Although every persons Happiness Project is individual and unique, I am using Gretchen Rubin's outline she uses in her book. I love that it gives me a place to start, a pattern to mimic and makes everything seem not so overwhelming.
Month 1 in the book was September, but for me it is January. Gretchen had her first month as Possessions. While I am using Possessions as well, I am expanding my focus to Home and Possessions. Since I am a full time Mom, my home is my everything. It's my most important possession, as well as my office, my escape, my playground and most significant way to express myself.
My goals for this month:
Cultivate a Shrine - this is one directly from the book. It is also not something I would think to of myself, but I love it. I'm going to work on cultivating a shrine to running, family, and stationary.
Running - I don't have a great deal to put up for this, but I love running and sometimes I need to remind myself that I do. I'm not in as good shape as I once was, but I've also accepted that my life is very different than it was a few years ago. I want to display my few medal and a 1st place ribbon I got in a 5k a few summers back. I have a cleared space in my closet. That way it is where I will see if everyday and it is also where the first step to running takes place - getting in my running clothes.
Family - Most of my house is a shrine to my family. My walls are decorated with family photos, my kitchen full of art projects my kids have done, pictures they have drawn for me and papers from school reminding me of Mr. Man's Gingerbread Man play and telling me when Little Miss has her B-ball practices and games. But I wanted something more, just for me. So, in the same little corner tucked in my closet I'm going to hang a bulletin board with my favorite pictures of my family.
Stationary - This one might seem a bit strange, but it is something dear to me. I have always loved stationary. I love notebooks, notepads, pens, pencils, desk organizers! Back to school sales make me giddy and I have remind myself that I am buying supplies for my kids, not extras for myself. Several years ago, I discovered that one of my best friends had the same affection for stationary. We lived down the street from each other for a few years, with little girls the same age and being pregnant with #2 (boys) together. The year that we were having our #2's both of our husbands were busy and not around as much as we would have liked. My hubby was out of town often training for a new position and working. Her husband was (and still is) teaching high school and coaching baseball and, at the time, was working on getting his masters. We spent lots of time together! Now we are in two different states and find that talking to each other is few and far between these days. But, that is part of what I love about our friendship. No matter if we talk everyday or once a year our friendship hasn't changed. For birthdays and Christmas and sometimes at random, we send each other pens and notebooks. I love my collection, not just because I love stationary, but because it reminds me of Ali!
Go shelf-by-shelf - This is also right from the book! I have a list of areas that need attention. Most of them are filled with things that could fill my garbage can for weeks. I know myself though, I know that I get gung-ho on a project, then peter out, forcing myself to finish with only a half-effort. So, I decided to incorporate it into my zone cleaning I do each month. This way if I don't get to a space that needs de-cluttering I will get back around to it the next month. Hopefully, this way I can keep things clean and clutter free.
Make my house a home - This is something I already strive to do, I have room for improvement! I keep a clean home and my clean home does make me happy. A place for everything and everything in it's place is my version of a happiness mantra! That being said, sometimes I need to loosen up. When I am stressing about something getting cleaned or finished my husband often tells me "Don't worry the cleaning police are on vacation." While I will probably always stress, at least a little, about keeping my home clean, I want to accept limitations - don't worry so much about it being clean that it's uncomfortable and decorate for me. Throughout the book the author admonishes "Be Gretchen." Likewise I admonish myself to "Be Rachelle", I often look at things in other homes and love them. It's not until I try to envision it in my home that I love these styles for their home and that's okay. Often I like the way others have their homes decorated better than I have my own, but I want my home to be mine - not a copy of a magazine or of my friend who is maybe more stylish than I am. Be Rachelle!