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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 10

Friday, November 11, 2011

(Playing catch up still, yep, Making Time for Myself is still an issue!)

"Simplify your life. Unburden yourself of possessions that lock you in the "rat race" of earning more money to pay for more things you don't really need. Spend time and resources on things that add real meaning to your life."

This is a concept I have been working on for years. I still have work to do. My friends laugh at me because my TV is "so small". I think it's just right. It's what I NEED. My apartment is too small. Nope, it's what I NEED. (albeit, I have too much stuff in it... but I'm purging!). My car is too old. Nope it's paid for and runs fine. Buying a new car when mine is good enough would be silly and a waste of time, energy, money.

Getting rid of stuff, the bits and pieces that clog my house and my mind is what I need to do. It's a long, slow process. There are emotional ties attached to things that need to be broken.

Living simply is a way that I want to live at home and outside my house. In my relationships with freinds and family.

One of the ways that I have done this is to TRY and convince my friends/family that we, as adults, don't need to buy presents for other adults for Birthdays, Holidays and the like. Some days I feel like I'm just talking to air. Frankly, half of the stuff given or received is never wanted/used/liked/enjoyed anyway. But because they are gifts, we have to keep, display and use things we don't want.

For Christmas, my nieces get TONS of gifts. Most end up broken at the bottom of the toy bin, barely used. Several years ago, I started to give them something different. "A Day With Auntie Gretchen"... just me and one of my nieces. We chose something special that they want to do. An event, movie, pedicures, dress up tea, play, Chuck E Cheese... THEIR CHOICE. We make a full day of it. Dress up, go out, have luch, always find a side trip or a park to visit. So what I do is give a Memory. The memory cannot be broken, will never be the wrong size, can't be lost, and doesn't take up closet or toy chest space.

I'm still working on purging *stuff* from my house. 3 giant bins of too large clothes to charity, a couple of bags of paperback books back to the used book store for credit. Unopened gifts either re-gifted to a more approprate recipient or in the bin to Goodwill.

Unclog my home, unclog my head, free myself for better, healthier live!!

Here is an article on zenhabits about Living Simply:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRYS13 11/14/2011 12:47PM

    I really wish there was some magic potion I could drink in order to de-clutter without caring! I have so much junk in this house that it's paralyzing!! But, every time I come to get rid of it, I rationalize and talk myself into an "I just might need this" state!
I better get going and see if I could just part with one thing per room! It's a start!

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BOBINVA 11/11/2011 10:36PM

    I like this one. I have been getting rid of so much stuff that I have not used or worn in years and am not looking to replace it.

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DARKCHILD 11/11/2011 2:11PM

    I am soooooo feeling you on this one!! I'm getting rid of stuff today. Already went through the closet in the bedroom, was amazed at the stuff in there, next shoes...and so on and so forth. Ditto to what you had to say in your blog! emoticon

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 9

Friday, November 11, 2011

Savor every bite.

I have never been a fast eater. I'm the one that people used to yell at to hurry up at Thanksgiving dinner. My family had already finished their seconds and was waiting for me to finish so they could start dessert. It doesn't mean I didn't eat a lot, I would eat plenty, just slowly. The one thing that did do is keep eating, and eating, and eating.

By using the Principles of Mindful Eating I have been able to tone down the over-eats. I no longer eat until I'm sick because I'm so full. I use portion control and sometimes will throw away even that amount of food if I feel full.

By focusing on eating and paying ationtion to my body. I have been able to feel when I am full, or getting close to full.

By paying attention to the food I am eating: texture, smell, appearance and, the best part, flavor, I am able to enjoy my food and feel satisfied instead of just eating for eatings sake.

By truly tasting and taking my time, I can eat one small square of YUMMY dark chocolate (w-chili and lime) and not eat the whole bar. The second bite never tastes as good as the first, I have been working on that bar of chocolate for 2 weeks... and I still have several squares to go!

I'm putting a small challenge out to you. The next time you eat, take your time. Truly TASTE your food with your eyes, nose, mouth (hands if it's a 'touchy' food). Don't sit at the tv. Turn on some nice, soothing music. Heck, light a candle and break out the 'guest' dishes, even if you're alone or with kids. Make it a calm environment.

Take your time and think about your eating.
Does the first bite tast different from the second?
Does it taste the same while it's getting warmer/cooler?
Does the taste change when you drink in between bites?
Does the food bring memories/feelings of events that have happened?

Here is a link to an article on the "Principles of Mindful Eating":

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 11/11/2011 10:38PM

    It was once pointed out to me that I chew slowly and breath really deep when I am eating. I was self conscious then and a girl told me. It is amazing how much more you taste when you breath and eat slowly.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 8

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Make time for yourself. Pursuing personal growth is just as important as spending time with others. Pencil in some "me" time, even if it's just a few minutes each day.

