Saturday, Aug 19th

Repeat and Recharge

I’ve been doing a lot of Three Good Things lately, and it’s working for me — so I’m doing it again today. My three good things for today:

  • I took a walk with the kids to the store last night; the evening was lovely and cool and windy.
  • My three-year-old shared some of the treat we bought with some neighbor kids as we passed.
  • There are frogs singing outside my window, which reminds me of home.

To recharge, I have time to go to the library along today, for the first time in a while. I love going with the children, but I also love going alone; it’s one of the few times that I am truly off-duty, and can sit and read or dream without fear of interruption.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, Aug 18th

Three Good Things

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

Today’s three good things:

  • I started a new book (The Teacher Wars), which so far is well-written and interesting.
  • My three-year-old asked for a back rub last night, and I was able to rub her back until she was nearly asleep, which felt very cozy.
  • The boys pulled out the sprinkler for a while yesterday evening and spent some time running through it.

Hmm… I notice that books figure heavily in my recent happiness exercises. That fits.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, Aug 17th

Find Inspiration

Sometimes children’s books can surprise me. Today I picked up a book that I’d gotten from the library for the kids: The Three Questions. It’s apparently loosely based on a Tolstoy short story, and involves a boy trying to answer three questions: What is the most important time? Who is the most important person? What is the most important thing to do?

I haven’t been able to interest any of the kids in it, but as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, Aug 16th

Take A Vacation

It feels a bit odd to be doing this exercise so soon after a very long vacation, but I think it’s still useful. I give myself all sorts of freedom when away from home that I might usefully incorporate into my normal life as well.

Today’s vacation is a book: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. I like graphic novels, and this one is rich and engaging and (of course) a bit dark.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, Aug 14th

Most Moments Are Positive

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

The transition back into normal life after my vacation has not been seamless for me. One of the reasons vacation is so relaxing for me is that all of my long-term projects — the garden, house maintenance, non-profit work, etc. — are conveniently elsewhere. Returning home to a half-feral garden, a house that needs work I’m not sure how to afford, and other obligations can feel draining. I begin having wistful fantasies of leaving the lot behind and becoming a perpetual tourist. (Needless to say, these fantasies don’t bother with finances.)

Today my goal is to notice the relentlessly positive nature of my moment-to-moment existence. Yes, the house and garden need a lot of work, but I’m fortunate enough to have them in the first place, and there are lots of things going right with both of them. If I can keep my perception of such projects positive, not only will I enjoy life more, but I’m more likely to make what small bits of progress I can. And that, as I know from experience, makes me happy.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, Aug 12th

Repeat and Recharge

This seemed like a good day for another loving kindness meditation. I have no particular reason; it just sounds enjoyable. (Arguably, every day is a good day for loving kindness meditation.)

To recharge today, I decided to follow through on my previous resolution to read more fiction. I like fiction, but it’s something that I let get squeezed out much of the time. I have a novel waiting for me on my table, though, and today I’ll finally pull it out.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, Aug 11th

Interrogate A Fear

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

After spending a long vacation with my family, I came away very aware of my need to please them. Particularly with my father and some of my aunts and uncles, I feel a strong need to prove myself capable and intelligent and worthy to them.

This is, of course, just another manifestation of the common fear of not measuring up. That fear has an unfortunately amount of sway in my life. So today I’m taking some time to pick apart the fear of someone (I’m focusing specifically on my father) judging me as lacking. I can’t say it’s a fun prospect, but my experience with this process is that it brings some relief in the end.

Happy Friday!