Monday, August 8, 2011


This summer I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. That book inspired me to make some changes in my own, not life-altering, earth-shaking changes. These are small things I can focus on to help me find joy in the everyday.

In the book, instead of making a huge resolution list, destined to fail, in January, Rubin broke her resolutions down into categories and tackles a category a month with a couple of main points for focus. She has a list of commandments that help her keep her priorities in line throughout the year. 

In a former life, I was a very type-A, compulsive perfectionist. Ok, so I might not be that different now. But I do let a lot of things slide these days...a far cry from the stressed out second grader I was. Yes, really. Second grade. I was afraid that if I started a project like this, I would get overwhelmed by it, letting it take over. There's even a website, complete with lists, forums, and ideas. I think letting a project like this take over would kind of defeat the purpose.

So, I've decided to do a Happiness Project of my own without getting obsessive about it. I finished reading the book right around my birthday, so my months will begin/end on the 18th.

This past month's focus for me has been Home, specifically order in the home. My mottos this month have been "Everything in its place" and "Do it now." I have been on a serious decluttering mission and have a list of the areas that still need to be tackled. I started off with one area a day, and that worked well to keep me from burning out on the idea. I haven't done an area a day, but it's been close.

One of the first areas I decluttered was my closet. I was ruthless. Things I've been hanging on just in case I am every skinny again...things I kept for sentimental reasons ("because I wore it on my honeymoon" is not a valid reason to keep a dress)...things people had given me...things that fit but weren't flattering...I finally got rid of them. Look at this huge pile of stuff!

Today I finally tackled the shelves in my closet. I ended up with a large black trashbag of stuff to of many that I've dropped off at the Salvation Army's little shed. I've already taken two stuffed-to-the-gills loads of stuff! I had been procrastinating on this particular area for no particular reason. I am so glad I finally did just makes me go "Ahhhhh."

For a while now the garage has been a huge obstacle course, mainly because of all the stuff that landed out there as I decluttered. No more! I got out there last Friday and cleaned it up. Actually, I think my main intention was to load up the stuff to be donated, and one thing led to another. It's not perfect, but it is so much better!

That leads me to the most important part...I'm learning that "good enough" really is good enough! Letting go of some of my perfectionism and still maintaining control is the best thing ever. And the feeling when I see how orderly our house is becoming, slowly but surely, is the most peaceful feeling ever.

It's important, I think, to realize that this idea of "good enough" being good enough can apply to anything. I chose to go for a bike ride with my husband this morning since we were unexpectedly kid-free. That means I didn't run, but that's ok...the bike ride was good enough. I blew my "diet" with dinner tonight, but the rest of the day wasn't bad...good enough. I chose to sit on my bed and watch TV with the kids instead of dragging out some project or craft...good enough. And the thing really is good enough.

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel. I have TWENTY garbage bags (yes, 20) of hand-me-down clothes from family members for the girls. Don't get me wrong - I am very grateful. But right now, there is no order to it. So, I'm in the process of sorting them by size and season so its a little more manageable. I bought a bunch of large tubs I'm going to transfer them to b/c some of the clothes won't fit Abigail for several years.