My May 2017 Goals: Bring it on!

One of my friends who is a blogger writes posts about yearly and monthly goals, and I think I may just emulate her. My happiness project, though it had a great start, has fallen a little more by the wayside over the last two months. I think taking more actionable and measurable goals might help me make more progress on tackling the things that I’d like to accomplish. I can almost hear Jane Austen in my head declaring with some irony about how accomplished a woman I am.

Continue reading “My May 2017 Goals: Bring it on!”

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Pillow Shams that Match My Quilt: A Project Years in the Making

I have been meaning to make these pillow shams since I stitched together my very first quilt years ago. Years. As part of my happiness project, I’m rolling around to unfinished lingering projects and finally knocking them off that perennial to-do list. Although other happiness-project goals may be cast on the wayside more than I’d like to admit (like reading Latin and writing every morning for 30 minutes), I’m slowly and surely making progress on new and old crafting goals.

Continue reading “Pillow Shams that Match My Quilt: A Project Years in the Making”

Knitting for Charity

As part of my happiness project, I’ve been trying to think of reliable ways to give back to the community and the world. My fibromyalgia and need for few standing commitments on my calendar makes volunteering on a regular and predictable basis somewhat difficult. So, I combined two loves:  giving back and crafting. I began knitting hats for Knots of Love, an organization that donates hats to chemotherapy patients and blankets to infants in the NICU.

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Another Closet Bites the Decluttering Dust

As part of my own happiness project, I have decided to declutter and organize a few areas around our house. I managed to organize the bookshelf, and it’s now much more lovely and welcoming. Starting with something visually prominent was a good idea because organizing a closet is significantly less rewarding. Still, organizing a closet has some feel goods to it too!

Continue reading “Another Closet Bites the Decluttering Dust”

The Six-Week Check-in on my Happiness Resolutions

The new year is often a time to reflect on your life and make resolutions for the upcoming year. I’ve always found the new year a somewhat arbitrary time to do this (as a Jew, I also get two new years each year, ha!), but the beginning of any new cycle is a good time for many people to reflect upon the improvements that they wish to make in their life. It seemed an apt time for me to revisit my own happiness-project resolutions that I made six weeks ago. I’ve recreated the list from that blog post and summarized my progress and reflections on each broad group underneath each.

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Tackling Clutter: The Bookshelf

One of my happiness goals was to become more organized. Several closets, bookshelves, and drawers stuffed with paper have nagged, niggled, and nudged my conscience for lack of due diligence, and I consider myself a rather diligent person. I have successfully managed to tackle one of those unpleasant organizing tasks:  our bookshelf. Continue reading “Tackling Clutter: The Bookshelf”

Happiness Project Resolutions

As I wrote this weekend, I’ve been looking to adopt resolutions that I think will make my life happier. Since I’m an upholder, I should be rather adept at adopting these different resolutions to improve my happiness without too much assistance, but hopefully the formal commitment of the blog will be an added boost to following through on these resolutions.

Get Organized

  • clean closets
  • organize bookshelf
  • make personal files from our dump drawer
  • make knitting needle organizers
  • organize pantry
  • organize crafting materials

Finish Old Projects

Make Health a Priority

  • exercise daily
  • walk daily (at least 1 mile with Alke)
  • stand at desk more (twice a day instead of usually once a day)
  • be chill:  soothing music and aromatherapy
  • treat myself to a hot bath with essential oils once a week
  • Enjoy one treat a day (either alcohol or a dessert)
  • take a positive action when something goes wrong rather than a negative one (e.g., going on a walk or playing Frisbee with Alke instead of eating my weight in chocolate)
  • listen to my body and respect its fatigue

Be More Productive

  • Start my mornings off on the right foot
  • workout before coffee (no wasting 30-60 minutes on the computer!)
    • read Latin for 30 minutes / drink coffee
    • write for 30 minutes
  • Balance crafts with relaxation when watching a show or movie
    • Let myself off the hook if I’m genuinely too tired to craft on a low-energy day, but otherwise spin or knit while watching a show or movie
  • monitor my internet habits in the evening and try to switch to more productive tasks instead (reading, writing, crafting, or house-related chores – blah)
  • incorporate crafts for others as volunteer work into my regular crafting time
  • make a reading list and start tackling the different books I’d like to read

Cultivate Relationships

  • have friends over for board games or crafting sessions
  • offer to do something nice for someone
  • stay in touch (call, text, email)
  • show appreciation
  • encourage my husband to make time for his friends
  • ask what my husband would like to do on a given evening with his limited free time – and be willing to cheerfully do that
  • be giving – make gifts for people whom I’m thankful to have in my life
  • “work” when my husband is working on the weekend
    • read Latin or Roman history or write Latine
    • be in the room with him where possible
    • complete a task that he doesn’t have time to do (e.g., grocery shopping, laundry)

Thoughts on My Resolutions

Overall, I feel as if I’ve picked up on important themes in my likes and dislikes. I want to ensure that the relationships I have with my friends and family are strengthened where possible. Because my husband works so many extra hours on the weekend, I feel that I can bolster our relationship by working with him or doing tasks that would allow him to have a little more free time on the weekend. As a teacher who needs to work several hours on the weekend (and sometimes on weeknights), one of the simplest and greatest gifts I can give him is time. Additionally, I want to lead a more productive life, which ties not only into addressing my feelings of helplessness due to my fibromyalgia but also into my desire to live a more meaningful and creative life regardless of my health.

As the gardening hobby is shelved until early spring, I imagine I’ll have the opportunity to focus on my crafting and writing during the winter. I feel as if gardeners need to have other hobbies to help them survive the winter months, so I’m grateful that I have diverse interests to productively fill the winter hours that I otherwise spent in the garden during the summer. I’m always itching to start a new craft project or dreaming about different projects that I could start, but I also have a backlog of tasks that I’d really, really like to finish. Their incompleteness feels like an albatross, a reproach. Besides, finishing an old project justifies an expenditure for new future projects!

Beyond focusing on relationships and finishing crafts, I’ve already attempted to change my morning routine to be more productive. I’ve begun exercising before I’ve had coffee, thus giving up that wasted bit of time in the morning where I drink my coffee and browse the internet. Let me tell you: this resolution is not easy to keep. Despite getting up at 5 a.m. every day, I consider myself neither a morning person nor a functional human being until I’ve had some coffee. Besides, I am usually itching to see what happened in the world overnight. The first week of adopting this resolution was very, very hard, but I think that I’m slowly improving my ability to exercise and then drink coffee. Either way, I feel much more accomplished if I’ve already exercised, read some Latin, and written for 30 minutes before my workday has started at 7:30.

I’ll keep you posted as I accomplish different finitely measurable tasks and otherwise try to increase my happiness. Despite the pain and fatigue, I think the next few months are going to be quite happy indeed!

Which resolutions were you most surprised to see based on my brainstorming? Which resolutions would you be interested in adopting yourself?