Monday, June 23, 2008

Change Up

I am working on this new part of my life - a part I've never actually made a conscious effort in before. I'm working on finding happiness.

I am differentiating this from other phases of my life as previous experiments of this nature have always had secondary objectives, as opposed to an overall goal. I am looking to find happiness. End goal: be happy.

This is not, in any way whatsoever, to imply that I am not currently happy. I am. I just think there is more happiness out there I am not participating in.

I love my friends (and my readers!) for example. Only, I don't spend as much time with them as I would like. This may be a withdrawl factor from leaving school - you don't see your friends in class everyday in addition to your social times. Another factor in this is the widespread nature of my friends. I do not think there is anything to do here except to look for more opportunities to make friends and to engage my current friends in activities we find mutually beneficial and fun.

This means less venting sessions and more active sessions where we "do" something. Venting is important, but when your relationship is built upon the other person being your support system, you run the risk of things going into disrepair. So, improving the foundations of friendship is one thing I think will help me find happiness.

Another thing I need to do is actually get some things off of my to-do list and finish them. This week I made a master to-do list in an effort to expedite this process. Although I have not gotten through everything yet, I think that finishing this set of items and then adding items that I know will make me happy (as opposed to the regular obligations of being an adult) will be productive.

For example, there are many things on my to-do list having to do with my house. If I can get those sorts of things out of the way I can start doing other things on my "house front" like painting, knitting, inviting people over, and reading the shelves of books I have accumulated. To start this process, I am taking advantage of the lack of interesting summer television to incorporate more reading into my life. The current bedside novel: The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. Mind you, I'm fairly certain I already know "who-dunit" but I needed an easy read to get me loving my time curled up with literature again.

A huge key to my happiness is being physically myself. This means getting enough rest and eating properly so my body can be ready to do whatever whim it thinks of at a moments notice. I've started making my bedtime a bit earlier, which was a big first step definitely brought on by the onslaught of illness lately. Produce prices notwithstanding, my food has been just fine (though I need to whip in a bit more variety). But, I'm making a dentist appointment and I may even start looking for a stylist to cut my hair. Little things can make big change.

I guess the truth is, I'm not looking for an overhaul. I'm just tired of feeling blah. I'm sad that I hardly ever share happy adventures even though I have them all the time (which is the product of my venting nature). There are so many parts of life to absolutely love and adore and I want to be enjoying more of them.

I've started finding affordable ways to do things I've never done or am sure I like to do. Like this past weekend picnicking with friends at Wolf Trap National Park while watching Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. What a splendid time we all had with wine and pasta salad and chocolate brownies and "He is an Englishman!"

Next weekend, I'm having a get together for HOBY staff here at the house and on Sunday night I'm going to see RENT with friends (love me some musical theater). So, all things that are fun, affordable, and with friends. But, they aren't so time consuming that I can't do other things that need to get done (like the grocery shopping). It seems so silly to make sure I have time for those things, but it is stressful to go without milk in the fridge for a few days. (Much of this is the fact that I hardly drive because I can walk almost everywhere. I don't pass the grocery much so I have to make a concerted effort to go to one.)

Tonight then, I am going to go to the store with Rachel and get all our shopping done. I am going to talk in a funny, maniacal way about the current object of my daydreams. Tomorrow I am going for a run - even if it does rain - and then I am going to get my computer fixed so I don't have to borrow Rachel's (which she is kind enough to lend me).

I will bake those bananas into a breakfast treat, finish my book and set out on another, give my car a bath (to go with the recent oil change), make all necessary medical appointments, and otherwise set out well prepared to find happiness. I know it is lurking about here somewhere, I've just been content to fumble around in the dark trying to find it. I love being lucky sometimes, but if I can straighten out the easy things, then the happy will be just sitting there for me to enjoy.

And that's something to be excited about.

Love always, ~Heather

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