The Happiness Project Experience - July
In keeping with the general feel of summer, I tried to keep my goals for July a bit more relaxed. I didn’t set as many and they weren’t all things that were easily checked off (both of which were hard for me). But I did manage to accomplish them all, at least to my satisfaction.
For July, the theme of the Happiness Project Experience was family, so I set out to strengthen my family ties, deepen my relationships, and hopefully, have a bit of fun along the way.
These were the 4 goals I set for July:
Start a family journal project
Go on the adventure with my sister
Read It Doesn’t Start With You
Say yes to my family
I got the idea for the first goal, a family journal, from Gretchen Rubin’s concept of a "family update". This is where family members send short updates about what is going on in their day or week through text/email. Since I still live close to my family, work with both of my parents, and my siblings are still young and in school, I feel pretty in the loop with what is going on with my close family. So instead, I decided to deepen my knowledge of family history, more specifically - my parent's lives. Every Monday I have a reminder on my phone to email them some question about their life. All they have to do is reply to the email with their answer or story and then I save them to a folder in my email. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with these snippets of history in the long run, but for now, I just enjoy reading them and knowing I’ll have this record of my parent’s lives, from their perspective.
The second goal did technically get accomplished, although not quite as I had imagined. As I shared, my sister decided she wanted her summer adventure to be a shopping trip. Well, the shopping trip ended up getting tacked onto the end of a family weekend away when we would be near a big mall. My sister ended up bringing a friend and other family members tagged along on our adventure. So it wasn’t quite what I had expected, but I think my sister enjoyed it… which was the whole point!
My next goal was to read It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle. You know how this works - to read my full review, check out the Books of July 2019 post. But in case you want to know right off the bat if it’s worth your time - I would say probably yes. There’s lots of science and psychology, but it isn’t too dreadfully dense and the theory behind the book is fascinating. On the other hand, the application is meh.
Finally, I set about to say yes to my family. This goal was intentionally vague. I didn’t want to have to quantify if or when or why or how much I needed to do this - I just let it play out. And it was great! I gave my brother a hug whenever he asked, instead of finishing whatever I was doing. I spent an evening with my mom saving the photos off of old floppy disks (yes, floppy disks) to computer files, instead of just putting off the project for another time. I had dinner with my family, went on a trip with them, spent time on adventures, and stayed in at home.
As usual, the focus on one topic, in this case, family, definitely added to my happiness. I was grateful for the opportunity to step outside myself and view my family both as a unit and individual members. I do feel closer to my family and happier in my relationships with them. I consider this part of my happiness project complete - and a huge success!
Until next time,