Monday, June 7, 2010

may happiness project update

I know, I know--it's June already and I'm only just now reporting on my May happiness project. In truth, May really kicked my butt! The happiness project fell to the wayside. Ken suggested that maybe I am trying to do too much, and I mostly agree. When I think about it, there is only so much time and energy left in a day or in a week when you work full time and commute, as I do. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to hold it all together as well as I do! (actually, I know the answer to this--the secret is Ken--awesome husband and father and all around excellent and wise person). So . . . the happiness resolutions really took a backseat to work, life, busyness, and stress. Resolutions that pretty well got abandoned were:
:: not eating sugar except for Sundays. This is hard for me! I honestly did much much better eating no sugar at all during all of lent.
:: checking my planner twice a day. I have a huge mental block against doing this. I guess it's just not that important. I do update it every morning.
:: Mealplan Tuesdays. Ack! Total failure . . . I just cannot seem to do this. Mostly I've been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to grocery shopping and menu planning. What helps is that we've been eating really simply.
:: stretch everyday. This one totally got abandoned and forgotten. I think I stretched maybe once for about 30 seconds.
:: going to bed between 9:30 and 10 every night. I did not accomplish this. Instead I vacillated wildly between either going to bed early with the little boys or staying up well past 10pm making lunches, folding laundry, and going online.

However, despite all these failed resolutions, I have made some large and, to me, significant changes since the start of my happiness project that I am proud of.
:: despite my sugar struggles, I am eating a lot less sugar and have given up certain bad habits once and for all (I hope), like keeping a chocolate bar in my desk drawer at work or packing something sweet in my lunch every day. I am so so happy to be free of those habits!
:: the evening tidy-up seems to have "stuck" and it is simply wonderful to wake up to a house that is neat and tidy.
:: I have hugely reduced my Diet Coke consumption. I am actually drinking healthy water at work as a daily habit. That is a wonderful change for me. Now the only time I drink a Diet Coke is if we go for a burger or something--not very often. I am super happy about this change.
:: the spending freeze is going quite well and it is freeing to know that I don't have to decide if it's "okay" to order a book or a new pair of pants. I know that for 2 years I just won't be. I allotted myself a small thrifting allowance and that is enough shopping thrill for now.
:: I am walking more, with Ken's encouragement and support. It feels good and I know I will be healthier for it.
:: one of my resolutions has been to stand up straight. I have been surprised at how much my posture has improved over a relatively short time. It's something that I will have to continue to remind myself about. The check-off list helps.

Whew! Sorry for the long post. Can you believe it is June already? Work feels wonderful right now. I enjoy wrapping up the school year and starting to get organized for next year. Friday is the last day and then I get to play "stay at home mama" for 11 weeks. I can't wait!

I'm giving away a Nigella cookbook. There is still time to enter if you want. Scroll down to yesterday's post.


Cadi said...

Teacher summers are the best, aren't they? ;-)

megan said...

love your post cards! what site do you use to make them?

Mary Beth said...

Cadi--Yes!! (Although I am a school nurse, I get the same summer breaks) :)

Megan--I make my postcard at Moo. The picture on this post, though, is from my Abby Try Again calendar. I love her photos!

Rain said...

Well it sounds like your happiness project is definitely a success. Good for you! there will always be small things that we still wish to change. 11 weeks off sounds glorious.
One thing I have done (tho' not doing currently) that really helped with meal planning was to make a seasonal month long meal plan. And then be flexible with it. It was very helpful!

pilgrimama said...

It sounds like you've made some great changes-and I too find it much more achievable to make small changes.
Happy summer to you!

Jodi Anderson said...

I can really relate to these resolutions. I carry some of the same ideals, such as getting to bed earlier and stretching (or yoga) every day. Yesterday was fabulous because I got up and did yoga, meditated afterwards, and felt entirely wonderful while rolling up my mat. This morning? Meh. It's going to take a lot of work for me to flip out that fricking mat.

I'm also trying to better plan my meals, simplify, and cut down on spending. We've always lived within our means, but now I want to live under our means. Something about that feels safe.

Anyhow, sorry to blog in your comments. I like reading your monthly updates. :)

Andrea said...

You really do a lot as a workin' mama of many. Give yourself a pat on the back! I struggle with the meal planning (usually it's a 5 p.m. stare in the refrigerator and hope meals jump out), but I just read Simplicity Parenting which suggests having a weekly meal rotation (Monday-pasta; Tuesday-soup; etc.) At first this horrified me (too much like Grandma's house), but now I'm coming around to the idea and am going to try it this summer. Have a great 11 weeks off!

kristen said...

Thank you for your update, and I think you're doing great!!! I don't know how Mom's who work outside the home and commute do it all!

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Huge huge kudos to you. You work full time, commute, have 5 kids, AND still manage to do all that you did (and keep a wonderful blog)?
I think you are my new heroine!
I am sooo with you on the inability to meal plan. Why is that!?
Keep up the good work.

Sister1 said...

I just got your blog from a friend. This is very beautiful! I love that this post is so affirmative. It is such a nice reminder that a project doesn't have to succeed on levels to be a success. Thanks, I look forward to reading!