One of the books I read this month was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I will admit, the whole thing sounded a little warm-fuzzy-eat/pray/love-y to me at first,
but I decided to give it a shot anyway. Some of my friends had given it good reviews; plus, I couldn’t deny that I too could stand to be a bit happier.
In the book, Rubin devotes each month to a separate set of happiness “resolutions”: January, was all about “Boosting Energy”, while June focused on friendship. October was about mindfulness and paying attention.
Inspired by what I was reading, I decided to try out a few of Rubin’s happiness resolutions myself.
Well, let’s just say they met with varying levels of success: Some left me feeling happier- others? Naaat so much. I figured I’d start by telling you about the ones that didn’t go so well, because that way it builds more suspense. Plus, it’s just way more fun to read about people failing.
So without further adieu, I present to you:
BreezyK’s Failed Happiness Project Experiments.
1. The 10 Minute Tidy
Rubin notes that household clutter can be a huge drain on one’s energy- and in turn, happiness. In order to eliminate this source of stress, she advocates the “10 Minute Tidy”: Spend 10 minutes each night cleaning up your house or apartment.
Well, as you all know, tidiness is by no means my strong suit. I recognize this, and have gone about fixing it the best way I know how: by throwing money at the problem. I invested in a cleaning lady about 6 months ago, and it has been the best decision of my adult life to date.
But after reading about Rubin’s success, I thought maybe, just maybe, if I cleaned for 10 minutes a day, I wouldn’t NEED to pay someone else to do it. Novel!!!
After day one, I was already cutting deals with myself: “If you just do 5 minutes tonight, then you can do the other 5 in the morning!” I found myself staring at piles of dishes in the sink, willing myself to feel SOMETHING. Some desire to clean them. But all I felt was a strong desire to eat a bowl of cereal and watch Fashion Star. So that’s what I did.
Needless to say, the 10-minute-tidy lasted about as long as my willpower at a desert table. But on the bright side, at least my cleaning lady is still gainfully employed??
Oh God I’m so bougie……
2. Get More Sleep
Rubin is a big proponent of sleep: when you’re not tired, she argues, it’s easier to tackle the day, and to be happier while doing so.
I know she’s right- I regularly suffer from dragging-a$$ syndrome at work, and can tell you it does NOT make me happy.
So I tried taking her advice and going to sleep earlier.
You’d think it would be easy, right? WRONG. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to do it. By the time I finished work, went to the gym, made dinner, worked on my blog and did my daily PVR maintenance, it was almost always 11:00pm. Then it was another hour before I actually fell asleep. I tried shutting out all the light in my bedroom and removing electronic devices like Rubin suggested (Ok, I’m lying. I slept with my iPhone), but even that didn’t help.
If anything, actively trying to get more sleep actually made me get less sleep, because I became so obsessed with it. I’d be laying there, all, “how many hours until I have to get up now?”
I recognize that this lack of sleep is probably going to take 10 years off my life… but hey, that’s what Starbucks and ErasePaste are for.
Plus, bags are the new black, right?
3. Buy Needful Items
According to Rubin, when it comes to money, there are two different types of people: Overbuyers and Underbuyers. Overbuyers buy items in bulk; thinking they might be useful someday, whereas underbuyers delay making purchases or buy as little as possible.
Underbuyers tend to experience stress because they are always in need of something and are scrambling to buy it.
I would definitely consider myself an underbuyer- I’m always running out of stuff and feeling stressed. So I decided to do as Rubin suggested, and switch to more of an “overbuying approach” – the next time I went to the grocery store, I bought the 24 roll pack of toilet paper instead of my standard four. I also got a little crazy and sprung for the big packages of paper towel and laundry detergent.
I was feeling excited about my new purchases, until I encountered two immediate problems:
- How am I supposed to carry this sh*t? – and
- Oh yeah, I live in a 500 sq. foot condo. Where the hell am I going to put it all?
After a rather awkward walk home, I ended up stuffing the paper towel and detergent in the back of my coat closet. As for the TP, I broke it down and shoved one or two rolls in various locations around my apartment: under the couch, in kitchen cupboards, you name it. For days, every time I did anything I was finding a roll of toilet paper. It was like the worst Easter egg hunt ever.
So to recap: so far in my Happiness Project, I have perpetuated my slobiness, become an insomniac, and turned my apartment into a replica of Mama June’s coupon closet.
Things are looking promising!! Stay tuned for round 2!!