Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

In the dying days of the year, I am mainly trying to reduce unhappiness

on October 10, 2012

I have been looking, desperately, for ways to be happier.  I have thought about buying things. Mainly from ebay, because that way I also get the satisfaction of grinding my competitors into the dust by sniping them at the last minute.  I like having new things, things I really want and enjoy owning, but just buying more things doesn’t actually make me happy.  I buy chocolate and eat it, but it doesn’t really make me happier.  As I eat it furtively while Big Girl isn’t looking, I just feel guilty. And really, really, I *know* eating chocolate isn’t going to make me happy.  So I feel stupid afterwards for doing something which I knew all along wasn’t going to make me happy.

What I think is this: just now, it’s not about trying to be happier. That’s for Spring and Summer, the seasons of hope, things growing, days getting longer.  That’s a time for setting goals and achieving them. Autumn and Winter are for reducing unhappiness.  Working out what makes my life difficult and stressful and taking it away.  Some problems can’t be removed without a team of ninja assassins, something I don’t have access to.  But perhaps other things can.

So I’m trying to cut out the things which make life hard. For example, I’ve decided to eat the same food each week. For the past fortnight we’ve had macaroni cheese with peas in once a week.  This saves on making decisions.  Eventually I hope to have a whole week’s worth of meals in the calendar so I just don’t have to think about it. .

The constant sense of chaos engendered by the state of my kitchen is another thing which makes me unhappy. So I’ve tidied it. And I’m keeping it tidy.  This doesn’t really make me happy. But it makes me less unhappy.

And I’m giving up on the idea of reading much of the stuff which comes through my letterbox.  Or into my inbox. Seriously, I don’t have time to hooveer (oh wait! I could have time to hoover.  I just don’t want to). When am I going to have time to read the local newspaper? Or the Review section of the Guardian? Straight into the recycling bin.

I’m looking for all the little things which make me feel dismal, make me feel a failure, make my life feel difficult, and I’m getting rid of them.  John Stuart Mill advocated for ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people’. I look back over this past summer, over the the goals I set for myself and sort of achieved, and I think, I have been happy.  I think happiness can be realised. But just now, in the time of year most suited to hibernation, it’s time for a different set of goals.

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