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My 2013 Happiness Project: In Like a Lion…March leaves scars and permanent changes

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March started out alright, but then crisis after crisis hit (as I mentioned in my previous post).  It’s difficult for me to discuss here the reasons behind the challenges I faced this month outside of my happiness project, because it deals with my children and illness and hospitalization and…I’m trying hard to keep a positive lens on why these things happen and what the universe is trying to teach me, my family.

One of the crises is on the wane and is more of a rite of passage in our modern lives. The other continues to rage and create more havoc on our lives. However, much of my power to affect any kind solution or change to the situation is very minimal. So, I am approaching it from “Be in Now” attitude.

Considering the hit on my time – I spent countless hours on the phone with doctors, insurance companies, friends, families, defending myself and my family at the grocery store (yes, some one who had listened to the rumor mill and had bad information accosted me in the produce section about my parenting decisions; can you believe?), some of my goals (like upping my writing output) really suffered.

However, all in all I’m happy with my progress. There’s that word again:  happy. I suppose in the true definition, that I am accepting of my progress and that I am content with it.

I was most successful with the Be in the Now goal. I was able to do that about 80 percent of the time throughout the month. Whenever I found myself worry about what I didn’t do yesterday or what I had to do the following week – or whatever was taking me out of the moment at hand, I gave myself a mental check. I allowed a voice in my head, if you will, to just say, “But what about right now?” The thing I discovered about this exercise in being in the now is that it reduces your stress immensely. It forces you to stop worrying and start taking charge of this moment. It allows you to redirect your fears from the world of “I can’t” to the knowledge and action of “I can.” And since I did it 25 days out of 31 – it’s become a habit. I know I can continue to operate in my life via this philosophy. It is a juggle to be the care taker and calendar organizer for my family while doing this kind of “thinking.” However, I have mitigated for this by making a calendar check before the day and at the end of the day. Other than a few days of fogginess, for which I could easily blame the crises, I’ve been more clear-headed, feeling without being emotional, and noticing things I may have never noticed. As a writer, that’s a good thing.

As I mentioned, my Up Daily Word Count really suffered. My percentage is a weak 48 percent. However, just saying I was going to up my count, actually put me in the chair writing even more often. So having higher word-count goals made me write more overall in a month than I typically do. So, even if I didn’t hit my goal each day, I still wrote more this month than I have since I became a “Writer Mama” in June of 2011. This pleases me greatly. Being pleased gives me a moment of delight, happiness. It’s a win in my book even if the numbers of my monthly chart may traditionally say no.

Learning a new physical skill also took a hit. My hours and hours chained to a phone, waiting in doctors offices, and honeslty, pacing my office getting some angst out so I could focus on “now,” didn’t lead to a lot of “learning” time. However, this month I started a Zumba class. Although I have a background in other aerobic classes, dance, cheerleading, and drill and ceremony, getting a handle on Zumba is a new skill. In fact, in my class yesterday, the instructor stopped me after class to ask if I had been a dancer at one point. I will continue with the Zumba – which is a new physical skill, and also is helping me reach back to January and “exercise better.” Again, a win!

Applying new marketing tactics for my business, art, and writing was also not a smashing success, if you look by the numbers – just a mere 60 percent here. But, I did make some new contacts by applying some of the new approaches, ended up creating new products, and feel like I learned something. All wins.

This month’s theme is “Lighten Up.” I’m applying most of these goals to my parenting, which given the still-raging crisis is going to raise the stakes. April is brand new and I’m going to ride the wave of success from March’s Be in the Now and when I do that “self check” also ask myself about my goals. Am I applying humor to the situation? Am I doing things each day to make new memories with my family, especially my children? Am I and are we as a family, unloading useless stuff? This could be physical stuff, it could be emotional baggage. Lastly, am I pushing myself to learn new art, pushing my writing to new deeper levels?

I have high hopes for April. After the Lion that March was, I’m in need of some sweet fluffiness of an April lamb. How about you? How are your resolutions shaping up this year?

April:  Lighten Up

Quote: “Blessed are the joymakers.” ~ Nathaniel Parker Willis

Try Humor

Make Memories

Unload Useless Stuff

Learn New Art

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