Little "Luxuries" Give So Much Pleasure

Steveston Dyke7

Hi Everyone,

On Sunday I attended a Champagne brunch with my Red Hat Society ladies. I’ll tell ya, I almost didn’t go because I was so comfortable in my sweat pants and slippers on the couch. But I have resolved to say yes to every invitation and so, I put on my dress and make up and did my hair and off I went. And boy am I glad I did. It was such fun with lots of scrumptious food, champagne and laughter.

I was still feeling the happiness of it all in the pit of my stomach yesterday morning as I drove to work. It was great to feel so good on a Monday morning. It got me thinking that there are so many little luxuries that we take for granted, we forget to simply stop and look around and notice them. So, I made a list of small luxuries that are part of my days which kept me feeling good for the rest of the day. Here it is:

My comfortable warm bed

Coffee

Warm slippers

Fluffy towels

A reliable and comfortable car to take me to work

Home made soup for lunch

A cosy home

A glass of wine at the end of the day

Chocolate

A cup of tea

What’s your list of everyday luxuries?

Jane

Tea Pot2

Advertisements

Happiness Project Update – Energy

DSCN0247

I read somewhere that good things happen and abundance flows into our lives if we are positive and optimistic. Since I started this happiness project, I won a week of free lunches at work! The owner of the company I work for also owns a restaurant which is situated in our building. When we buy lunch we can put our receipts in a draw for a weeks’ worth of lunches – and I won!

Then, a couple of nights later, Mr. Lifeology and I went to Nando’s for supper. We love Nando’s and go there often. They have just renovated and we love the new decor and atmosphere even more. The manager brought Mr. Lifeology a free Americano coffee as he was trying out their new espresso machine. It came in the most beautiful pottery cup, together with a little sugar bowl and milk jug for one. We commented on how lovely it was and he gave us a cup, saucer, sugar bowl, milk jug and espresso cup and saucer! That has NEVER happened to us before and we’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants. Of course, it’s also good management because it ensures we’ll be back again and again.

Tea set2

After a slow start, I eventually managed to start on the treadmill on Thursday the 13th. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it since exercise has been a bore for me in the past. It helps that they play the coolest music in the gym – but it enabled me to totally zone out for 30 mintues and think about not very much, which was very relaxing. Before long I was taking my Kindle and reading while I walk. I have a lot more energy in the afternoons and no longer want to take a nap at 3 o’ clock every afternoon. I find I’m thinking more clearly also, which is a good thing since the afternoons are when problems arise in the freight industry – and I also do my invoicing in the afternoons. I weighed myself this morning after a huge breakfast. I’ve lost 3 lbs!

I’ve been keeping up with starting the bedtime routine at 9:30 most nights. I find that on the nights that I don’t do this – the next morning is extremely rushed and chaotic. And then I come home to a mess from the night and the morning which takes me double the amount of time to clean up. Because I’m cleaning every day, I don’t have to do so much on the weekends and have more free time for … weekend enjoyment. The cleaning routine has become a habit and I found myself doing dishes at the kitchen sink on Friday with no prior thought. I thought that was pretty cool. Aaah life in the fast lane! 🙂

Next week is the final week of More Energy month. I’ll evaluation my happiness level next weekend.

Hope you all have a great week.

Cheers!

Jane

Tea Set

Month One of My Happiness Project

believe dream

Hello all,

So, this month I decided to start with Energy, since I’m probably going to need it for all the other months 🙂

These are my resolutions for November:

Energy

Get organized

Go to bed earlier

Exercise on the treadmill at least 4 times a week.

So, on Sunday I set everything up to be more organized this week. I cleaned the house, did all the laundry, cooked dog food for at least 3 days, set up a slow cooker meal for Monday, packed my breakfast/lunch, packed my gym clothes.

Yesterday morning I went back to what I call “magic minimums.” I started doing these some years ago in an effort to make my life easier. A few small things I did every day to keep the house clean and so avoid spending my weekends doing it. I shower in the morning and while I’m in the shower, I wipe down the bathroom tiles. Then, when I brush my teeth, I clean the basin and do quick swoosh of the toilet. Once in the bedroom to get dressed I do a quick tidy and make my bed. Before I left for work yesterday, I turned on the slow cooker and off to work I went. Feeling pretty smug so far.

