Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Twenty things

on February 1, 2014

Happiness is not conducive to writing entertaining blog posts.  But I find I quite like it.  At first when I noticed a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach – a bit like nervousness, almost anxiety, but somehow not quite –  I would look for the source of the problem, wonder what was wrong.  And then I realised:  I’m just feeling happy.

There are, of course, still things going wrong.  This week I have been ill.  Four days lying on the sofa feeling like I’m going to throw up, too tired to move, alone with no-one to look after me.  Far better than alone but with two children to look after, I should add.   Last night Small Girl threw a tantrum at 12.30 am for approximately 40 minutes because she wanted to go downstairs, which resulted in my neighbours banging on the wall.  I don’t really blame them.  I had very limited options other than capitulating to a habit of midnight feasts, but still this did not feel like a reasonable thing to subject them to.  Life is often far from peachy.  But still, I am happy.

My employers are very keen on positive psychology. So I appear to be contractually obliged to be cheerful at all times, which does not really suit my temperament.  I want to point out that they do now own that part of me.  But as a result I’ve been given some excellent training on how to deal with difficult situations with resilience, and how to be happier.  One thing we are repeatedly advised to do it to write a list every day of twenty things which are good about our life.  Just before the New Year, I decided to give it a go.

And I’ve found that I quite like making this list.  It’s harder after a bad night’s sleep, or when my children are behaving as if they actually want to be locked in the cellar.  And I always have to work a little bit to get to number 20.  But I enjoy that process: the time spent thinking about all the good things in my life.  The general, everyday things: that I have a secure home which I can afford to heat; that I love my children; that we’re all healthy.  The ones specific to that day: that I no longer feel ill; that I’m looking forward to seeing a friend at the weekend; that I had something really nice for dinner.  And, of course, the ones based on the most recent episode of West Wing that I’ve watched.

And I come away feeling that I lead a charmed life.  I can’t say for certain that it’s having benefits beyond the ten minutes or so I spend doing it, but it does seem to have coincided with feeling more positive.  Because it is too painful for me to recommend doing something quite so cheesy and pop-psychology, I won’t.  Carry on being miserable if you like.



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