It’s been an interesting month. Hence why I haven’t posted in so long. (And I don’t like leaving the blog unattended for weeks on end, it’s a horrible feeling, comparable to leaving a small plant to die, un-cared for…only this blog is well and truly alive). Absence has most certainly made the heart grow fonder and it feels so good to finally sit down and write this. I feel as though I’m wading through the cobwebs that have accumulated the last few weeks and finally I know where I am. The Happiness Project. I started it in January and although I’ve been a little distracted and haven’t always stuck to resolutions, I still believe it’s worth continuing.
Nothing really sprung to mind when I was thinking what to have for July and August’s resolutions. Then I remembered Gretchen Rubin’s resolution to “tackle a nagging task” and I thought well this would make me feel good. Sometimes you just need that feeling of GETTING THINGS DONE.
So I made a list. All the little nagging tasks I wanted to get done this Summer:
This is a big one. Maia’s room still isn’t finished and part of the problem is I’m clinging on to clothes I know she won’t wear and toys she’s barely touched in months. I’ve allowed myself one trunk of “special” baby clothes; the gifts, the Mini-Boden dungarees, teeny little bodysuits and the first outfit we took her home from the hospital in. But things like leggings and T-shirts I’ve bought in Sainsbury’s that no longer fit – well I have no huge urge to cling onto these. De-cluttering is a proven happiness booster so this is top of my list.
2. FINALLY REPLACE MAIA’S CURTAINS
Maia currently has some quite adorable curtains. They’re the very curtains I had in my bedroom when I was a baby. So at 23 years old, they’ve seen better days. I’ve been meaning to replace them for months and doing so would really freshen up her room a little. When I was about seven months pregnant I found some beautiful fabric in IKEA, and purchased it thinking it would look great in her room when she was a little older. Well that time has come.
3. FINISH DECORATING MAIA’S ROOM
Many months ago I bought seven or eight teeny weeny tester pots of paint in several shades of pink, lilac and blue. I was very excited to paint a little design, or pattern or something somewhere in Maia’s room (it’s a funny shape, so there are lots of random bits of wall that could do with brightening up). – I don’t know what and I don’t know where exactly but I’m determined that by the end of the Summer those little nagging pots will be empty.
4. DEVELOP PHOTOS
I have a lot of albums. A ridiculous number. Photos – particularly of Maia growing up- are very important to me. They’re my most special possessions. Storing them on a laptop or hard-drive isn’t entirely reliable -technology breaks – so I try and develop them as often as I can. Nothing really beats a physical photograph you can hold in your hand. This one is a nagging task, because as much as I love looking at pictures of Maia and friends and family; going through hundreds of them and having to select the best for development can get a little tedious. “Well here she’s smiling so yep we’ll develop this one, oh smiling again in a different direction so yep, here she’s frowning but Grandad looks happy so yep, *still the same shot* oh this one she’s laughing but it’s blurry so maybe no, oh this one’s clear but she’s not looking.. *the same day but a different outfit* well here she’s wearing a pretty dress so yep…”. I end up with the same moment and 15 different facial expressions.- Of course this is all a result of having an iPhone and taking about twenty shots for every one shot you’d take on an old camera with film. Even with the tedious selection process, this is still a huge happiness boost. I adore my albums.
5. EMAIL ISA
Isa -Isabel- is my wonderful Spanish Exchange. I was sixteen when I went to stay at her house (I think fourteen when she came to stay with me) and she was brilliant. So kind and welcoming and incredibly intelligent. (A chemical engineer Post-Grad). She wrote to me a few months ago, a lovely email in English. The idea was I helped her with her English – not that she needs it, she’s nearly perfect – and she helped me with my Spanish.. (I need it.) Isa helped me with my Spanish homework when I was having tuition with a fantastic Argentinian lady last year. Although we’ve spoken on Whatsapp in English, I still haven’t replied to her email. (Because it’s to be written in Spanish, and I barely remember my uno dos tres let alone grammar and verb conjugations). Nevertheless, no matter how poor the Spanish, I owe it to the wonderful Isa to reply.
5. FINISH THE CONSCIOUS PARENT
I can’t pretend I love reading parenting books. They’re not my favourite genre. Although this one is very different to most in its category, it’s still essentially a book about how to be a better parent and person. And sometimes, at the end of the day, during the 2-4 hours I get to myself, the last thing I want to think about is self-improvement. I just want to congratulate myself for getting to 8pm. At this time of day I don’t feel the need to be better. However, with a spontaneous surge of motivation I woke up extra early the other morning just to read a few pages before Maia woke up. I guess I’ll just keep doing that.
I know, I probably won’t make it through this list. Maia comes before developing photos and she certainly comes before making curtains. But I’ll do my best. I’ll do them for the satisfaction. I’ll do them along with the household chores, trying to get out of the house as much as possible and occupying a very lively almost three year old.
The Happiness Project is life long. It never ends. And I’ll never stop doing the little things.