My Happiness Project: To thine own self be true

to_thine_own_self_be_true

OK so this is it – after reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project I have been vaguely aware that when I am doing or thinking certain things I am not doing myself any favours. I think I finally have to acknowledge that starting my own ‘Happiness Project’ (and logging the journey on my blog) is the way forward. It will allow me to work out some key strategies and hopefully it will be a little bit insightful or inspiring to others too.

Today I was reading through some other bloggers’ posts and considering what it is I like about my favourite blogs and it occurred to me that I tend to have about four standard reactions to what I see/read:

  1.  OMG this woman is quite literally a domestic goddess – LET ME SWAP LIVES/BLOGS right NOW!
  2. This is beautiful work but I know that the person writing is not on the same wavelength as me and therefore I may never consider becoming a follower.
  3. I am feeling informed/engaged/entertained/tickled pink, this content has totally hit my wavelength and the person writing clearly doesn’t know how good they are.
  4. I am feeling entertained/tickled but so are about 10,000 other people and I don’t feel like I can engage because my voice is being drowned out by everyone else’s and how can we respect each other when you will never have time to engage with me?

Perhaps it could be said that the whole experience is a bit like dating…

I’m always comparing upwards and perhaps feeling that my blog is not good enough, not pretty enough, too wordy or some other such nonsense, and that my children are not doing worthy enough projects or coming out with cute enough ‘kiddisms’ but today I had a revelation worthy of Gretchen Rubin (who I shall forewith refer to as The Rubemeister) – I do what I do – which is write, in as engaging a manner as I can possibly manage whilst a 19 month old lobs bits of half chewed sandwich down my cleavage.

My home will never be up to show home standards, I will never crochet an elephant (errr, I’m not sure that is one of my goals actually), I will probably never figure out how to whip up a viral frenzy by riffing on my toddler’s toilet habits or start an Etsy business from home, or write a novel or win a MAD Blogging Award (or even get a nomination! Maybe I should ask – you don’t ask you don’t get…) But the Rubemeister is right – sometimes you have to just let go and accept that every single aspiration that ever pops into your head is not necessarily going to ‘take’. Its a grieving process the letting go – a bit like the day you put your favourite pet in a shoebox, buried it under the cherry tree and wrote a (bad) ode to the beautiful kinky tail never to be seen again (sob!) but at least its closure.

It’s also a chance to reassess what it is you actually do do well, what you are good at, the things that you can actually have a stab at as well as an acknowledgement that you actually quite like your higgledy piggledy bookshelves, colourful piles of toys, nutty little boys, organised chaos and eclectic knowledge of film and literature as well as a photographic memory for all 50 US states (don’t ask – seemed like a good idea at the time…)

All this letting go and embracing is actually quite liberating – I urge you to give it a try…oh and if you fancy it, nominate me for Mad Blogging Awards Best New Blog!

mad blog awards

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5 thoughts on “My Happiness Project: To thine own self be true

  1. You are so right. You can’t constantly be looking at others, comparing and feeling upset by it. I remind myself of this. We’ve not walked their journey, or they may be a year ahead in their pursuits, so how can we possibly do so well? Perspective always helps, and thinking about what you can do and can control, rather than obsessing over others! Look forward to reading more in your new series x

    • Thanks Jocelyn! Yes we all have different natures and different motivations and as such comparison is pointless. I just hope that people are happy to embrace my blog the way it is and just enjoy what they are reading. I think that’s the case from what I’ve been told! X

  2. This post has left me a bit tearful, because what you say is so honest and reflects a lot of what I feel. Reminds me of the Divine Comedy lyric ‘Always to thine own self be true, not to fools like me, who’ll change their mind for the sake of rhyming schemes’.

    I think you’re an amazing writer, with a lot to say, who says it well and without bashing your point too hard. You always give me something to think about – in fact, you’ve inspired some of my posts. You’re wonderfully honest, funny, and I like you a lot. There. I’ve said it. Please don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else, because you’re mighty fine as you are.

    • Aw Lucy Benedict I love you! Sometimes I think – oh shit I’ve been a bit too honest there, people won’t like it, they will think I’m being too blooming introspective again but actually, I always MUCH prefer it when other people are just honest and admit that they’re not perfect rather than always trying to project this image of perfection. I think that way unhappiness lies. Truly.

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