Monday, June 28, 2010
Is it Working?
A friend of mine asked me if my Happiness Project is working.
First of all, isn’t it crazy that anyone would have to RESOLVE to do the things that make her happy? Weird.
But yes, it is working. Even tough I’m still depressed and a bit underemployed; I do feel better and bounce back quicker. Having lists keeps a blue day from becoming a blue week. The bottom doesn’t seem quite as low.
Since my depression grew out of a sense of helplessness, it makes sense that I’d be happier feeling a little bit of control over my moods and brain chemistry. “Walk in the Morning” has been almost foolproof, as long as I actually do it. (I found a city pool I like, so soon the resolution will soon be accompanied by “Swim almost every day.” I feel giddy just typing that!)
Of all the resolutions, “Show love” is the most rewarding and easiest to follow. It’s pretty easy to write one more thank-you card, make one more housewarming gift, say one more nice thing. (Does the Resolutionyness make the love seem less sincere? I hope not.)
I think it saved an entire Saturday, actually. We woke up spatty, and instead of bickering, I got in the car, drove to the (helpfully air-conditioned) Acme and got the week’s groceries, loading up on Amy’s favorites that she never seems to want to buy for herself. It turned a potential 3-hour fight into a fifteen-minute one. The rest of the weekend was lazy fun.
Having spent the last couple of years in a work environment where enthusiasm was viewed as arrogance, it feels good to sometimes be unabashedly delighted about things. I have to practice more, though because sometimes when the delight really unclasps, I do feel a little guilty or obnoxious.
As the true-to-myself excitement starts to unleash itself, I feel a little nervous being around people who are less-than-enthusiastic. (Unless they’re in my classes, then I can have fun helping them.) As much as I understand and identify with blocked-ness, I know that influence is real; I know how much I took away from myself by being around negative people. It’s hard to know where to draw the line.