Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Happiness Project

I just started reading the book, The Happiness Project.  My best friend in the whole wide world is working on her master's thesis, and one of the books she used was The Happiness Project.  And if the happiest person in the world got something worthwhile out of it, then I'm thinking it's a read for me.  Me, who's motto could aptly be, "the season of my discontent".  In all areas of my life.  It's just the way I'm wired, I'm thinking.  Anyhow, one chapter into the book, and I've already made a connection with the author.  One of the things she tackles to increase her happiness is the clutter that comes along with families.  She talks about how freeing cleaning out her closet was, and buying nice jars for all of the little junk that her daughters accumulate (you know, like Littlest Pet Shop, and Barbie shoes!).  I almost heard angels singing!  I look around my much cluttered, untidy house and I realize that part of that niggling discontent I feel in the pit of my belly is caused by STUFF!  We have more junk than any normal person (well, as a normal person, I guess).  Hello Hoarders?!  Somedays I think we are but a hop-step-and-jump away from being featured on that show.  We collect.  And every time I've lost a grandparent in recent years, I end up with more STUFF, because I am a sentimentalist.  And because my hugely sentimental family (Mom) doesn't want it at their house, but want to keep it in the family.  And I'm an idiot.  I can't say no.

Anyhow, like the author, I need to get the stuff and clutter under control.  What is the point in spending hours exercising, yoga-ing, taking courses, etc, etc, if I don't get rid of the stuff that is cluttering not only my house, but my mind.  I know how good I will feel if I conquer this monster.  And make no mistake, it is a monster.  Ever heard Bill Cosby's act about the Blob that ate Manhattan?  The Blob is in my house.  And we're all going to be gobbled up!

One of the big clutter making things is papers.  Papers that need to be filed.  Extended health care receipts and forms.  Mixed in with lacrosse schedules.  And scholarly articles about how use of technology helps to bridge the achievement gap in literacy between boys and girls (my teacher inquiry project).  Guitar tabs for songs I've never heard of (Jackson the guitar master, always learning new songs).  Just papers.  Piles and piles of papers.

So it is my goal to conquer the clutter.  Pitch the papers we don't need, and file the rest.  Clean out the cupboards.  Take all of the kids' junk to their rooms, they can deal with it there.  Unpack the boxes in the basement that have been moved from house to house for almost 20 years. I'm thinking if I haven't missed it, I don't need it.  Take all of the unusable junk to the dump.  Take the rest to the Salvation Army thrift shop.  At this point a garage sale is the last thing I want to do, so much work, so little profit.  And then I still have to take it to the Sally Ann anyway. 

Step one in my personal Happiness Project.  I think it might take me the rest of the summer.  But it will be time well spent.  And a nice break from this *&?"/! course I`m taking.  And really, the basement is nice and cool, cleaning that disaster up will be a break from the heat, right?!

Once I get a head of the clutter, I will finally throw a coat of paint on my antique desk (I've only been planning that since Jess was a toddler.  She's going away to university in September).  Recover the cushions for the livingroom (that's only been planned since March Break).  And work on some other small painting projects.

It's only a start, but happiness is really what I'm after.  Aren't we all?

Hope you are all enjoying this glorious heat!  Speaking of happiness, spent the day at the beach yesterday, after a very hot long run at the running clinic.  The beach was pure bliss.  Georgian Bay is actually sort of warm.  Warm enough for me to go in anyway.  Seamus spent hours playing in the water, and Jackson was fairly content reading on the beach.  No major sunburns, just beautiful sunkissed skin, and LOTS of freckles.  I am polka-dotted!  But in a good way :)

Have a glorious Sunday.

Namaste.  My your peace and happiness be easily attainable.

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