I have finally started reading “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin. Julie Ryan of Counting My Spoons, suggested the book to me months ago and I’m so glad that she did. I’m only half-way through, but I already love the book and I’m heading back towards the totally awesome me that I found in April. I’ve been in a slump lately, which is the main reason why I haven’t posted here. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling, though my hubby and my Mom knew. I’m ecstatic and relieved that I’m back.
The main goal that is sticking with me now and that could be life-altering for anyone, but especially for others like me with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is, “Act the way you want to feel.” I was already trying to do this and seeing that it worked for someone else, really helped me. I think I went into a slump because I was starting to wonder if what I was doing was really working. Rubin had a similar experience. Reading that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my doubts and gave me tools for combating the negative thoughts causing those doubts.
Even though I was doing all the right things, doubts crept in and the old conflict of to-work-or-not-to-work started playing havoc with my mind. If I don’t work, there isn’t any money for extras and if I do work, there isn’t any time for extras. I want a part-time job so I can still pick up the kids from school and spend my evenings and weekends with them, but most places only have full-time available, or I just can’t imagine working there. I talk myself out of jobs before I even apply for them. I have finally come to the conclusion that, when it’s right, it’ll happen. When I find my mind going to that black hole of never-ending worry and what-ifs, I sing to myself, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be.” A little silly, but it works.
We’ve also had extra stress dealing with some school issues. I’m not going to go into it. I think we’re almost through it and I can look back and see that despite all the stress, some good things have come out of going through this.
I’ve gone back to keeping track of all I accomplish each day. Even if no one else notices, it makes me happy to see all these tasks completed. I have a spreadsheet I found in Microsoft Excel that’s meant for a chores list, but works perfectly for me. Each week, I’ll start a new spreadsheet, so I can look back and see how much progress I’ve made. There are some tasks that I do daily, some I do twice a week or more and some I only do once a week or once a month. I don’t have to look to my hubby or my kids for validation that I’m reaching goals. I’ve also added several items since I started.
I’m learning to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bleak. I’m learning to be grateful for where I am, who I’m with and everything that I once took for granted in life. Those are some pretty big statements, but I’m confident in them.
I’ll probably post again about this book because there is so much helpful advice in it. I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you feel like you are happy and especially if you don’t.