Why the project? I’m happy enough, aren’t I? I have a comfortable home, overall financial stability, family and friends. And a very crazy puppy. What’s not to be happy about?
But, as Gretchen Rubin points out, that doesn’t mean that we can’t work in positive ways to pursue even more happiness and contentment. I would never say my life is perfect, and there are always new adventures and challenges. While I’ve “stalled” in my various Happiness Projects through the years, the parts I have pursued have given me the impetus to truly change our lives. We now live in a “small” apartment in a walkable place. Am I happier than I was before? Maybe, maybe not. I have struggled to find community here, and we don’t travel as much. But I have hope that my pursuits and commitment to life here will lead to longer term gains.
So I’m back to starting again. And my first month, like Gretchen’s, will be dedicated to Energy. Really, who couldn’t benefit from more energy?
At the moment, my “Energy” list includes:
- Adequate sleep. I generally get enough sleep. But sometimes, stress and too much caffeine keep me awake during the late hours. The only thing I can think of, other than cutting out afternoon caffeine, is to close the blinds or take the time for an afternoon nap when I’m feeling sleep deprived.
- Food: The list suggests a big breakfast and a small lunch as well as an afternoon snack. Since berries and yogurt are also recommended, I’m going to try to make a mid-afternoon smoothie with plain yogurt and berries into a daily occurrence.
- Drinks: I will continue making sure I drink enough water, limiting my intake of coffee and alcohol, avoiding diet sodas. The list suggests some black tea might be good. I need to look into that a bit more.
- Supplements: This is something I know nothing about. I’m going to make sure to take my vitamin every single day, in hopes of keeping my iron levels from plummeting. The list suggests taking ginseng.
- Exercise: Though exercise will eventually have a month devoted to it, there’s no sense in waiting to get back into it. I’ll either need to get out and walk early in the morning or do my exercise videos. I also want to try to get in some simple yoga and get back to a monthly massage to help avoid the sciatica that prevents me from doing any exercise at all.
- Environment: I know that a messy house is a hugh energy drain on me. But I also think that having music that I like playing and happy smells work to give me more energy.
Each week in May, I’ll tackle one of these sub-topics, adding it to the ones I’ve already been working on. Hopefully as each becomes a habit, it won’t need as much focused energy. This week. I’ll work on the sleep, food and drink areas, since they are ones I’ve been working on anyway.