Then, I discovered, around coffee time (10am) that I had forgotten my running shoes! So, no treadmill for me today and it was raining cats and dogs, so no chance of walking around my neighbourhood. Oh well – tomorrow.

I have read that the more grateful and positive and “happy” we are, the more the Universe is able to send us. Well, yesterday, I won a week of free lunches at work! We have a restaurant here at work and if you buy a meal (or two or three) and put your receipt with your name on it into a box, you can win free lunch. I thought it was only one free lunch, but I discovered yesterday that it’s an entire week! How cool is that?

This morning I remembered my running shoes but while researching the fitness centre at work around 4:10 pm this afternoon, I discovered that I couldn’t work out untill I had filled out all sorts of forms to say that I wouldn’t hold the company liable if I drop dead from a heart attack or some such exercise-related thing. The gym instructor goes home at 4pm, So I managed to get out of exercising for yet another day. Aaaah, that’s too bad :). And tomorrow evening I’m going to the hairdresser, so I guess I’ll have to exercise on Thursday.

I’m still keeping up with magic minimums – it’s so easy and my house is clean and tidy all the time. I haven’t been sleeping well as my brain is wanting to work out how to modify the wedding dress.I have a Red Hat Society function on December 15th where the theme is Victorian. I found a wedding dress at a thrift store that will be perfect once I’ve altered it a little and dyed it purple. I took a look at it tonight to shut my brain up, It’s a little too small, so I’ve decided to use the skirt and discard the top. I felt terrible cutting such a beautiful dress up, but once I’d done it, I could see myself in the skirt and I’m getting quite excited about the whole thing. On the weekend I’ll sew it up and then see if I can find some dye and a huge galavanized bucket to dye it in..

So far, so good with the happiness level. I am certainly much calmer when the house is clean and tidy and it really doesn’t take too much work if there’s a system in place. I love coming home to a clean house – this makes me very happy.

I’ve been starting the preparation for bed process at 9:30pm. Setting my coffee maker for the morning. Finding George, the cat, and then settling into bed and reading for 20 minutes. This process ensures that I actually go to sleep at 10pm instead of 10:30 or later and I’m getting 8 hours sleep which is helping a lot. I wake up feeling, well, happier. Getting a good night’s sleep makes me work better and I had a really productive day a work today where I could think clearly and everything fell into place for a change. I didn’t have to work in the usual ‘fog’ that I’ve been having to deal with in the past and wasn’t as tired at the end of the day.

And now, I think I’ll have a cup of tea!

Cheers for now

Jane

2nd Red Hat outing2

Getting out of a Funk – My Happiness Project

rhythm of life

Hello All

Well, I know it’s been some time since my last blog post. The truth is, I’ve been in a bit of a funk these past few months. After 18 months of change – from quitting smoking to moving house to going back to school and getting a new job – at the end of it all, I have ended up feeling not quite an elated as I thought I would feel. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but disappointed is the word that comes to mind. There have been some disappointments that came with the good and wonderful changes.

When I quit smoking, I thought that I would feel much better. I thought that I would have way more energy and I would be able to do all sorts of things because my lungs were smoke-free and I could, at last, fully breathe the oxygen this Earth provides for us. And at first I did have a whole lot of energy. But then I put on 15 lbs, which isn’t in itself a bad thing because I was a little on the skinny side. The problem I have with it, is all the weight is on my stomach giving me a pregnant look. I’m 52 years old, so I can’t pull it off!.

