One of the Four Splendid Truths of Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project is, “The days are long, but the years are short”.
It is easy for me to see that, looking back over the years of the busy life of a working Mom, yet even today when the years are getting shorter and shorter I often forget the concept of using each moment to its fullest and to find my happiness in the present, in even the most mundane tasks. So with that idea in mind I wanted to see if I could apply it to my to-do list for today, in advance. Maybe planning for happiness and identifying the reward before I begin will allow me to appreciate the value of the tasks. From today’s list:
Address and mail holiday cards: Since I am away from family and friends I keep in touch in the more traditional manner – snail mail. I remember the thrill I got as a child getting a card or letter from a relative or friend, and I am trying to pass that on to my young nieces and others. Remembering the excitement I felt makes me happy.
Clean my office to prepare for doing my taxes: I do love order, it makes me feel calmer and more in control. I feel a certain satisfaction when I have finished, with visual proof of the completd job. Knowing I will be able to easily find the papers I need to do the tax project gives me a sense of relief, add this all up and it will make me happy, now and in the long run.
Accept the delivery of a cord of wood (I hope it is today): This will make me very, very happy, as I am now out of the hot burning wood and there was a trace of snow on the ground this morning, so brrr, I still need to keep the stove going. But beyond the practical, when the truck dumps the wood and the tiny cells of wood pop open as they hit the ground and release the aroma of the resins in the pine, it takes me back to the wonderful memories of spending time in the woods with my family for pleasure. And when I am splitting the wood I get the benefit of the smells, the good physical feel of working hard and satisfaction of a job complete when the wood is stacked.
For one of my splendid truths: Preparing for happiness sets the tone and the mood for any task. As I go about my day I will be mindful of the things that bring me joy in the work that I am doing and as always, stop occasionally and appreciate how fortunate I am to live where I do and have the life that I live.