Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Happiness Project - May


I know this is the end of May so I am a little late in posting this month's chapter on the happiness project.

May's focus was on fun. Be serious about play is what Gretchen says. Ok be serious about play doesn't that sound a little weird fun is supposed to be just that fun not serious. Well after I read through this chapter I understood what she meant. For some people me included fun can be a little harder to find. For me I want to have fun but sometimes I find I take the fun out of things. I worry about being on time, making sure everyone else is happy, and so on. In other words, I get myself worked up and end up stressing instead of letting loose to have a little fun in life. Who cares if you are a few minutes late and you can't make everyone happy so enjoy yourself.

Here are the four tips that Gretchen gives us to get serious about fun -

Find more fun - One important thing to remember here is that just because something is fun for someone else does not mean it is fun for you and vice versa. Think about what you find fun in your life, for some like Gretchen she found that reading children's books is fun, for me I have fun reading in a very quiet place with no sounds but what nature provides. As for what else I find fun I have to figure that out still. There are things I think of that would be fun to do but then I change my mind, I need to stop doing this and just go have fun.

One good suggestion that Gretchen had that I want to start doing is start with a blank book. In this book put clippings, memorabilia, notes, pictures or anything that you can think of that is fun to you or makes you happy then you can look back on a not so fun day to remember the fun happy times. If you don't like the book idea - get a box and fill it with mementos, trinkets and notes of things that remind you of a time you had fun and then you can revisit those memories whenever you choose to. Don't make this a chore just have fun with it

Take time to be silly - This is hard for me as I don't like to be silly, I feel like people will stare and judge me if I act silly. An example that Gretchen used for this was one day her kids were being silly when putting groceries away - she just wanted to hurry and get it done but then thought what would it hurt to be silly while doing this chore. This is a very good example and we can all learn from it. Take time to be silly.

Go off the path - Go to new places, try new things be adventurous "go off the path". I would love to make some friends and join a book club. So for me to do this I would have to go off the path which is so not me. I need to be more open and try to talk to people I do not know, go to a book club meeting and see how I like it, look for a group that has similar interests as me and go have fun with them. Another suggestion from Gretchen is to go to the bookstore and pick up three magazines at random each week and read them from cover to cover to experience something new. I am thinking of trying this myself only tweeking it a little and do one a week. Matthew Arnold wrote "All knowledge is interesting to a wise man" this is a good thing to live by and the more you learn the better you are.

Start a collection - I am a little bit of a collector as I have a large collection of bookmarks and postcards that I have been collecting over the years. While I love my collection of each of these and like to look back on them as some of them hold good memories for me, I would like to start a new collection. Now your collection does not have to be huge and take over your life but make it something fun. I enjoy a lot of different things like lighthouses, animals, and the Green Bay Packers, but do I want a collection of these things, probably not. I would like to collect some lighthouses as they fascinate me. I want my new collection whatever it may be to be fun, nice, and not to take over my house. Make your collection meaningful to you.

Another Gretchen said in this chapter was that fun fall into thee categories:

Challenging fun - this can be the most rewarding type of fun for you, but also the most demanding. The more work you put in the more fun you get out of it.

Accommodating fun - an example of this is a family trip, you plan fun for your family and enjoy yourself as well. Accommodate others fun while trying to have fun yourself.

Relaxing fun - this is the most easy type of fun to have. No skills or action requesting, no coordination or preparation involved. Just have fun.

Research has shown that challenging and accommodating fun bring more happiness over time because they make people the happiest. The more you put into it the more you get out of it. Even though relaxing fun is fun - it is maybe only fun for the moment.

So I challenge you to be serious about fun. Learn to have fun in your life. You will find you are a happier person.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Circle - Setting Goals


I found this blog hop while looking around on the world wide web at some new blogs I have recently found and thought it would be a good idea to join in. This months topic was goals. 

Goals - the result of achievement toward which effort is directed (dictionary.com)

Goals are something that I am learning everyone should have in life. Without goals you are going to go no where in life you will just be existing and not living. This weekend my husband asked me to watch a seminar by Jim Rohn, now normally I would not want to do this but this time I have went in with an open mind even though it is four hours longs and I kept thinking there is a book I want to read. I will admit that I was wrong to even hesitate as I have actually been getting something out of it, in fact I have taken four pages of notes and we have an hour left to watch. Jim gives a lot of tips on life and changes you need to make to become more successful. 

