Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happiness Project, Take 2

Last year (or perhaps the year before) I read the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It helped me alot to force myself out of giving over to feelings of unhappiness, negativity and the like. I am going to revisit it and see if I can start to make some positive changes, and tap into the person that I know is hidden inside the helpless, hand wringing, wrinkle and grey hair scrutinizing person that winter turns me into. So here goes, I'm jumping in with both feet.

She (Gretchen) has a list that she came up with called The Secrets of Adulthood. They make an enourmous amount of sense, but may not be the kind of things that you realize on a day to day basis. Here they are.
  1. People don't notice your mistakes as much as you think.
  2. It's okay to ask for help.
  3. Most decisions don't require extensive research.
  4. Do good, feel good.
  5. It's important to be nice to everyone.
  6. Bring a sweater.
  7. By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
  8.  Soap and water remove most staints.
  9. Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
  10.  If you can't find something, clean up.
  11. You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do.
  12.  Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy.
  13. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
  14. You don't have to be good at everything.
  15.  If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.
  16.  Over the counter medicines are very effective. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  17.  What's fun for other people may not be fun for you - and vice versa.
  18. People actually prefer thaty you buy wedding gifts off their registry
  19. You can't profoundly change your children' natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes.
  20. No deposit, no return.
Game on!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day. Hooray?

Two-thirds of the way through January -- woo hoo! I hate it. I usually get seasonal affect, but this year was ridiculous. It started on New Year's Eve and I've been fighting it since. Stupid tears, crippling bouts of not being able to get anything done but fill my Houzz Ideabook online, and spurts of yelling at the kids that I immediately regret. I've started working out again, but so far no relief, at least my jeans will appreciate the effort I hope. We leave for Florida in a few weeks, and it couldn't come at a better time. Today we had our first "real" snow of the season, and Tom had to work in Boston.  I thought ahead, organized the coat closet, set out snowboots, tons of gloves and mittens in the shoe bag oranizer thingy on the back of the door. Set 3 basic rules before the troops headed out at 830 this morning: 1. No snow in anyone's faces. 2. No snow down anyone's backs or necks. 3.When you need new gloves, come around to the front door and I will get you a fresh pair. Went upstairs to start stripping the beds to change the sheets. dingdongdingdongdingdong. Oh that goddamn back door doorbell. Youngest child crying and hysterical about cold hands. Hmmmmm... basic problem easily solved. See Rule #3. So I got mad at her and started yelling about her crying. At the front door middle child with about 4inches of snow on his head complaining about having snow down his neck. I went ballistic. Screaming at oldest child ((Rule #2!! Rule #2!!!!!!)) Dropped an F bomb, yelled at everyone to get in the house because oldest child told me he asked her to do it. Bananas. I went berserk.
It turns out he wanted snow piled on him like you would do with sand at the beach. They got me on a technicality. At that point I realized I could probably get 15 more minutes peace if they went back outside. Dry gloves, a new hat and a change of jacket later they were back out in the snow.

Friday, January 13, 2012


So every couple of years my anxiety creeps up and gets in and rears its ugly head. And in every single case when it's gotten bad enough for me to reach out and get back in with a therapist, insurance coverage becomes an issue. The ironic thing is that my husband works for a big insurance company. We have a great quality of life from both a time management and financial stability perspective. We opted out of the company sponsored insurance plan because it is pretty expensive, and receive our insurance from the military. This is what makes me crazy(er). Now, granted, since my husband is a reservist and we live almost exclusively as civilians we are obviously not in the same vain of emotional or physical danger as those out on the front, or their families scraping by to keep it together back home. But, we are receiving the same healthcare benefits as the soldiers and their families. Now wouldn't it make sense for people who reallllly need mental health care to receive it? Not so, apparently. I'm frustrated, and I know there is away around it, some kind of out of network payment or other such nonsense. But I am thinking about the 20 year old military wife and mom in Kansas who's husband is overseas and is desperate and suffering from post-partum. Or the 19 year old kid who just got back from Iraq and doesn't know who to turn to. If it's this hard for me, how do they manage?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I keep stepping on the same pretzel in the kitchen. I need to sweep it up, but the recycling bin is blocking the closet where the broom is, and I don't have a dustpan anymore anyway. I finally threw it away, thinking it would force me to buy a decent one. The one I had would do that thing where just enough of the junk would slide under the pan, forcing me to go a little further a little further a little further with the pan, until I still had a pile by the trash can, dusty and gray, and would need to go get the vacuum anyway. That's how January makes me feel. Just when you think you've got it, there's always a garland, or a decorative Santa candy dish, or let's be realistic.. an entire Christmas village that needs to be put away. It's a long month, and luckily we've made it this far without any crazy weather yet. I dread the days when the forecast is in the 20s or worse. So I'm keeping my eye on March, with the promise of early bulbs popping through, the occasional 60 degree day and the reality of Spring being right around the corner. Right now we've got the rest of January to contend with. Looming like the big bulky vacuum cleaner in the hall closet that I don't want to deal with.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Years Resolutions

  1. Learn to change out a light fixture.
  2. Learn some basic carpentry from my dad. How to use a saw and maybe how to cut an angle so I can make frames or crown molding or something.
  3. Get a handle on my itunes account. It incenses me that my itunes screen keeps popping up on my computer, I don't really know how to sync it correctly to my phone, etc.
  4. Get my photos off the computer and onto my walls and in albums.
  5. Finish painting the kids' rooms (and the crappy dreary trim in the rest of the house). It's been 3 years and it still looks like shanty town up in here.
  6. Write more. I loved blogging when I got started. I've been lazy and distracted and busy. I should be able to carve out 30 minutes a day to get back into it.
  7. That said, when my family is home with me, be more present in the moment.
  8. Continue to make small steps, like posting this semi lame blog post just to get back into the swing of things.