Yesterday I received a final goodbye package from Ganier. This is the end of a year being a "Take Care Ambassador". Long time readers may remember that I won this grant program in support of my community project "ArtsCape". It has been a great year spending time with and being looked after by Garnier, I really appreciate all the ladies I have met along the way and learning about their projects - this was not just a sponsorship by a faceless corporation - this project had heart.
One of the many bonuses of being involved with Garnier are the packages they send out - this final gift was no let down either. In the package I received a book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which I began reading last night. I haven't got far through but already it is resonating within me. This book is not about curing depression but finding the happiness within your own life - satisfaction I guess. Readers of my blog may know that I really struggle with finding my happiness. I mean I have a great house, live in a great town, have a great family, and I am very creative and productive in everyday life. I mean... I am "living the dream" (as I was told once) but I feel like I am living someone else's dream.
Perhaps the funniest comment I received from someone recently was that I must be very satisfied living such a creative life. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. That did not make sense to me at all! I mean, you tell me one creative type that is EVER satisfied with anything they create. If some one was satisfied with something they had created then why would they keep creating? Creating is a frustrating business - it certainly isn't "satisfying". Creative's are greedy - we want more - the next project is already filling our heads with ideas and problems. Its a great thing to be actively creative but its a slave of a game, and it is always my master.
When I was younger my dreams and visions for the future were never to get married, have 2.4 children and buy a house, in fact I remember taunting my Mum that she would never receive grandchildren. My dreams were to travel, live by the beach and work in a creative industry - marriage, children, a house in the bush and a small regional town never even entered my imagination. Yes - I have a good life. So why can't I find "my happiness"?
Gretchen Rubin states that to desire such things as "power or wealth, or losing ten pounds because they believe they will lead to happiness," when "the real goal is happiness." I really like her definition of happiness - it's different for everyone. Everyone's "Happiness Project" will differ.
For the last year I have been posting about this very subject - and it seems I can relate to Gretchen's journey...in fact I have even started doing some of her steps already (de-cluttering, exercising, think positive). Doing it on your own is hard, so I think I may read this book and follow through. It can't hurt, in fact it will beter plan out a direction I am already trying to take. I do believe I just committed to reading my first ever "self-help" book.
One of the first steps in the project is to go to bed earlier and start rejuvenation - I was reading this at 11.45 last night - first fail. I understand that sleep is a good part of happiness - but night time is MY time. Everyone is asleep, I can create in peace, there are great shows on late at night, it's quiet. This first step is going to be a tough one. I don't know the last time I made myself go to bed early - I don't go to bed early unless I am sick....sigh.
Gretchen runs a blog where you can get a starter kit to create your own happiness project. I'll keep posting about my progress (or lack there of) but please feel free in joining me on a Happiness Project - and let me know in a comment that you are joining in.
I think we could all use this - it's me time that can benefit everyone else we engage with. We are all entitled to be happy and we shouldn't wait till we look back with old age and wonder why on earth we weren't happy at this stage in our life.
So lets do this thing.