Happiness Project Update

Months ago I wrote this post about happiness. Where are we today?
Stop at least one negative statement about a person place or thing. I can’t say that I have 100% stopped this behavior but I can say that I have gotten a hell of a lot better at controlling my negativity. And when I do let negativity slip out, I notice it right away and a few times retracted my statements in conversations. I have made much headway here and would like to continue this on.  
Wear sunscreen daily.For many weeks I did this, then, I don’t know what happened. First it began as “I don’t plan on going in the sun today anyway” – in which case I ended up going into the sun 9 times out of 10. Now I don’t even think about sunscreen. I need to reset on this goal.
Cut some slack. I have made some improvement here, especially on the home front. I am beginning to sense when someone is just having an off day. I try to not engage in confrontation with them when they act in a way that I do not agree with. With some people it is more of a challenge than others but fortunately I continue to grow here.
Stop being judgmentalI have made some improvements as well. I received some interesting advice from a colleague a few months ago. He mentioned that he too has the tendency to be judgmental. He decided that the best way to conquer this notion is to embrace that which he is judging. He started approaching people he didn’t think he would like. He soon found that those people he had “pre-judged” were actually nice and interesting people. I have started using this approach on a small scale. I now say hi to people I would previously ignore. On a flight I was distraught when I realized I was seated next to a young family with an infant. I tried my hardest to ignore them, just knowing that the baby would be screaming throughout the flight. Sure enough, before we even took off, the baby started crying. A few minutes later she stopped. My fear was unwarranted. I ended up having a nice conversation with the lady. Opening yourself up to others will not only enrich their lives because you are showing a genuine interest in them but also because you are being enriched with knowing someone you didn’t know before.
Breathe and breathe deeply.   
Stop being a debbie downer.This backfired on me a bit. At work I tend to be a problem finder. I see things that are going to go wrong before they go wrong. I most always call attention to these issues; and I am sure there are eyes rolling behind my back. Once I saw a problem, asked about it, was told it wasn’t a problem, it still didn’t seem right to me but I didn’t push the issue as I normally would. Big mistake. I ended up spending one entire weekend (day and night) trying to fix this issue that I “knew” could be a problem. The lesson here is to learn when negativity or conflict is appropriate and use it. In social settings it is ok to let things slide but in work I need to use better judgement.
Stop being a one upper.  This is another category where I have made big improvements but I can still grow more. I think it is more of a self-esteem issue and feeling the need to prove myself. I just need to remember that people like to talk about themselves. Let them do it.
Flossing- This is a better than before category as well. Am I ever going to get myself to floss every single day? Probably not. But if I can get myself to floss 4 times a week, that would be great.

Where are we now?

6 months ago I wrote this new years journal entry. At the time of the posting I had five what seemed like very large reasons why my life was terrible. As of today, I can only recall two of those reasons. Of those two reasons, one of those reasons has had a recent change for the better. A change happened that I never thought would happen. I need to remind myself that  I must remain positive that this change will stay in the positive direction. The second of the “terrible” things still exists and still hurts my heart. Fortunately it has gotten to a place where I am not reminded of the pain on a daily basis.
The only demons I am currently facing are my own.

As far as what I planned to do in 2012, I have sort of been off track or changed my course on some of those plans.  

“I hope to make 2012 a year where I foster better relationships with my husband, family, and friends.”I still recognize this as an issue. I find it hard to pick up the phone to call a friend, mostly because I feel like I have nothing to say. A good friend of mine recently told me (not to hurt me by any means) that I am the type friend that she needs to reach out to in order to stay in touch and she was fine with it. It made me realize that I am incredibly luckily that I have friends such as these that put up with my shenanigans. I think of how much I am missing out on because I don’t reach out to people anymore. This is something I still need to work on.

 I will cut people out of my life who choose to bring me down rather than lift me up.I have changed direction on this item. I am now leaning toward repair rather than quitting. I don’t know if I will be fighting a lost cause but I would like to see where I can go with this. Perhaps a relationship that has evolved in nature?  

