Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Picture A Day

1. I've started on a Happiness Project recently, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's best selling book.
Check it out here.

2. First, you must pick twelve areas where you need improvement- areas that would make you the happiest if they were improved. These are your Twelve Commandments. Then, you pick one main goal a month to focus on and create daily challenges for yourself.

3. It's such a simple concept, why does it take a book to point it out?

4. For me at least, it's very easy to get caught up in the tide of every day life and forget to just stop and ask yourself why you are doing something. "Is this really making me happier?"

5. Obviously, you have to go to work, but if you have no children or no one who really depends on you- you have no excuse not to go after those activities that bring you the greatest joy.

6. So it takes someone like Gretchen, who incidentally does have two children to take care of, to shake you out of your self imposed "life-coma".

7. We're not zombies, but we are human and it's natural to get stuck. Stuck and complacent and sad that you aren't exactly where you want to be. Other people are. Why not you?

8. But sometimes you just have to accept The Big Things- the ones out of your control, and manipulate The Little Things.

9. Thanks to Gretchen, here are my Twelve Commandments:

A Dilettante's Twelve Commandments:
  1. Practice "The Little Things".
  2. Speak Up.
  3. Stay Organized.
  4. Act The Way I Want to Feel.
  5. Love More.
  6. Say, "Yes"- Be Brave.
  7. Let Go.
  8. Write.
  9. Be Healthy.
  10. Be Erica.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Be nice.

10. Like I said, it's all very obvious. Regardless, it only counts if you follow through.

11. I started with "Practicing The Little Things." 

12. My first task for the month has been to take at least one picture a day. I love pictures, but rarely take them. 

13. Somehow, I only think of taking pictures when it's planned. For example, Moneek, Chris and I spent an entire day taking pictures at a park. Through the trails, walking down the dock, peeking through windows of an old building. 

14. And then there's "Obligation Pictures". Birthdays. Christmas. A friend of a friend's son's birthday party. 

15. The pictures I want are the "accidents". That moment when you're completely calm and you see something and wish you had a camera. Or wish that there was no one around to give you that questioning look. 

16. I've noticed that some Commandments are intertwined. By "Practicing The Little Things" inevitably I'm going to run into "Being Erica". Or rather, Becoming Erica.

In my own backyard. 

My Adorable Dog, Castor Troy.
17.  I've been doing great so far, but The Little Things are always the easiest, aren't they?

18. I leave you with today's quote that I found at the bottom of my journal page:
"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breadth of kindness blow the rest away." -George Eliot.

19. What if he is talking not about another person, but of you doing that for yourself?

20. And I can't resist- here's a song that captures my mood too-


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