The Happiness Project

Hey Everyone! :)
So I didn't blog yesterday and I have to say it felt so weird. You definitely get into the pattern of blogging daily.. 

I'm currently reading a book called 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin. I got lent this book by a close friend (Hi Els - I know you'll be reading this!). She got it as a present for Christmas and she kept telling me little bits about it and I was very enthusiastic to read it straight away! She texted to me as soon as I received and started reading it 'you'll love this, it's totally an imz book!' and she was not wrong!
As I started reading, I was a little shocked to the layout.. I wasn't expecting it to look or sound how it is. I expected it to almost be a scrapbook style with bullet points and pretty pictures - Yes, sounds very naive and childish I agree, but it's what I honestly imagined. But actually after getting stuck into it, it's written perfectly. 

I know this sounds like a weird statement to say, but it feels like it has changed my thoughts and perspective on my own life.
The book is about a happily married woman with two young children. She had a thought one day when she's travelling on the bus that she felt she was wasting her life away. She was happy and content with her life, but she could do so much more with it. "The days are long, but the years are short" she realised. Noticing that time is flying past her she knew that she wasn't  focusing on the things that matter, so with that she decided to dedicate a year of her life on 'The Happiness Project'.
I think one of the main reasons I am enjoying it so far (I'm only in May at the moment) is that so much of her life is like my own.. Well despite the fact she's a lawyer *haha* but she's happily married, has children, has a family home, friends and her own goals and ambitions. She spends time at the beginning researching the different means of being 'happy'. Reading quotes and passages from various sources she brings them together and interprets them in a way she can reflect, in her own resolutions. She then tries applying them to her daily life.
Many of the changes she applies are so simple that it seems like why hasn't she done it before? But she realises that over the years she has slowly got into a rut and a boring daily routine. So she embarks on changing these things and it makes such a massive impact on the way she feels, thinks and does!

Some of the things that she wrote about I have tried applying to my life and have noticed how much of a difference it makes. Most of the things are just ideas that you add to make things easier, such as there's no point in nagging someone to do a job for you as you'll end up stressing yourself out and everyone around you. It'll put you in a bad mood and if it's not done to your satisfaction you'll only then proceed to moan about that too - If you want something doing and it's within your power and limits to be able to do it; do it yourself. You'll feel like you've done something productive and it'll be done the way you want it done. As soon as you read something like that, it makes complete sense. It's so true that we all nag to our partners or the child to do something that actually we could've done ourselves in half the time and to our standard! 
Another being do a 10 minute tidy up before bed. Like, how great is that idea? I've applied this to my life and realised how much better I feel for A, doing it and B, how much easier it makes the next morning! Instead of hunting for things and getting annoyed that the place is a mess etc, it's there ready for the day ahead.
I'm not going to share all the amazing points in the book in case any of you want to actually read the book, but there's so many little tips that seem like such a small thing to alter but will make an enormous difference.

I will say this though. I've been reading a section in the book where she's deciding what makes her happy. What does she actually enjoy doing and what are the activities that she MAKES time for around everything that needs doing in the day. What is fun?
It made me consider my life and what about it do I enjoy? What are the things that I always make time for regardless of being tired and busy? This what I came up with..

  • Blogging - This is my number one on the list. Gretchen talks about how blogging brings such a positive influence on her life - it's somewhere where she feels she can write what she wants and HOW she wants. I loved that what she said about blogging is exactly how I feel. With this new blog, I feel completely comfortable to write what I want and I look forward to blogging! I make the time to think about what I would like to blog and make the effort to actually sit at my laptop and write the posts. It's mainly due to the blog being a subject that I can freely talk and express myself - It's something I actually find fun!
  • Reading to Freddie - I enjoy reading myself, but I love reading more so to Freddie. I love the selecting the book sitting down, cuddling and reading the book - I like how Freddie listens and asks questions about the book. It's a massive bonding session for us, especially as I used to read to him when he was just a bump! So I always make time to read at least a book to him every 2 days (although it's usually everyday!)
  • Talking about everything important and unimportant with Chris - Now, Gretchen talks about how you have different people in your life that are there to moan, bitch and share the good times with. Some people you can talk to about relationships where others about the latest films in the cinema. I think this is true to a certain extent. You have friends for the majority of things and a partner for the other majority of things. I don't feel this with Chris though, we talk about everything.. If there's something to say, it gets said. I enjoy sharing the happenings of the day and finding out about his. I so like sharing my ideas and seeing what he thinks and considering the suggestions he put forward.
  • Spending time with 'The Girls' - I love spending time with my close friends. I'm so lucky to have such fantastic friends that I can laugh and chat the day away with. Whenever we go out for the day (even thought it's not as often as I'd wish!) we always have a great day/night and feel connected! Sometimes being away from the marital home and children it refreshes your mind and patience levels - makes you realise what's important and that is very often that you need time with the girls as well as your family! It's important to make time for friendships! And I always make time for it :)
  • Films/Film Nights - I love reading the latest reviews on the latest films and I love spending the time of an evening chilling out with a friend or Chris. It's fun to talk through a already familiar film and point out all the bad and unrealistic things that are happening, or to take in and intently watch a new film. It's always good to make time for a film night/date night with Chris as it's something we have in common. We're currently watching our way through our list on Netflix!
So, just realising that this is a very long post... I hope you have made it down to the bottom here, if you have, give yourself a high 5! :P *haha*
Honestly, I hope you have found it interesting and that you may also find yourself intrigued to read 'The Happiness Project' - I'm looking forward to finishing the book and seeing what else I can learn and take on board from reading it. I highly recommend it :)

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