In 2012 I will continue to exercise.I finished my first half-marathon this year. Then I took a running break. I am now back at it again training for another half-marathon – this time faster I hope. I continue to play volleyball once a week and I am biking much more lately. I love what biking is doing for my arms.
In 2012 I will be more compassionate; but only in such a way where my energy is not being sucked dry.I made no progress on this one until recently. I have a person I see almost every day who is a constant challenge for me. This person frequently harasses me, spreads rumors about me, and is overall someone who gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I have to talk to them. This person also has a terrible personal life that is full of strife and a lot of self-inflicted anxiety related issues. Upon some advice from others, I have decided to just hear this person out when they speak to me instead of immediately dismissing them (so I can rid of them). I have listened to them many times in the last few weeks and while the person hasn’t necessarily become any less annoying to me, this person seems to have halted all the bad speak about me behind my back. Additionally the person is becoming less and less confrontational with me. I am coming to the conclusion that many of the problems from this person comes from the fact that they feel like I do not see their worth and they are seeking my approval. By acknowledging this person’s thoughts and ideas, I am giving them the needed validation so they can stop being obsessed with me.

Next up is the update on My Happiness Project.

Another song another memory

Taken from a Jun 18, 2008 myspace blog…..

Another song, another memory

Driving into work this afternoon, I heard a song on the radio that brought back a memory of a wonderful time. I started thinking to myself that I really need to document a list of particular songs and the memories they bring. Below is the list of the songs I hear and the memories they trigger when I hear them.

I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash – Jazz Fest 2008. It was a rained out weekend in New Orleans but my friends and I did not give up.We had rain all day but suddenly the sun came out right before the next performer was to appear on at the Acura stage. They played this song. The whole crowd sang along.

Hold on by Wilson Phillips – Heavenly, Lake Tahoe 2005. After a day of skiing we had a drunken hot tub night with a couple bottles of Dom Perigon. Only get a few stations on the radio were able to be accessed from our condo. Wilson Phillip’s Hold on comes on and we sing/scream in unison. It was one of the best drunken nights ever (that I can remember).

With a Little Luck by Paul McCartney and Wings – Sometime in the late 70’s – Sitting in the back of my mom’s big ol car at night while we were driving around the greater Cincinnati area. I remember I was eating a ding dong or a ho ho when this song came on.

These are the Days by 10,000 maniacs – High school graduation 1993 – They played the song after we all received our diplomas. I specificially remember this because that same year, the kids on the show Beverly Hills 90210 graduated and they also had the song play at their graduation. One of many similarities between that show and my high school Dr. Phillips, 32819.

New Age Girl by Dead Eye Dick – Lucy Bluz in Kissimee sometime 1993-1995 – I snuck into Lucy Bluz underage and filled my mug with crap beer for $1.50 (no matter how big the mug was). I remember singing the chorus “She don’t eat meat but she sure like the bone” with my friends there.

Elvira by Oak Ridge Boys & Working My Way Back To You by Four Seasons – My pre-school had a record player that played these two songs repeatedly. I will forever associate them with pre-school.

Jeremy by Pearl Jam – High school prom 1993 – The dance floor was packed. It was the height of the grunge era.

I will add more as I remember more……

Old Florida

This past Saturday I was invited boating with my friend Shelby and my softball team at Shelby’s parents house in Tavares. I was excited because it seemed like decent weather compared to my last boating attempt where it continued to storm the whole time I was there. The day started as some of our brilliant teammates ran out of gas in the middle of the lake while coming to meet us. Shelby and I decided that we were going to go on a rescue mission and try to find them because apparently they were being towed in. We hopped on the Jet Ski and rode around the lake for a while and eventually returned back after not finding them. About an hour later, they finally blessed us with their presence.
Once everyone arrived, we took the party boat out (filled with beverages) and started off on our boating adventure. The captain Shelby guided our boat across the lake and to a small canal that reached another lake. We slowly glided through a time capsule to what I would describe as old Florida. Along the waterway was pristine swamp land beautifully decorated with cypress trees. I would say that we saw at least ten different bird species and greatest of all, untouched bird’s nests at the tops of the tallest trees. One or two alligator heads popped above the water to watch us. The treat of the trip was witnessing an otter (probably rabid otter) making a number two in somebody’s yard along a stretch of mobile homes and houses along the end of the path. What a lifestyle it must be to live along the water and be able to hop on your boat and cruise along whenever you wish.
Once we entered the other lake, clouds started forming and we decided collectively that it was time to return back. We made a pit stop so someone could go number one before our long trip back. At that time, the whole boat decided to jump off the back of the boat into the lake. I could not remember the last time that I went swimming in a lake. Once we returned to the dock, it was time for burgers and more beer. Ah, what a relaxing day.

Note: Taken from a past journal entry.