I'm single, no pets, no roommates, have a M-F 9-5 job (if I'm not out on the course or at a special event).

My problem is not HAVING "me" time. It's making better use of "me" time. I have been spending too much time staring at a list of all the cool things that I could do. I have been spending too much time catching up on tv shows and watching movies. I have been spending too much time... wasting time.

What I need to do to make room for personal growth is Go Back to the Beginning... These are the key places I need to work on:

A. Clean off my art desk. Gather motivational quotes. Get my artistic self to work.
B. Clean and organize my house. So that my time at home is comfortable, not CHAOS.
C. Stop watching re-runs on tv. If I'm going to watch, I need to limit my time. Too often, I sit down in front of the box and just get drawn in, waking up several hours later, tasks not completed
D. Stop making excuses. I am in control of the food I put in my body. I am in control of the action (or inaction) I take at home, at work and at the gym. I am in control of my schedule, shopping, chores etc. I need to take responsibility and take action for my world.

Might as well make my "me" time work for me. Then I can be a better friend, better employee, better mentor, better person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/9/2011 11:48PM

    I need to work on improving my "me time" too...I'm thinking I should be doing this 30 day thing right along with you...hand in hand... :)

Keep at it Girl!! :)

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BOBINVA 11/9/2011 9:51PM

    Enjoy your you time.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 7

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Smile! Grinning, even if you don't feel happy, releases serotonin in the brain, instantly lifts your mood and makes you feel better.

I try to do this as much as possible. Often, I am seen as weird stocker lady when I do emoticon. But it is true. Smiling makes you feel better, which can put the people you are with at ease

Here's an example. Recently, I went to a chain store. The poor lady behind the desk was dealing with a bunch of jerk customers. The line was slow, the process was slow, the computers were slow... and I was at the end of the line. I could have been grumpy bitch customer, but I opted to show some sympathy to the poor employee. It is not her fault that the computer made an error. It is not her fault that another customer bought the wrong size, product, color that needs to be returned. It's not her fault that the only manager on the floor had to deal with several issues at the same time and was running around getting everything done.

When I got up to the counter, she started the transaction by apologizing. I stopped her right then, smiled, and told her it was okay. Just take your time and we'll get the problem fixed. By the end of the exchange, I had my credit duly made to my account. She had done her job perfectly and we were both happier for it. I thanked her smiled again and she reached out patted my hand and thanked ME for being so nice.

"Plus, smiling people are viewed as sincere, attractive, and sociable."

Last Saturday I was sitting by myself at the bar of a local restaurant. Seemed like all my friends were out and about and I felt like not being home alone, so I wasn't. I could have easily ignored everyone around me. But I smiled at everyone who came and went while I was watching the football game and flirting (not seriously because he was maybe 25) with the bartender. Had I not chatted and smiled with the people close to me, I would have never seen the young lady I used to work with 8 years ago. We had a great chat, caught up on gossip and life.

By smiling at strangers, I have met some amazing people. I have made tiring situations tollerable. It has made days that can be lonely, wonderful.

The more you smile, the more smiles you’ll see in return.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 11/11/2011 1:38PM

    emoticon...gotta remember to do this on an hourly basis.

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BOBINVA 11/9/2011 11:49AM


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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 6 (one day late...)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Find meaningful work.

I know that I need to re-evaluate how I do my job. It's an okay job, but I need to be more organized at it. Seems like I'm always playing catch up and the piles of paperwork on my desk are beginning to not only look bad, but get really frustrating.

We were asked by our CEO last week to come up with a "Mission Statement" for our postion and goals and objectives for our department departments.

(Once again, I think that SparkPeople is spying on me!!)

Part of what I will include in my plan will be "A positive attitude and a focus on the meaning behind your work more rewarding. "

What I do won't change the world. I don't save lives or cure cancer or anything like that. My job is running the Course Rating (Handicapping for Golf Courses) Department. It affects every member of the Oregon Golf Association (about 42,000 people). My job is to train and recruit my pool of volunteers, organize and assess all courses to be rated, conduct and release ratings for 30+ golf courses a year, and be sure that all information is as updated and as current as possible.

I found a great article on "Happiness At Your Job Through A Higher Purpose"

"Without such purpose, all you have are miserable, lowly, repetitive, unrewarding tasks. With purpose, you lead a high and noble life that is filled with meaning and purpose and value."

I need to re-evaluate and re-purpose my attitude for my job. I know that will make the days easier to wake up, get ready and drive to a job where I have purpose.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DTSOBEL 11/8/2011 2:06PM

    Making any job more meaningful is important. I am glad you are finding a purpose.

I need to work on those piles of papers on my desk too.

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ALASKASKY 11/8/2011 6:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BOBINVA 11/7/2011 8:58PM

    Volunteer? It can be pretty meaningful.

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