After I graduated school, I was offered what I thought was an amazing job. The pay was more than I had ever earned in my entire life and this was going to set me up for retirement. Finally, I thought smugly to myself, I have arrived. I am here. Life doesn’t get any better than this. I can afford … anything. But, after a week or two, I didn’t feel like I loved my job. I have loved my job before and this wasn’t the feeling. Someone wasn’t right, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. But – the pay was great and I could learn to love my job – right? Wrong. After 2 months I decided that I was kidding myself that I am going to be happy here – the people were rude and condescending and made me feel like crap. There is no amount of money in the world that’s going to make me work for a company that treats it’s people that way. So I left. I guess the smart thing would have been to find another job before leaving the old one. I’d used up all my unemployment insurance and so now I had no job, no money coming in. No problem, I thought. I’ll just get another job. And get another job I did – I actually managed to get an interview with a freight forwarding company that I had wanted to work for for some time – they pay well and treat their staff well. I got the job. A little less money than the last “dream job,” but more than what I was earning before, so I felt better, but still the disappointed feeling remained.

Then one evening I was thinking about calling a friend and going on a girly night out, when it suddenly hit me that all my friends – the ones I could go on girly nights out with anyway – had moved away from Vancouver and settled in other parts of the country. Which is funny because they made the move over a period of 4 or 5 years, but I only really noticed last month, how completely alone I was. And none of my children live in Vancouver anymore either, my youngest only recently moving to greener pastures in Alberta.

The feeling of mild disappointment turned into sadness.

Then … my cousin passed away suddenly. One day he was there large as life, making me laugh with his funny comments on face book, and the next day he was gone. Just like that. In my grief, I spent many nights wondering about the purpose of life and the cruelty of life. Brian left behind a partner who adored him. They were soul mates and he was devastated. Is devastated. I felt wretched for him. And for me. It made me realize that life is too short to feel mildly disappointed all the time. The time had come for me to take action.

Life is meant to be lived with joy and love and laughter. I read somewhere that our purpose here is to have a rockin’ good time. To enjoy every moment, to be happy and to love everyone and everything. Love is the key. I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling any of those things. I was feeling very disillusioned with life and wallowing in self pity.

So I bought a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project and started my own Happiness Project – for one year. One thing a month for a year

Here’s my list –

I have learned that the most important element to happiness is social bonds, so I resolve to tackle “My Relationship with Mr. Lifeology” and “Friends.” I’ve also learned that my happiness depends a great deal on my perspective, so I add “Eternity” and “Attitude” to my list. Work is crucial to my happiness, and also leisure, so I include the topics “Work,” and “Play” and “Passion.” “Energy” seems like a basic ingredient for my project. “Money” is certainly a subject I want to address. And “Mindfulness.”  The 12th month will be a month in which I will try to follow all my resolutions perfectly. So I have my 12 categories.

I started October with the “Friends” resolution.. I joined the Red Hat Society. I’ll tell you why I picked the Red Hat Society. I find it hard to make friends because I have a ‘different’ kind of personality and a sense of humour not understood by many people. I don’t fit into most people’s neat little boxes. Anybody who is crazy enough to wear a red hat and a purple outfit and lots of eccentric, ugly jewelry nobody else would be seen dead in – in public, has got to fit in with my personality. And I was right. I fit right in – I have friends.

My first outing with them in my new red hat and purple dress.

REd Hat

It turns out that this outfit was very conservative, and so my next outing, a Halloween parade, I tried a bit harder to look a bit more eccentric

2nd Red Hat outing2

Getting better, right? I still have some work to do.

November, I will work on Energy. I figure that having more energy will be the starting point to help me tackle the other topics. I decided this yesterday morning and so I had one more day of indulgence before I began the serious business of eating better, exercising more, acting more energetic. I had a siimple day of doing things just for me. Complete pleasure. I think everyone needs a day of complete pleasure – often. And it was the springboard for making me feel good again – you know, that butterfly, feel-good feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see something you love, or do something you love. It was a perfect Fall day today. Clear blue skies, crisp col air, bright sunshine streaming through every window of my house at various times of the day. I stopped to take a look at it often and every now and then, I went outside and breathed it in – and it made me feel good. I puttered all day long doing things to the house that would make me feel comfortable and loved – a blanket on the couch, fresh linen on the bed. I cleaned and laundred, indulged in tea and chocolate – I didn’t even think about the calories much – watched a chick flick with a bowl of buttered popcorn, indulged in a supper of seafood pasta and a glass of wine and talked on the phone with my daughter.

I’m feeling … better.

Next post – Energy.

Cheers for now.

Jane