Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Happiness Project - January

Since I have begun reading The Happiness Project, I have been a woman on a mission. I've been consumed with feelings of purpose, direction, understanding and connection... finally.

That book was waiting for me that day in the library, I just know it.

This past week, whenever I noticed that my kids were engaged in something other than me, I would grab my little library book, my trusty lined notepad, and a pen. I'd pick up right where I left off.

The author, Gretchen Rubin, began her Happiness Project in January. Perfect - so will I. She began her project launch with a focus on boosting energy. It makes perfect sense to me - boosting energy will make it easier to stick to all of the happiness project resolutions for future months. So, like Gretchen, I have committed to "Vitality" for the month of January.

Vitality for me includes:
1. working out
2. acting more energetic (act the way you want to feel)
3. tossing out, organizing
4. tackling nagging tasks

I have created a "resolutions chart" which I hope will hold me accountable for these four goals for the month of January. It is currently taped on my refrigerator, waiting, eagerly...

Oh...if you know me you know that I have spent the majority of my life "working out". I swam my way through elementary, middle, high school and then college, too. As if that wasn't enough, I continued to swim for a masters team in Colorado after graduation from college. I then added cycling and running to the mix and competed in triathlons as well as a full marathon while living in California.

After I had Cassidy, I stopped exercising. Completely. People said, "Oh, well, you're busy." "You're a mom now.". "You must be too tired.". I'd say, "Well, yes, that's it.". Then I had Dylan and apparently I was even busier and even more tired. Yes I was, but if I really wanted to, I could have found a way to exercise. I could have made it happen, absolutely. The truth of the matter was, I had lost it. I had lost the spark, the desire, the fire that I once had. Every single ounce of my soul had gone into my kids. Exercise no longer mattered to me.

It matters to me now.

Four days ago, I set my watch alarm for 5:30am. I figured my kids would be up shortly after that, but perhaps I could squeeze in a 20 minute Jillian Michael's workout (my sister had just recently showed me how to use "On Demand". How awesome is that?!). At 5:26am Cassidy came shuffling into my room, "Can I lay with you?". "Oh Cass...I'm doing my exercises this morning. Remember?". (I was so excited about my upcoming workout I had told Cass all about it the night before.) She said she'd do it with me. So, we both did Jillian Michael's in our pjs. We used water bottles for weights. We banged on the floor so loudly doing our jumping jacks that we accidentally woke up Dylan. Not ideal, but a start nonetheless.

And there we go. I started. I did it and I'm going to keep doing it.


My Happiness Project...I wonder if this all sounds horribly selfish? Yes, one of my goals in doing this is to be happier, but in being happier, I will be able to make others happier as well. I know, without question, that being a happier Laurie will help me to be a better mama, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, advocate, etc etc... If I want to do all that I know I want to do, it has to start like this...with me.

There is so much more to share, but those are posts for another day.

For now: Happy.