My Happiness List

I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and while I wouldn't say that it inspired me to jump into a big project myself, it has made me more conscious each day about how my attitude affects not just my wellbeing but everyone around me. Remember the line "If mum's not happy, no one's happy?" I used to think that meant "everyone needs to make mum happy", but now I clearly see it as "mum has the power to make all around her unhappy", and I really don't want to do that.

The book made me look at happiness as a subject, which really is about what makes you feel good. So I have thought a lot about what makes me feel good and sometimes to really get to the bottom of it I had to think about what makes me feel bad and reverse it. For example, when I've lost my temper with the kids I feel bad or when I've drank too much I feel bad. The book also made me realise I've been going through life looking to the future to a time when I'll be a better mum/wife/daughter/sister/friend, because right now I'm just too busy.

So I haven't come up with a big written project, blog or list of goals but I have adopted a handful of resolutions that I will carry with me each day and try (and sometimes royally fail) to do. They might sound a bit cheesy but this is how they sit in my head so I can remember them:

1. Be Pam
2. Act how you want to feel
3. Lighten up
4. See Craig
5. Gaze lovingly

I think 1-4 are self explanatory. Number 5 is something new that Craig and I have started doing. You go into your kids bedroom and watch them for a minute as they sleep. It only takes a minute but it really helps, especially for me right now as Danny is such a handful. It makes me realize how little he is and how much I love him. As Gretchen (and every older mother on the planet) says "the days are long but the years are short" - which is hard to acknowledge when you are in the midst of toddler-rearing!

So that's it. My little 5-point list isn't very profound and it doesn't include personal health or clutter control or hobbies or other things she mentions, but these 5 things are definitely achievable for me and do make me feel happier if I do them.


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