Friday, August 1, 2014

My Happiness Project: Closing July and Moving to August

My Happiness Project: Closing July and Moving to August

Ok, wow! So somehow it's August this week. How did that happen? If I'm not paying attention, I am still writing June as the month we're in. I've got to get with the program before my favorite season of the year is over!

Here were my happiness projects for July along with an update for those of you who are following along!
  • purge stuff: this went really well! I lost track of how many bags of stuff we donated-to friends and to local spots. It was a lot! We even got bookshelves and a daybed out of our home and into the homes of our friends who wanted them! And it's continued beyond the concentrated effort early in the month; as we find things that bug us or that we don't love (socks, plastic tupperware, etc.), we're getting them out of the house. I love the feeling of getting RID of things we don't want.
  • create beauty: this went well and is continuing. I tackled a huge project in re-painting our first floor, very dark blue powder room. I had it painted when we first moved in during that phase that everyone was painting their walls black. I loved the creepy Victorian feeling of it for awhile, and then it just felt out of place. It's almost done now! I can't wait to show it off. Also, I removed all of the artwork from our walls and need to re-distribute it in new places where it feels like it belongs.
  • use what we have: this has been a great mantra for me. When I get excited about house projects, I can really be caught up in the urge to bring more things into my house. Instead, this month I thought to myself, "Use what you have!" I literally turned around halfway to Home Depot one night after reminding myself that I already had plenty of projects and the materials to do them before adding yet another. This led to my powder room project! It was also the impetus behind re-hanging the art we have before launching into a big framing project for new art.
  • do one of my husband's projects with him: this ended up working out very differently than I imagined! I imagined doing a physical project with him, but instead the two projects we did ended up being slightly different. One is health-related and has me feeling very supportive of him in a beautiful way, and the other was his idea! We've been sharing mini weekly assignments with each other-ways to keep each other accountable and also very loved. For example, I asked him to say the words "How can I help?" anytime he sensed that I was stressed during the first week. It's been a lot of fun hearing what each one would like the other to do!
I love the Happiness Project model because it really feels like each thing adds up to significant shifts in thinking and feeling!

For August, I'm going to move my focus away a bit from physical projects and focus on the emotional side more. Here are my items:

  • Practice SOS. While reading parenting books somewhere in the last couple of years, I came across the idea of Step Back, Observe, and Speak on one of them. I think in my current job environment this could really serve me well instead of my usual Speak, Speak, Speak! And I'm sure my husband would think so, too.
  • Nurture Friendships. My post this week about just hanging out has got me thinking a lot about the type of friend I am. I tend to have a few very close friends, and I love that about my life. This month I'd like to make time for my friends-old, close, new, and possible. I need to think about exactly how, but I think it involves saying "Yes" to more unstructured time as well as to making time for my casual friendships like those with neighbors.
  • Enjoy the things about summer that I love. All winter long, I dream about summer food and fun, and I want to be sure to enjoy it while it's here. For me, this includes walks in nature, time in the sun, eating in-season produce, gardening, watching outdoor movies, and going to county fairs. I'm excited already! 
What about you? I know from Instagram and email that some of you are doing your own Happiness Projects. Keep up the good work!

This week's mani-pedi in neon colors was all about living summer to its fullest!!


  1. Love it! Great ideas for August. Working on mine. :)

  2. Ok, I'm late with August but finally sat down and worked on it. First of all, July was successful in some areas but challenging in others. Celebrating is easy - we tried out a new restaurant for our anniversary (yum) and opted not to drive back to the suburbs but stay in downtown at a charming old inn. Fun! Managing menopause- I finally found a dr. I like and trust. We've been working on what works for me plus I added an extra personal training day at the gym where I get an intense 30 min boxing session. Great stress buster!
    Celebrating my young adult children's journey- more challenging as they move out or back, adjust to new job or look for a better one. Trying to step back and let them be adults is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. Still, I am learning and trying to do it with kindness and humor instead of nagging.
    Seeing the beauty around me - taking time to see the flowers growing, examine the butterfly sipping nectar, just slowing down to see what's around me is so rewarding. Last weekend was unseasonably cool - we went for a long drive with the windows down, enjoying the scenery on the little country roads we were wandering down. Lovely!

    1. Oh, Cecilia! Thank you for sharing! How beautiful. I love the idea of the staycation at the inn! And as an adult child, I love hearing how you are approaching this season of life. Thank you, thank you.

  3. For August, I've decided to buy some happiness. For me, this is refreshing my wardrobe with clothes that fit me right now (this is following the closet purge of clothes that don't fit or I just don't like) and to give a thoughtful gift (nothing complicated) to someone who needs a lift.
    Give Something Up - closing out extra credit cards (to easy to accumulate when they offer so much off your first purchase) and a biggie for me - extra carbs. I love bread and potato chips and fries. One of the things my Dr. discovered was my blood sugars were elevated and she wants me to watch the amount if carbs I'm eating. So, it's something that has the long term potential to make me happier to give up. So far, so good. Lastly, To Let Go Of Expectations. I get really frustrated when things don't go the way I've planned them. I need to go more with the flow. Can't go to the farm for the weekend because child needs help moving? Ok. Not the end of the world and I get to work on one of July's goals.
    Whew. Long comments. Are you tired yet? Thanks for this project! It's such a good exercise in appreciating my life.
    Hugs to you,