Back to goals here is the notes I took from Jim on setting goals. Goals need to be your vision of the future and you need to decide what you want and write it down. They can be small, simple, foolish, important, large or whatever you want them to be. Where do you want to go, what do you want to see, who do you want to meet - these are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself while setting your goals. The greatest value is not what you get but what you become - I just love this saying as it hold a lot of truth. Set the kind of goals that will help you make something and/or become something but remember do not set the goals too low. Don't compromise on your goals do not sell out. 

What are my goals - I have a few right now that I really want to work for and I want to think of some goals for me to set in the future. 

Goal #1 - Think more positively - this is a very hard one for me, for so much of my life I have always heard the negative side of things that that is what I have become a negative person. I do not want to be that way anymore. One thing I need to learn and to start with is to remember that I need to take one day at a time even one hour at a time if I need to. Instead of thinking the negative thought think the positive one. 

Goal #2 - Stress less - now I know I can not cut stress completely out of my life but I can start by not letting things stress me so much especially things I can not change. The big one do not stress over traffic - I can't change the way it is so do not get so upset over it just go with the flow. The next big one for me is work - there are a couple of people at work who the minute they walk in the room I feel a blanket of stress come over me. What I need to do is not to focus on them but focus on the good things and the people I do like. 

Goal #3 - Learn to have fun - I am reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and the goal for the month of May is to learn to have fun. How does someone not have fun you say? Well for people like me I always want things done yesterday and done my way or it is not right so sometimes ok I guess most times I skip the fun because I am too worried on making sure things are done my way. Instead of this I need to learn to have fun and if they are not done perfectly and in my time frame it is ok. I really need to learn to let loose and enjoy life. 

These are just a few goals I want to accomplish in my life. They will take some work but I am willing to put the work in to accomplish them. 

To check out some other blogs that are participating in this blog hop check out Elah Tree (click here)

Found It! - Volume 8


The websites I found this week:

Gratefulness - This website provides education and support for living a grateful life

Stratejoy - This website tells/helps you to learn how to love your life

The Change Blog - A blog that offers advice and stories on changing your life

Robyn's Nest - A fun blog that shows one women's journey in her life, crafting, cooking etc.

Tshirt & Jeans - A blog that is about keeping life simple and enjoying the meaningful

Live and Love Work - This blog helps you to find balance and happiness in and out of the office

The books I found this week:

Lady of Ashes & Stolen Remains by Christine Trent - these two books are mysteries set in the 1800s in London. To read more about them click here (Amazon).

Rutherford Park & Wild Dark Flowers by Elizabeth Cooke - these two books are set in the early 1900s in England and are reminiscent of the Downton Abbey series. To read more about them click here (Amazon).

Benedict Hall by Cate Campbell -This series of books is set in Seattle in the 1920s. To read more about them click here (Amazon)

The French House by Don Wallace - This book is about an American couple restoring a French house (my description does not do it justice). To read more about it click here (Amazon).

Love Does by Bob Goff - This is a book about stories of love and how to discover an incredible life in an ordinary world. To read more about it click here (Amazon).

The quotes I found this week:

All of these quotes this week come from Jim Rohn. I am in the process of watching a lecture by him and these quotes just stuck with me.

The greatest value is not what you get but what you become.

Everything affects everything - nothing stands alone.

It's not what happens that determines your future it is what you do about it.

You cannot change the seasons but you can change yourself.

Learn to reap in the harvest without complaint.

52 Lists - Week 10


Week 10: List the Ways You Can Cleanse for Spring

Declutter your home

Declutter your mind

Open the windows

Start a new book

Start a new project

Paint your home/room

Redecorate

Make a change in your thinking

Talk a walk

Enjoy the outdoors

Organize



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Five things


My husband has been listening to some motivational speakers this week to help him become more positive about things and to change his overall mood. While I am not a big person for doing this he did come up with some good ideas although I have to say I thought he was a little nutso telling me and our two kids (ages 18 and 22) that we had homework this weekend. Well the more I thought about it I realized it is not really homework but rather a good idea to help your self esteem and to give yourself goals. 

The first "assignment" he asked us to do is to come up with five accomplishments in our life. Most people like my kids think they have none well that is not true everyone has some sort of accomplishment in their life. Accomplishments do not have to large or even what some consider to be important to be an accomplishment it can be something as simple as finishing a task, learning a new craft, or finishing a book. Whatever you feel in your life is an accomplishment you should be proud of. 

Here is my list that I came up with - 

I have been married to a great husband for 25 years this December
I have raised two good kids
I have my paralegal degree
I have two blogs that are doing well
I have been recognized for my book reviews
I have sold cards I have created

What are some of your accomplishments?


