Reading The Happiness Project made me think about all my lists, goals, and the difference between how I want to think of myself (and have others think of me) and how I actually am. One of Rubin’s primary tools for happiness is “Be Gretchen”- you can’t pretend something makes you happy if it doesn’t, if you ever want to be actually happy.
Here’s the list I made for public viewing of what I wanted to accomplish last year. It is notable for the fact that I didn’t do any of it! That shows an indisputable disconnect between what I say I want to do and how I actually spend my time. What did I actually do? I worked really hard at my job, I learned how to brew beer, and I learned all about saving and investing money. None of which fit with my blog fantasy of my self. Brewing is fun, although I’m a bit embarrassed about how much beer we go through- but money! ewwww! what a dismal thing to spend so much time on. 45 hours a week working and commuting and about an hour a day thinking and reading about investing and saving.
I’m ready to let go of the museums on my list- some of them have been there for ten years, while I visit the museums near me in Queens several times a year. Let’s say I’d rather stay local than travel for a museum experience.
I’m not ready to give up on my outdoorswoman dreams. Many nights last year I read my Coast to Coast guidebook in bed after tucking my money in- defering dreams of travel, learning and new physical skills for a future date when I will be rich, retired and able to go on 3 week walking tours. Instead of doing all the local adventures I worked harder at my job.
Also, even more embarassing- I went on 3 carribbean vacations since I wrote that list. Did these cost a ton of money and time? They sure did! Did I enjoy them? Yes! But did they help with my weekly goals to explore and volunteer in my local environment? Nope. I think my old list had too many things on it, like I was grasping for new places to list instead of spending time on activities I enjoy. We went to the Socrates Sculpture Park nearly every week in the summer, but my list only gives me credit for going places I’ve never been.
New List for Spring 2015:
- Be a good friend, relative and listener
- Get outside and stay local
- Write about it