Friday, December 3, 2010

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

Happiness Project

I've been following Gretchen Rubin since last year after reading her book, The Happiness Project.  Since we're getting close to another new year, most of us are thinking ahead to our new year's resolutions.  I personally have never really been one to make resolutions because like most of us, I usually fail to achieve them.  Today I read Gretchen's post looking at this from another perspective.  Instead of making new year's resolutions, think about a one word theme for the coming year.  Think about what one word would encompass what you want or need to accomplish. I gave it some thought and to be honest, I have not been able to nail down one word, but I have narrowed it down to 3.  My words are, GOALS, CHANGE AND THRIVE.  I'm leaning towards change because goals and thriving can fall under the category of change. I like the idea of THRIVE, because as another reader stated in her comment, she wants to "thrive instead of survive."  I like that idea a lot, because that's exactly how I feel, like I've just been surviving and not thriving and that needs to change.  There's that word again....CHANGE. 

Think about it, what would your word be?

Memories of A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Charlie Brown Christmas
Every year at Christmas time I can't help but remember a very sweet memory.  It was seventeen years ago; we were broke and in the process of moving back to Jacksonville from Georgia.  I was depressed about our situation and stressed beyond belief.  We would be making the move on Christmas Eve, so I definitely had no plans of putting up a Christmas tree, let alone even doing Christmas.  My kids were young, Sara 3 and Matt was 8 months, I figured it really wouldn't matter.  I was frantically packing and cleaning while trying to look after the kids.  Matthew, as always, was crying.  He cried all the time, hour after hour, it never seemed to stop and I was frazzled to say the least. Amid all the craziness, Sara wanted to put up a Christmas tree.  All I could think about was how I didn't have time for this, we're moving, we're not going to be here for Christmas and I didn't even know where any Christmas decorations were among all the boxes. The next thing I remember was Richard taking Sara out to the woods behind the house to look for a Christmas tree. I was standing at the kitchen sink and looked up in time to see Sara and dad coming around the back of the house dragging a pitiful little pine tree.  She was beaming, she was so excited about her little Christmas tree.  The first thing I thought about was that sad little tree in the classic Charlie Brown Christmas.  It wasn't quite that bad, but it was close.  So, we decorated our little tree with some odds and ends from around the house and made an aluminum foil star for the top.  We didn't have any presents to put under it, but I had a memory that would last me a lifetime. 

Well, life as we know it has it's ups and downs.  It's a roller coaster ride full of twists and turns and occasionally we get thrown for a loop and things get turned upside down.  This year has been one of those years for us and I'm just happy we're all in one piece and healthy. This year I lost a good friend and a sister to cancer.  These huge losses have certainly put things in perspective and have caused me to think a lot about priorities.  There have been broken bones, illnesses and financial struggles this year due to reduced hours at work and pay cuts due to the economy. We're in the same boat with many, many others across the country.  So, this year may be another "Charlie Brown Christmas", not just for my family, but for many others as well.  We'll get through it though, we always do. I will just pray that the coming year will bring much more joy than heartache for all of us.