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My 2013 Happiness Project: April Mid-Month Report

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April is lightness & darkness all swirled together.

April has always been a weird month. It’s like the optimism of spring and the harshness of winter all combine and make for a swirling, confusing energy that makes April a massive roller coaster ride. When the daffodils are pelted with angry hail, a bit of our optimism seems to be stolen. When that freak snow storm comes in and cancels baseball games, we feel cheated. This April has been no exception.


A chronic crisis with my one child continues, making an acute level of stress for not only me, but my spouse and my other children. Continuing My Happiness Project seems both fruitless, yet necessary.  But when I examined my goals for this month under the lens of “should I even attempt to do this given all the strife currently,” I found a curious thing. They seemed to sync nicely with the challenges life was throwing nonstop at me and mine. Could I possibly be so intuitive? Blessed? Lucky? Apparently so.


In fact, I’ve found that thus far, my goals have been nothing but definitive coping skills for me. Using Humor, Making Memories, Unloading Useless Stuff, and Creating New Art – very much goals that help me problem-solve more efficiently, cope with the heartache I continue to experience, give some relief to my friends and family from the bullets of negativity we’re being wounded with, and creating beauty out of chaos.


Because of this synchronicity, I’ve been doing very well. Sometimes creating new art is difficult amongst the schedules of five people who have very different interests, goals, and desires. So, that has suffered most, but on the days that I am able to do it, the stretching of my skills and the like has been prolific. Therefore, I’m cutting myself some slack and being grateful for what I am accomplishing.


I’ve been a parent for 17 years; a step-parent for nearly 9 years. Using humor has always worked, but it hasn’t been my fall-back position. Because my special-needs child only responds to drill-sergeant like tactics, and because he eats up most of my time, that was my fall back. But I realized – hence why it was a goal – that wasn’t effective or fair to my other children. However, slowly but surely it’s becoming that. Laughing at our short-falls, our mistakes, and just the silliness that life can bring us is good medicine. Teaching kids to get over themselves and not think that everything is the end of the world, again, is a good thing. In short, it make for a calmer, happier home.


As a parent, I’ve learned that really my number one job is to make memories. Coloring when it’s too raining to go outside, making living room forts and watching scary movies, or holding them during their first heartbreak, and planning family outings that won’t likely go perfect, which will make them memorable, is what its all about.


Oh.My.Goodness. We Americans have too much stuff. Way too much stuff. It bogs us down, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every day I’ve been purging at least one thing. Sometimes more. If it doesn’t fit into the parameters (aka Happiness Conductors) I set up for my Happiness Project (Play & New Experiences; Friends & Family; Meaningful Activities; and, Appreciation/Gratitude), then off it goes. My trash man and blue-truck donation man love me right now. I feel lighter and I’ll continue to purge every day. It feels good. When was the last time you off loaded stuff? Stuff holds energy. It’s either positive or negative energies. Do you want to hold onto positive energy or negative energy? It was an easy answer for me:  positive all the way, baby.


Making New Art has been the most fun part of this month thus far. I’m stretching my writing with a poem a day for National Poetry Month. I’m learning to cut glass with more ease and grace. I pulled out the dremel tool and am trying to learn how to etch on glass as well. I also am painting in new techniques. I’m taking free “courses” via YouTube and Blogs and Library Book reading. I’m loving it. I don’t get to do it every day, but sometimes just watching how someone does something else creative, too; is worthy of an X. For the last bit of April, I might pick up the ukulele or guitar again and try my hand. We’ll see. It certainly is falling within my happiness conductor of Play & New Experiences. New Art. Love it. It may extend beyond April, because I’m having so much fun.


So just another 10 days in April. I feel good about them. It seems life, even with its seeming challenges with no solutions currently, is still good. I’m still happy. Happier than January? Definitely so. How about you?



Published inHappiness ProjectPoetryWrite Life


  1. Leigh Hastings Leigh Hastings

    I loved your remarks! You definitely have a way with words. I have begun to purge the extra stuff that has just always been hanging around. You are right that it feels good to give and receiving space is the reward which contributes to less stress! Loved the poem about roses. Keep up the good work. You are surely bringing smiles to many.

    • Thank you, Leigh. What kind of things do you find yourself purging?

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