Be sure to stop by A Harvest of Blessings to find some more great blogs during the Jack of All Trades Blog Tour Link to A Harvest of Blessing (click here)

Found It! Volume 7


Websites I found:

Natalie Patalie - Natalie blogs about 100 happy days and I thought that was a nice idea
Rivers and Roads - Just a nice blog to read - she likes to travel, take pictures and create
Joy and Simplicity - A blog about sharing joy and living simply
Dearest Love - A blog about love, weddings, pictures and ramblings
In its Time - Kiki has a lot of nice ideas you can use for journaling
Kind Spring - This blog has lots of stories about kindness
Happify - A site that will teach you how to bring happiness into your life

Books I found:

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner - this book is about Noah's wife, you can read more about it by clicking here (Amazon)
Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson - A modern telling of a Jane Austen story, you can read more about it by clicking here (Amazon)
The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart - A tale of love and new beginnings set in the 1920s fashion world, you can read more about it by clicking here (Amazon)
The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas - The story of student nurses set in pre-war London, you can read ore about it by clicking here (Amazon)
The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McClary - A murder series with Nellie Bly as the mystery solver, you can read more about by clicking here (Amazon)
A Triple Knot by Emma Campion - The story of Joan of Kent, you can read more about it by clicking here (Amazon)
George Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade - The story of the spy ring that saved America, you can read more about it by clicking here (Amazon)

Sayings I found:

A negative mind will never give you a positive life
Plant smiles, Grow Laughter, Harvest Love
Gratitude is the memory of the heart
I'm happier when I'm just being me
She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans
Train your mind to see the good in every situation

TV Shows I found:

Brother v. Brother - HGTV(I have seen this before and love it and the new season is about to start)
Crossbones - local channel (pirate show)
3 Musketeers - BBC
Outlander - Starz (based on the book by Diana Gabaldon)
Ladies of London - Bravo TV (kind of like Real Housewives)




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

52 Lists - Week 9 - List the Places You Want to Go

France                                                  
Florida Keys                        
Stay in a bed and breakfast
Martha's Vineyard                                  
Wine Tour in California        
Stay in a beach house
England                                                
Hamptons                            
Nantucket
Italy                                                      
Salem                                   
Venice
Williamsburg                                          
Ireland                                  
Scotland
Rome                                                    
Tuscany                                 
Paris
London                                                  
Germany                               
Australia
Norway                                                 
Holland                                 
Sites of Civil War Battles
Biltmore in Asheville                               
Savannah                              
Sites of Revolutionary War Battles
Black Hills                                              
Hershey, Pennsylvania            
Boston    
New Orleans                                          
Charleston                              
Green Bay
Packers Football Game
New York                                              
Nashville                                 
Medieval Times            
RT Times Convention in New Orleans     
X Games                                
Book Festival in Miami
Motorcross Race                                     
Tim McGraw concert             
Highclaire Castle
St. Augustine Ghost Tour                          
PBR Finals                           
Ellis Island
Europe                                                     
Canada                                  
Alaska
Stonehenge                                               
Virgin River                           
Boonesboro
Netherlands                                              
White House                          
Thomas Jefferson's Library
Smithsonian Institute                                 
Mountains (Smoky, Blue Ridge, Tennessee)          
































Monday, May 12, 2014

One Little Word - Post 7


For the month of May the prompt was I am .... Here is my take on this project. 


I am a work in progress - This is so true for me as my word is change. In order to change you/I will have to be a constant work in progress. I have been working towards change but some days it seems to be easier than others. My big change is to try and be more positive in both thinking and in my actions. One step at at time and I will get there and be the person I want to be. 


I am hopeful - This is a great statement to remember each day. Some days I struggle with trying to change and become discourage but I need to remember to always be hopeful that I can and will do this. Remember even on your darkest day, there is always hope that things can and will get better. If you believe in hope you will succeed in all you want to do and be. 


I am grateful - I am grateful for many things in life, my family being at the top of my list. I have participating in monthly projects to help myself to remember all the things I am grateful for. We have to also remember to even be grateful for the small things in life - like a smile, the sunshine or a simple thank you. If you concentrate on the things you are grateful for - you will find you will have a more positive outlook and be happier. 


I am learning - What a statement this is for me right now. I love to learn but me learning to change is a lot harder than learning something book wise. I am trying to learn to be more positive and to not let things bother me so much but it is a very slow process. I am positive I will get there it just takes time. For me it has been a nice process to learn how to change the way I think, I enjoy the things I am learning along the way.


