Be happier in the now

I guess it’s sort of the point of my whole year of happiness – to be happier in my everyday life. 

But in the past weeks I had some new realizations about this. 

First was a discussion with my sister-in-law who commended me on my energy to go walking, go to a diy concrete course, organize our apartment… I think I was so baffled I wasn’t able to answer anything in the moment, but it did start a thought process in my head. 

One: being able to do all the above mentioned things are greatly due to family members. 

Having a husband who is happy to take care of the kids, so I can “do my own thing” is pretty damn valuable. We are also lucky to have most of both our families and friends living in the same city with us. Those are the pair of extra helping hands when we just remember to reach out. 

Two: being able to do and also doing above mentioned own things boosts my energy. Those are the little (or big?) extras that make life just that bit more enjoyable. When you find that something you like to do, it’s not a chore, it’s a huge joy! For me, these diy courses have proven to be a great source of joy – especially having two of my very dear friends there with me to share the experience!

Not a 100% success, but making it was still a joy!

Remember, 

not everything you do to be happier has to be mind-blowingly huge. 

If you have been dreaming of a beautiful garden – start with planting one flower. Any start is a start. If you think exercising would make you happier – start with doing something once a week. Or if you work at an office, start with taking the stairs instead of the lift / elevator. In a high-rise, perhaps it’s possible to get off the lift a few storeys too soon. I mean it, any start is a start.

Grandparenting

Another thing that led me to thinking about happiness in the now have been articles I’ve read about grandparents, who want nothing to do with their grandkids. And the reason for this? “I have brought up my own kids already and now it’s my turn to enjoy my life!” 

Oh how sad that makes me. I mean, they are entitled to feel like they are feeling, and I am sure they have deserved a break. But in this day and age, where the official retirement year in my age group is something like 2050, 

I would really hope to start enjoying my life before I retire. 

Our kids have a special relationship with all grandparents (we have truly won this lottery and have 6 different people we can count towards this group) and I think their lives would be so much less without them. 

Junior has an especially strong bond with my hubby’s dad, because when he was a baby, they drove around together in a car a lot (desperate times, desperate measures – check my bio for the background on this) and Junior somehow just knows that. 

Our Princess is a bit older and is already able to appreciate different things in different people (well, in the family matriarchs mainly – she’s a bit afraid of men these days 😳) 

I am so grateful the grandparents in our kids lives do not feel that spending time with our kids is too exhausting or demanding. And I fully intend to start living my life so that I don’t have to reach retirement to enjoy my life.

Waving February goodbye

Posting this late due to a stomach bug wrecking havock in my family…

Really? Already?


In touch with my inner… something!

I’m not at all sure I have been successful with my February resolutions. I feel like I’m not getting the tracker boxes ticked as  often as I would like, being a golden star lover that I am. 

On the other hand, I think I am already feeling the results of my happiness project.

It doesn’t mean that I am a 100% pure sunshine 100% of the time. I’m still tired, cranky and complaining on occasion. 

But more often than not, I can see the silver lining. I am more grateful and perhaps just slightly braver in speaking out my opinions.

 All this just makes me somehow more balanced and in return, more forgiving to my surroundings. That is definitely something for a person whose motto for years has been: “Think negative and you will not be disappointed!”

How about those resolutions then

I wrote before, that I had pretty much bitten off more than I could chew for February’s relationship resolutions. I decided I should go back to the very basics and ended up with this list:

  • Date nights
  • Kiss in the morning, kiss in the night
  • No calculation
  • No dumping
  • Do not expect praise

I’m not even sure anymore, but I think some of them came from Gretchen Rubin’s 21-day-project and some are from her book. In any case, all others than date nights are Rubin’s ideas. 

No dumping

I think the resolutions have lifted the spirits of our whole household at least on some levels. Even though I can’t always follow the “no dumping” -resolution, I am especially careful not to complain to hubby when he is out enjoying a (quite rare) night out with friends. There was a time I used to text shout at him all the little things going wrong (in my opinion) while I was home alone with the kids. Being perfectly aware he will not be able to help, and actually doesn’t have to either.

There is definitely a line between being vindictive and asking help when you have actual problems. So I still might call to get him home, if I happen to fall ill when he’s away, but I will keep from texting every hour because the kids happen to be in a funky mood.

No praise, no calculation

This brings me to the resolutions “no calculation” and “do not expect praise”. I get ample time to go out with friends, to courses, to writing, you name it. Even so, sometimes I feel like I have a slight disadvantage compared to husband, because I need so much more sleep. If it’s my turn to put the kids to bed, I will have no “me-time”. 

I think I’ve been expecting to be praised about the fact what a trooper I am to survive without my me-time, while hubby is out. Even if we divide the nights either equally or – most of the time – to my favour.

From the no dumping to the no calculation, I have realized how dumping the going-ons of the house to my hubby, when he is out, only really spoils the evening for us both. He will have spent the night away, coming back home propably twice as irritated. When the whole point is to let him have his “me-time” so I’ll get a more relaxed hubby home. And I will feel guilty about spoiling his night just about the second after I’ve sent the angry messages (did I ever mention I have really poor impulse control??).

I have made some calculations after all, but only to help me realize how much help I actually am getting from my husband ❤ 

Keeping up with the kisses and date nights

You know what, it does help to remember these little kisses to keep your relationship alive. 

It’s a tiniest moment of appreciation. You take that five seconds from your busy schedule (oh believe me, our mornings can be very hectic at times…) to kiss your partner instead of shouting from afar an absent-minded “bye”. Sad but true, I hadn’t paid attention to this in a long time.

We’ve been pretty good about the date nights too. Sometimes just running some errands, sometimes eating out. Just learning to be a couple instead of always just being a mum and dad 😉 

I have now grown to love these resolutions, because they have made me so much more appreciative of what I have. Perhaps I should interview Husband to figure out if he’s actually noticed any changes (have you, hon?)

In March I will try to have some discoveries about my relationship with our kids. Scary.