My Happiness Project has been on temporary hiatus for the past two weeks while I get back on my feet. But I’m back up and running again, and so I’ve recommitted to my January and February goals. From January, I am continuing to stick to my bedtime. And even Chris is joining in on the fun now. He gets bored sitting downstairs without me, so he has been coming to bed when I do. It’s actually been good for him, too. He even told me the other day he feels happier! I’m also still going through my bedtime routine every night – washing my face, taking off all my jewelry, brushing my teeth, moisturizing, fighting wrinkles with wrinkle cream. All that stuff that I have to do in order to look naturally “fresh faced” now that I’m in my 30’s.
From February, except for the past two weeks, I’ve been sticking to my smoothie routine pretty good. I’m even starting to enjoy them. I gave a good valiant effort at eliminating all sweets, but that made me decidedly UNhappy. So, now I just try a little thing called moderation. So far, it’s working out pretty good. And I have also done good with my snacking. I’m not a big snacker, but I now have a nice snacking routine and menu. I have a mid-morning snack of a Kashi Dark Mocha Almond bar when I’m teaching every day. Those suckers are filling, too! That holds me over until lunch like a charm. I also usually have a snack with the kids when we get home from school, and I eat whatever I feed them, which is usually fruit.
I tell you what, though. Even without my assigned “happiness goals,” I’ve been feeling pretty happy lately. And you know what has done it? Being outside with the kids!
Work has wiped me out since I’ve been back, and by the time we get home, my body gives me two options: sit or fall asleep standing up. Having a family, I can’t really afford to do either.
But then it hit me one afternoon.
YES, I CAN!
Who says when I get home from work, I have to start the mad dash of dinner/baths/bedtime right away? So what if dinner is a little later? So what if the kids go to bed at 8:00 instead of 7:30? What’s the big deal?
And that’s where the happiness comes in… IT ISN’T A BIG DEAL! It really isn’t. If I’m not DOING something every waking moment of my day, it just isn’t that big of a deal. If dinner is later or chores don’t get done, well, there’s always tomorrow, kids.
And so, almost every afternoon for the past week and a half, I have been sitting in my driveway watching the kids play. It requires very little movement from me, which my feet appreciate. And it is so good for all of us to let some energy off at the end of a school day. Usually, the kids play for about an hour, and then we go inside and I get dinner in the oven. Then, while it’s cooking, we go back outside and take a long walk through our neighborhood.
I walk the dogs while the kids ride their bikes or drive their cars or sometimes I even throw Lucy in the wagon with them and Big Molly and I pull the three of them around.
It has been such a hit for all of us, that I’ve changed how I menu plan. I have added more crock pot meals to my week (usually we have 2 a week now) and we eat leftovers once or twice a week. I also make sure that dinner can either come together really quickly or has a long bake time so that I can go back outside. I don’t want to be tied to my kitchen. I want to be outside just as much as the kids do. And that is making me supremely happy these days.
I love my happiness project goals, and I’m excited to pick up my routine again this week. But I’m so happy to find that immense, long-last happiness is sometimes only a minor change away.
(P.S. Please look at this picture of Gracie. Last week, the kids were playing tee ball in the front yard, and Bean taught her how to play outfield. He told her to back up and hold her arms out so she could catch the ball. This is her stance while she waits for him to hit. Her face is so intense! It cracks me up!!!!!)