Friday, April 8, 2011

My Happiness Project

Vacation has always meant one big thing to me: I can read what I want. Less than 20 pages into Things Fall Apart, I decided to begin my vacation book early. The Happiness Project had me intrigued on my last few trips to Borders. Since I had a coupon, I picked it up. It is about a woman who, on paper, has a life similar to mine: husband, home, kids, career, etc. She conciders herself but things she could be happier. Thus the happiness project is created. She makes a list of her own goals and breaks them into monthly goals. January includes energize and organize. She begins going to bed early and exercising. She organizes and declutters her NYC apartment. Her description of cleaning her closets was almost Zen like.

I am inspired. I want my own happiness project. So here I go.
I keep my house pretty tidy. Over the years, I have lost my pack rat ways. I used to keep such crazy things as notes my girlfriends wrote me in science class and a "lucky" pennies given to me by boys I liked. Maybe it was growing up that made me throw it out. Maybe it was moving yearly after college to upgraded apartments. Maybe it was the post-flood awaking that I did not need all this "stuff" that couldn't swim in 22 inches of water last spring. My point it, I get into frenzies and get rid of "stuff."

I had just cleaned through our stuff. Liam's clothing in his room is all current. I gave away my old maternity clothes and I'm slowing getting rid of pre pregnancy clothes that will never get over my hips, things I haven't worn, and things I have no use for.

Mike was at a party for work tonight and I was home due to a sick babysitter. Liam played upstairs while I went through the bedroom one more time. Among the items gone:
Three of the four black dressed hidden in the back. I have one that fits really well. I don't need the other three. I've moved some of them 3-4 times since last I've worn them.
Concert T-shirts. I kept some of my high school ones nut got rid of some that had no use still being out of the landfill. (I don't think I'll ever get rid of my They Might Be Giants T.)
Things that don't fit.
Half a laundry basket of undies. I hoard and stockpile underwear. I've had some for years. I got rid of almost half a laundry basket full of undies. Some were just old. Some were delicate, pre baby undies that now look like a tourniquet over my post baby hips. A few were given to me by Mike's well meaning aunt. And, well, nothing sets a mood quite like "Your aunt thought you'd like to get it on with me while I was wearing these."
Half of my socks. I still had socks that I kept for sentimental reasons. They had to go.
Shopping bags. I also hoard these bad boys. I had bags from Motherhood Maternity that I had to keep because I'd never shop there again, bags from Disney I kept because I never know when I'll get back there, etc.

I also got rid of a bunch of books I haven't opened since college. I will have so much less stuff to dust.

I am hoping as the book continues, I can work on such things as lightening up, not taking things personally, accepting things as they are, and making time for the people who are most important to me. I'll think of more later. Mike is home. He is part of my happiness project.

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