I am frustrated - When I was first making my list I did not want to put anything negative on it but then I though - no I need to put how I feel. For me I felt my list needed to tell a little about me both good and bad. Some days I am very frustrated and others not so much and I feel that is to be expected in life. One thing I need to learn is to not let things set me off on the path to frustration and to not get to me so much - learn to let things go. I get frustrated when I forget to try and be positive and think more on the negative side. You really have to be aware of what you are thinking and how you are acting and doing it at all time to keep on the right track. Another thing that frustrates me is that I want things to always happen yesterday, I think changing should happen overnight when in all reality it takes time and effort. 


I am changing - Maybe I should say I hope I am changing. For me I really want to change which I feel is the first step. But in my life this is a constant struggle. I have grown up in a negative world so it was all I know and hear and for someone looking in I am sure it looks bad. Don't get me wrong I had a very good childhood and love my parents. One big thing I need to remember is that even small changes count. Change is an ever happening thing in life. 


I am nerdy - Yes this is a silly thing to say, but it is me. My family is always telling me that I am a nerd and I am ok with that. The reason they call me that is because of my love of books and history. When I see a book that sounds good I have to have it. Of course I have more books than I will probably ever read not to mention my collection of bookmarks. To me books are an escape and a sense of security - when you see me you will always find a book, I do not go anywhere without one. I love to read about books, talk about books and generally think about books all the time and if that means I am a nerd then so be it. My love of history falls right along with that. I enjoy reading books that are historical and watching shows about history to make it come more alive for me. 


I am me - What does this mean really? Well it means just what it says, I am me and nothing more. I love my husband and kids - love my books and reading - like to watch football - do not like to talk about politics as it usually ends up with someone mad - have low self-esteem - can't say no - don't feel like I can always be myself - love my nieces and nephews and their parents - am not a touchy feely person but am emotional - have a good heart - have my own opinions. That is me in a nutshell. when I am with my husband I feel as if I can really be me, when I am around my mom or at my office I feel like I have to be who they want me to be or at least have my guard up all the time so I don't make someone mad. I really don't like that but feel it is better than a fight starting or having someone be angry at me for being me. I just want to be me all the time and need to work on that. 


I am worried - I am a worrier by nature. It seems I worry about just about everything in life and it is not fun or good for me. On a daily basis I worry about getting to work on time, having words with a co-worker that I do not like to be around, making my mom mad, about making a mistake on a document I have to file in court and these are just the everyday things. I am worried about my vacation in August to Nebraska and that I will not have the money to go and I really need this trip right now. My husband tells me not to worry so much but that is easier said than done. Somethings I need to learn how to let go of and not worry about but it is very hard and this would be one more of the changes that I am trying to work on. 


Friday, May 2, 2014

One Little Word - Post 6


CHANGE

I am very behind in doing my posting for this and want to get caught up and stay on top of it so I can succeed with want I to do with my life. 

FEBRUARY
In February I had to make a list of actions I want to complete in my daily life. Here is my list:
  • Think of one positive thought each day
  • Smile more often
  • Do not respond to negative comments
  • Do not engage with rude people
  • Smile, say thank you and have a good day to cashiers
  • Have fun - celebrate life
  • Calm down - don't let things anger me so much
  • Do not to let things get me down
MARCH
In March I needed to create a vision board. I am still working on this so for now I am going to answer a couple of questions that relate to this project. 

What have I learned so far? One thing that I have learned is that this project is hard for me. I want to change - I try to change but there are more days than not that I am my same old self. My plan is to continue to try and make the changes I want to see and really try and focus on the positive. 

How do I best connect with my word? I guess I can say the way I am connecting with this word (CHANGE) is that I try to think of it often, but again I need to do more doing and not all thinking.

What was a success and what what a challenge? One success for me may seem like a small one but it is a change for me. I have been remembering to tell cashiers thank you and have a nice day when I go through their line. I also think I have been doing pretty good with not engaging with rude people. Two things that challenge me the most is to Calm down and not let things get me down. Those are two of the hardest things for me. 

APRIL
In April I was to choose something I wanted to let go of. 

I would say the thing I want to let go of the most is anger and sadness. This will be a work in progress over time to accomplish completely. 

Where do I see my word working? Is it loud/quiet? For me my word needs to be loud and working in every aspect in my life. I need to learn to act different and to feel different. When someone does something I do not like I need to learn to let it go. When I am upset try not to cry so much. 

What steps have you taken in your life to welcome your word? I welcomed my word by always looking for positive phrases to put me in a better mood or bring me up not down. Now I just need to live out what I have been reading. 

