- Breathe - I often act hastily when someone misbehaves, only to regret my actions 2 minutes later. I want to allow myself a moment to walk away from the situation, take a deep breath, collect my thoughts and come back to hopefully address the situation better. Gretchen says you can't inflict your happiness project on others, but they can learn from your actions. Colin has been struggling with dealing with his feelings and hasn't learned the proper way to communicate those feelings. I'm hoping by setting a better example, he will, in turn, learn how to better deal with his feelings and emotions.
- Be more playful - I have a picture in my head of what a perfect family looks like and I want that picture to become reality. However, I feel like a cat chasing it's tail because I can't seem to achieve that lofty goal. The truth is, every family has it's issues and we're no different. That doesn't mean that I can't work towards what I hope for an desire. Part of what embodies the "perfect family" in my eyes is a quiet, calm, creative aura. I would love for the boys to play quietly and nicely together, while I cook dinner, pay bills, do projects around the house, etc. The mothers out there are likely laughing right now and with good reason. On the rare occurrences that my children actually are quiet and playing well together, I worry. Has one of them suffocated the other and is trying to cover his tracks? Have they both fallen off some piece of furniture and are laying unconscious somewhere? Boys will be boys and I need to better embrace that. I want to play more. I want them to think of me as a cool mom, one who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty or breaking a sweat. I will definitely have to learn the way boys play but I think it will bring me closer to them, which will bring me joy and happiness.
- Monthly adventures - With the return of school, our daily routine has set in. Who am I kidding, routine is my middle name, school has nothing to do with it! While I think children thrive in routine-oriented settings (and often require it), I want to throw in a little element of surprise. Colin has already started saying he doesn't want to go to school. Call me crazy but I thought I had at least a few good years before that phrase set in. I feel like he needs some excitement in his life that allows him a chance to have something to look forward to. The anticipation would surely transcend on his daily mood and behavior, which we would all benefit from. My thought is to start having bi-monthly adventures with him - one with me and one with Wes. Some of them may be out of town, some may be in our backyard. This will not only be fun for him, but will force me out of my comfort zone as well and let me utilize some of the creative juices that often lay dormant in my head.
- Hug and kiss - I already do both of these things but sometimes I let Colin slip out the door in the morning without a hug or kiss. I want to stop what I'm doing, give him my full attention, and give him a meaningful hug and kiss. He has struggled with giving and receiving affection as of late, so I'm hoping by creating a better routine, he will accept it as well. I know my children know they are loved, but I want to that to be the last thing they remember before leaving the house and the first thing they think of when entering the house. We will hug and/or kiss every time we leave or return to the house (and before going to bed).
What about you, are you interested in starting your own Happiness Project? Or perhaps you already have one in place. I'd love to hear about it! I love getting ideas from other people that perhaps I wouldn't have thought of on my own.