Miss Bennett in the Bay

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 25 2010


The next step in my Happiness Project is to create resolutions. What am I actually going to do to make myself happier? After all, it is the pursuit of happiness. I think happiness is something you find or create, not something that just happens to you. All this time I’ve been sitting around, wallowing in my own unhappiness, when all I really had to do was change a few things about my life and start enjoying it. It’s my life for the living (or wasting.)

In the book, Gretchen Rubin focuses on one area of her life a month that she would like to improve. This makes sense to me- otherwise it would be impossibly overwhelming. At the end of each month, she would switch to a new resolution, while continuing the ones from the previous month. Theoretically, by the end of her year, she would be doing all of the things on her list. (I haven’t finished reading it yet, so I don’t know if she made it.)

Yesterday at dinner Scott and I talked a lot about what it is that makes me happy, and what I would like to do to become even happier. The following is the list I came up with. I may end up adding to it later on.

My Resolutions:

Get enough sleep by getting ready for bed by 9:30 and being in bed by 10.

Maintain cleanliness and reduce household clutter. Put everything in its place.

Cook (not in a microwave) at least one delicious, healthy meal for myself a day.

Make date time with Scott at least 3 times a week.

Call or email far away friends at least 3 times a week. Stop relying on Facebook for superficially keeping up with friends.

Criticize and complain less- only once a day.

Make “me time” every single day.

Give appreciations to those I care about every single day.

I’m starting with the first two for the next four weeks. A common theme for me these days is that I’m tired all the time- partially because my current job is physically demanding but also because I stay up too late reading books or watching TV. Our apartment is usually a disaster, even after we’ve cleaned it up. I tend to not clean things right away because I’m too tired. After we’ve cleaned up, it still looks messy because we have lots of knicknacks and clutter lying around. Some things simply don’t have homes because we don’t have enough storage space.

I’m hoping that going to bed earlier will give me the energy I need to make it to the end of the school year without completely losing my mind. In addition, I hope that cleaning and de-cluttering my apartment will make my home feel like a sanctuary rather than an agent of chaos. I’ll be able to make it through the work day with patience and peace, and I’ll be able to come home to a place I feel calm in.

Considering this is a pretty big lifestyle change for me, I have a long, steep road ahead of me. But I know that the body can’t function without enough sleep, and I know our environment affects our mood. So, I resolutely go to the kitchen to get out the cleaning spray.

4 Responses

  1. Oooh, only complaining once a day! If I could get down to TEN times a day, it would be an improvement. I find that I throw little criticisms out there and I’m not even aware of it (Ugh, it’s so humid today! Geez, look at all the cat hair around here! Whoa, what a lame TV show). Even insignificant comments like that contribute to an overall negative outlook, and I’m really trying to watch it.

    Good luck on your resolutions!

    :-) Angela

  2. Savanna

    This is awesome. I too have been thinking a lot about happiness, not losing my mind, and how my apartment is an agent of chaos. Good luck :) –Savanna, Miami ’09

  3. I started this three years ago when I decided I wanted to live a new life in San Francisco, downtown SF, for that matter. Visualize what you want and keep it in your head at all times. It will come.

  4. Forgot to mention, I’ve always gone to bed very early because I am up and going at 5 every morning. I’m asleep,usually, by 8:30 each night. Teaching in an inner city school is exhausting.

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