How are you living your word? One thing that comes to mind when I see this is the change I have made when I go shopping. I have been telling the cashiers thank you, smile at them and say "have a good day'. Not only does this cheer up the cashier and make them feel good, it makes you feel good to help brighten someones day. 





Found It! - Volume 6


Websites I found this week: 

Yes and Yes  - this website is as the founder describes a lifestyle blog for smart, funny people. I enjoyed reading her posts about traveling. 

Ten Penny Dreams - this is a lifestyle blog about writing, book loving, reading and inspiration. I many of her posts especially her random stuff of the week. 

My Life as a Teacup - this blog writer writes about books, blogging, writing and finding delight in today's world. I enjoy her posts about lists and things I love Thursdays

In Pursuit of Simple - this site is about doing less but doing it better, organizing, making more time for friends and less for stress, and about living a healthy and happy life. I like her meditation Monday. 

Slow Your Home - this is about how to live a simpler life. Her posts are nice and informative to read.

Love Happy Daily - this blog is about capturing the loveliness and happiness in each day. I enjoyed her post today less/more.

Books I found that look good:

The Captain's Daughter by Leah Fleming - this book is about two women, one fateful night and a lifetime of secrets - a historical fiction book with the Titanic as the backdrop. To read more about this book click here (Amazon)

When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon - this book is about the bond between and American woman and her Greek grankmoter. To read more about this book click here (Amazon)

Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne - this book is about the story of the first mixed raced girl introduced to high society England and raised as a lady. To read more about this book click here (Amazon)

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe - this book is about a nanny in London and the letters she writes home to her sister. To read more about this book click here (Amazon)

Quotes I found this week: 

There are only two ways to live your life. One is a though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. Albert Einstein

A goal without a deadline is just a dream. 

Forge all the reasons why it won't work and believe the one reason why it will. 

You can't have a better tomorrow if you don't stop thinking about yesterday. 

Gratitude changes everything. 

If your going to dream - dream big


52 Lists - Week 8 - List Your Favorite Albums

Anything by Tim McGraw

Anything by Kenny Chesney 

Lindsey Sterling

Ellie Goulding

Sugarland


Gratitude Project - Day 30


Today I am grateful for two things. The first is that I am grateful that I stuck with this project and completed for the entire 30 days. For the first few days you are thankful for the common things, family, friends, job, home etc., then you have to start thinking of other things to be grateful for and if you are having a bad day it is not always the easiest, but I did it. The second thing I am grateful for the scholarship that my daughter is receiving to go to college. She is going to receive a $3000 from the community that we live in. I happy she went for it and received it. I am very proud of her. 

Gratitude Project - Day 29


Today I am grateful for change. Yes you heard me right I am thankful for change. Without change we will not grow and become the better person you want to become. For me I want to not always look at the negative side of things or being known as the person who is always in a bad mood so I want to change. Projects like the Gratitude Project, #30 Lists, One Little Word and others are going to help me with this. I hope by this time next year I will be a better person. 


Gratitude Project - Day 28


Today I am grateful we missed the storms. We have been having storms here and I am grateful that we had one day with no storms. I am sure there are more to come but I am enjoying not having one today. I do not like storms so when they do not hit where I live I am happy. 

Gratitude Project - Day 27


Today I am grateful for dreams. You can have many forms of dreams - you can have dreams while sleeping or dreams while just sitting around thinking. For me I do not want to remember a lot of dreams I have at night as they are not usually good, but occasionally there is a good one in there. The dreams I am grateful for are the ones where you are dreaming of a place you want to visit, a person you want to meet or a goal you want to complete. To dream is healthy in my mind. Without your dreams you have nothing. 

Gratitude Project - Day 26


Today I am grateful for the internet. I like most of you grew up with out internet and yes it was a simpler time and kids used their imagination more but the internet is a valuable tool in today's world. I use the internet for many reasons - work, school, and pleasure. In my job as a paralegal we file all legal documents via the internet there is no paper filing anymore. On many occasion I have had to help my daughter with her homework and you have to use the internet to find the answers and to do research without it it would be hard to finish the assignment. At home I use the internet to keep in touch with family and friends that I do not live near, make new friends and just cruise websites for fun.

Gratitude Project - Day 25


Today I am grateful or easy meals. Yes this sounds silly to be grateful for this but when you are a working wife/mom/daughter sometimes it is the simple things that you are grateful for. Some simple meals that I love and are easy to make are tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, tator tot casserole, and tuna loaf.