May was supposed to be Pollyanna month. I say “supposed to be” because 1) May started out decidedly negative and un-fun and 2) this is one of the goals that is harder to quantify. I did my best to be more positive, and to quantify that in a few ways. One thing I started doing was writing down one fun/happy/good thing that happened each day. Sometimes it was a big thing, like going to the last show of the season at Joffrey Ballet, and sometimes it was a small thing, like walking to the library for a new book and making it home before it started pouring rain. Something that I took away from The Happiness Project is “the days are long but the years are short.” I think this is absolutely true. My days (especially work days) often seem very long, but then I turn around and it’s already halfway through June and time is just flying. Writing down one unique thing about each day makes them stand out individually, instead of just disappearing into the past with the relentless march of time. Plus it’s fun to look back at previous days and remember nice things, which always makes me smile again, and raises my happiness level.
I also spent more time reading and indulging whims. I stayed up late to finish a good book instead of choosing the practical route and tucking in early. A few times I eschewed a workout in lieu of a cold beer or a good, fun movie on Netflix. With D out of town I have been watching a ton of girly chick flicks, which are a guilty pleasure that definitely ups my happiness. I’ve also started listening to podcasts again to make my commute more pleasant, and I LOVE it. I’d forgotten how much joy I got out of listening to my friends at Slate, Freakonomics Radio, and the NYT Book Review. Added bonus: I feel so much more informed on current events!
As far as changing the way I respond, I don’t know if I’d have much measurable success on that one, but I keep trying. My gut reaction is always to start worrying, or to think that the most negative outcome is the one that absolutely will happen. I don’t know that I’ve stopped these behaviors internally but I’m starting to vocalize that “everything will be ok!” when talking about Pittsburgh, the job search, and meeting new people. Also, in regards to what I wrote about yesterday, I’ve decided to drop the rope on that particular friendship. I’m not going to think about it or wring my hands over it any longer. There are people in Chicago who I will miss and keep in touch with, and there are people who I won’t. That’s bound to happen from time to time in life and I’m ok with that.
For June the goal was to be more aware of what I ate and to concentrate on fresh fruits and veggies. I’ve been dutifully keeping a food journal since June 1. I’m, ahem, trying to cut back a bit in the sugar category, which hasn’t been terribly successful so far. This just in: sugar is DELICIOUS. I am, however, loving all the fresh fruits and veggies that are in season right now. Yet another reason I look forward to summer all year long. Well, that and the long days and (theoretical) warm weather.