Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have the way, Missing the will

Here's the most heartbreaking thing about my current difficulties getting into the swing of Project Bananas and, to a less extent, The Happiness Project: I know what I need to do to feel happier and more content, I just can't get up the energy to actually DO it.

There are no magic wands in this life, I know this. In order to feel better about my body, I need to eat better (and less) and exercise more. To write a book, I need to make time everyday to write some words. To improve at the violin, I need to practice. To read more, I need to turn off the TV and open a book.

None of this is brain surgery. All of it would make me happier. But somehow, at the end of each and every day, I have the energy only to make dinner, and then collapse on the couch in a heap of sweatpants.

There will never be a better time than this moment to achieve any of these goals, so I somehow have to remember that in 60 years, god willing, I will never wish that I'd watched more re-runs of Friends or How I Met Your Mother. Life is for the living, and reruns are for sick days and heartbreak.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reinventing the Wheel

In a certain sense, I've already failed. My goal for this week was to blog every day and I failed on day two. I have an excuse, of course, which was that I had an office social obligation after work, had a couple of beers, and got home later than usual. I was also exhausted, thanks to the car pushing the night before. But honestly, I think I was also mentally exhausted from all the thinking I've been doing thanks to reading The Happiness Project.

I'm not quite finished, but I honestly think that it's already changed me a bit. All my spare moments have been devoted to thinking up what my personal commandments might be. All I've got so far is "Love thy neighbour, or find explanations in charity", but given the amount I rage about both my actual neighbours and just other people out in the world, it's an excellent first step.

Where I keep getting stuck is Gretchen Rubin's first commandment, "Be Gretchen". She uses it as a reminder that at the end of the day, she can't completely subvert her personality (I think). So I keep coming up with possible commandments (Don't take it so personally), but then I wonder if that's just who I am, a person who takes relationships of all kinds very seriously. Needless to say, I have another 11 commandments to obsess over in the coming days.

Anyways, it's Friday night, I've got a weekend of potential creativity and reinvention ahead of me, as long as I can manage not to sleep it away. I'd like to come up with a few more commandments and also work on some resolutions and secrets of adulthood. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It's probably not escaped anyone's notice that it is now February. You would think that the ideal time for picking up Project Bananas again after an extended hiatus would be January, but you would be wrong. That would be too predictable. I had it all planned out in my head...

I'm lying, of course. January passed by in a blur of social engagements, trying to go to the gym, work, Super Mario Galaxy, and some vague promises to myself to eat better. But the more I think of it, February is actually a MUCH better time to start such a project up again. It helps that my months old hold at the library for a book called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin finally arrived.

I picked up the book last week, but once I started reading it last night I could barely put it down. By the end of this morning's bus trip to work I was halfway through and by noon I'd already signed up for an account at The Happiness Project Toolbox. I realized that between The Happiness Project and Project Bananas, I think I can really truly get my ass in gear and get some goals accomplished.

Here's how it's going to go down: I'm going to (try to) post a new Project Bananas project every week. I'm also going to post regular updates on how my progress on my Happiness Project projects are going. In the short term, that's going to involve ironing out my Personal Commandments and Secrets of Adulthood. Once I've got those figured out, I can move on to working out some more concrete resolutions to go with my Bananas Projects. I think the difference is that while the resolutions will be speak to changing behaviour and mindset in the grander scheme, the Bananas Projects will focus on short term goals and achievements. So, being a more patient girlfriend vs. practicing my violin every day.

It's barely been 24 hours since I started THE HAPPINESS PROJECT (the book), but already I'm seeing a difference in my attitude. I shoveled the walk this morning while I was waiting for the bus, as a nice surprise to D and the next door neighbours (we seem to have a nice back and forth with them in terms of shoveling). I was logical and realistic about a disappointment at work and didn't let it derail my day. I went to the gym even though I didn't want to (and felt better for it, damn it). I was more patient during a conversation with D where I might have lost my temper. And I was resolved to have a good attitude about an email that I received regarding a work event.

Anyways, between THE HAPPINESS PROJECT and Project Bananas, I'm feeling totally and completely inspired.

So, to start (again) at the very beginning (again), this week's Project Bananas is Be a Famous Blogger (again). That'll mean blogging every day for the next week. As yet, I forsee no impediments to prevent me from succeeding at this goal. I'll also be working on getting my Happiness Project elements going.

It's good to be back, if only I can keep it up.