job once he moves here, and I worry about our finances. And I can't seem to get below 180 lbs no matter what I do. Et cetera and so on.

I had a mild revelation a few days ago, sparked by this movie trailer. It was one of those revelations that shouldn't really be a revelation, but it was. If I dwell on these things that make me unhappy, I'm going to be an unhappy person. And I really don't want to be an unhappy person. There are far too many of them in the word already. I don't mean that I shouldn't think about my future--my education and Dustin's career and our joint bank account are all things that need to be thought about, but not with this overwhelming sense of desperation that tends to surrounds my thoughts on these subjects. I need to keep joy at my center, even when things feel unbalanced.

There are a few memorable people in my life, and I usually remember them because of how unstoppably joyful they are. I want to be one of those people, and so I'm going to try. I don't mean to be glib about life. I know there are a lot of people who struggle with being happy. It's not as easy as just deciding to be happy. I know this. But I must try. I know it won't be as simple as waking up and saying "I am going to be happy today," but can't that be a start? Otherwise, where would I even begin?

Here. Now. With The Happiness Project.

How would you start on your own Happiness Project?


Alisha said...

The waking up in the morning and saying, "I'm going to be happy today!" is great. I was told this by a counselor in HS. Close to the best advice ever for me. :)

And PS: From reading your blog, I think you are a really happy person and fun loving! :)

Dustin said...

She is. She's an extremely happy person normally. She has a metric ton of work and stress on her plate, and she's handling it way better than I would have during this long-distance debacle.

Crystal said...

Starting with a happiness mantra right away in the morning is a great idea. My problem is keeping the happiness going during my commute to and from work. I think a driving mantra is needed too.