Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Can You Be Happier in 30 Days?

Lately life has been challenging over here to say the least. For the last 60 days I feel like I have been living in survival mode. I haven't given much thought to the food we ate, cleaning the house or anything above just getting through the day or the week. Now that things have settled a bit (BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME THROUGH), I realize that I also didn't put much effort into making sure my family or myself was happy. In fact, happiness seems to be one of those things that we tend to think a lot about in theory but not really try to put into action on a daily basis. For example, if I had X then I would be happy. Or we say (mostly in frustration because our kids are fighting) "I just want everyone to be happy!" And in the long run I know most parents have the goal of your children growing up happy. But what does that really mean? And what will really make you or them happy?

This past weekend was "one of those days" (or many in a row) where I was just angry. No one in my family could do anything right and most things I might normally look the other way about, I would scream and yell and roll my eyes. I might have been a bit hormonal, but I will never actually admit that and god forbid if my husband suggested it. When the angry haze cleared I realized a couple things that put life in perspective.

First - I was playing the victim. This one struck me pretty hard especially because over the last 2 months I refused to be the victim. I was a strong warrior who could push through anything or anyone to make things happen for the ones I loved. Maybe I was tired of being strong, everyone has their breaking point. But I am not a victim and I don't want to be. I have to stop blaming everyone for everything. I will, I promise.

Second - I was making things worse. This was also especially hard to swallow. One of my goals in life is to make things better for my family, not make it worse. No one wants to be yelled at. My husband doesn't want it, my kids don't want and I don't want anyone to yell at me either. In fact, yelling is the perfect way to guarantee that no one will listen to you. This one is hard. I try not to yell, I really do. But after you have asked like 10 times, yelling seems to be the only solution. But it always makes everyone feel worse, including myself. Therefore, I will stop yelling (I would say I will try, but as I tell my kids 10 times a day, "there is no try, only do.").

Third - How could I expect perfection from everyone else, when I wasn't giving it? Now I know that no one is perfect so I guess I need to let go of my expectation of perfection from everyone. What I guess I mean is that I cannot expect my family to speak nice to each other if I do not speak nice to them. Which has led to my personal challenge for the next 30 days...

I hereby pledge, that I will take on the Be A Better Person Challenge for the next 30 days. Anyone with me? This will mean different things to different people. I plan on looking at 3 separate yet equal facets of my life - my husband, my children and myself - and do something everyday to be a better wife, mother and self. This is not going to be easy, but I am hoping that if leading by example will encourage my family to be better as well. Wish me luck!

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