February 6, 2012

project happiness

"it is easy to be heavy; hard to be light"
- GK Chesterton

I have a confession to make: February is my least favorite month of the year.
Not because of Valentine's day, which I actually always enjoy, but because it's always the thick of winter - when there's not really great snow, but it's still pretty cold, when the sun is still coming up too late and setting too early for me to see much of daylight, and it's far enough from the Christmas/New Years holidays as well as far enough from spring (break) activities to make everything feel like a total drag.  

I have been known to say that the best thing about February is that it's very short.
But not this February.  Because despite the fact that my whole life is up in the air, that half of what I own currently lives in my car, that the manfriend and I only see each other from the hours of 4am to 5am when he crawls into bed after Peds night call until I get up for Neuro inpatient, that I probably talk to my friends LESS than I have maybe ever before in my life - 

this February I have decided to make into my own little Project Happiness
(along with this fine lady here)

how does this work you may be wondering?
well admittedly, I got the original idea from a book my mom lent me over the holidays called The Happiness Project.  then I stumbled upon a tear-away calendar created by the same woman on super sale at the bookstore (because of course, it's February already).  
I haven't actually read the book yet but from what I gather from her website and the introduction is that it is basically a call for living life in a way that brings you happiness and joy.
What a concept, huh?

To do this, I am actually pursuing things that make me happy.  Both by DOING THE THINGS that make me happy but also by ASKING MYSELF WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY.  It's like a soul searching exercise and a party in one. 

Things that I have been PURSUING 
(as in scheduling, planning, thinking about, choosing over other things) 
that make me really happy:

1. going to see the Artist and bringing in homemade Aztec hot chocolate - a new movie that has (almost) no talking in it.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it, but it just seemed so INTERESTING it seemed worth checking out just to get a new part of my brain working.  turns out it's not only beautiful, thought-provoking, but laugh-out-loud funny!
2. scheduling a Bhutanese momo making cooking class with the manfriend
3. joining a pick-up soccer league - even if it means I rush straight from work
4. taking a yoga class before going out to dinner with friends
5. cooking, cooking, cooking delicious food
6. buying the NewYorker at newstand prices this week (read, 6$!).  And I just love love love it.

Questions I am asking myself about happiness:
1. What is my perfect ordinary day?  How can I add components of that kind of day to my every day? 
2. What makes me feel accomplished in a day?
3. When do I need a break?  What are the ways I like to relax?
4. How can I enjoy the people in my life best?
5. What do I want my life to be like this year?  Not just in a global way but every day?

What does your own soul searching reveal?  
What sorts of things can you do to not just think about but actually PURSUE happiness?

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