125 days of not yelling, 240 days of loving more to go!
I hope you feel honored. Of all the books I could read on my mini-vacation, including 50 shades of whatever it is called, I chose your book, The Happiness Project. Now mind you, I haven’t read a book in probably 4 years except for the What to Expect when you are Expecting and What to Expect the First Year. And mind you, I don’t like reading books (reading is hard for me.) So truly, for me to pick up a real book and read it is a miracle. But given that many of my wonderful blog readers had suggested I read your book, I couldn’t say no. I am glad I listened to them.
You see, in reading your book I started thinking. Which is NEVER a good thing. I mean it is, but it isn’t. Because it means I think of ways to improve (excellent, if executed). But it also means I create new work, new to-do’s for which is the last thing I need. This time though, my thinking turned towards what I affectionately call my silly Orange Rhino Challenge. And even though yes, my mind is now full of new ideas on how to succeed at the Challenge, it is all good. All good. Because the new work impacts my kids and that makes it all worth it.
Somewhere around page 15 I paused and thought “hmmm…I *have* unlocked the key to not yelling at my kids. I think. But what I need to unlock now is how to keep from getting grumpy so that I don’t have to work so hard to not yell in the first place.” To be clear, it’s not that I am an unhappy person it’s just that sometimes I let certain things get me, I let certain things take up space in my mind and it is then very hard to stay focused on being present and loving with my kiddos. Because all I really want to do is yell “LEAVE ME the F ALONE!” I want to stop letting these things get to me – I need to make some changes so that I can be successful at this challenge in the long term!
Anyway, you got me thinking and I am grateful (and I am pretty sure my husband is too, he just won’t admit it).
The Orange Rhino
I went away.
I read a book.
It made me think.
It made me think of all the things in my life that make me grumpy, that set me up to snap.
Like feeling fat.
Like resenting my husband.
Like mama guilt.
Like being tired.
Like not doing the things that make me happy.
Like feeling that I am losing friends, left and right.
Like feeling that time is going by and I am not enjoying it enough…because of all the above things.
So I made some resolutions. Some resolutions focused on changing the areas of my life that need tweaking so that I can be less trigger-happy and more mama-happy!
And I am sticking to them…because I know that they make me a happier person and therefore a better mom and therefore less apt to yell.I am still shocked that I thought starting The Orange Rhino Challenge would JUST be about learning to be more patient, more tolerable. But really, it is about so much more. I never thought I would be doing so much soul searching in order to succeed at this challenge.
Anywho, I share my resolutions with you all to keep me accountable.
1) CLUTTER: Every night I WILL take the 5-10 minutes to put away the clutter because clutter makes me claustrophobic and antsy.
2) WEIGHT: I WILL start Weight Watchers again. I WILL exercise 4 times a week. Because it is important to me, no matter what I say.
3) MARRIAGE: I WILL start communicating with my husband when I am upset instead of holding it in and feeling the resentment grow. And grow. And grow. Because I love my husband and I want our marriage to last a lifetime.
4) MAMA GUILT: I WILL move my computer away from the family area so that I spend more time with my kids and stop feeling crappy that I checked People.com every 30 minutes instead of hanging with my little people.
5) TIRED: I WILL go to bed by 10:00 5 nights a week. Because the truth is if I don’t get 8 hours of sleep I am a beast. 7 will have to do.
6) HOBBIES: I WILL look at pictures 1 night a week because it makes me happy, it makes me smile, it makes me grateful.
7) FRIENDS: I WILL email one friend a night that I don’t see daily
8) PRESENT: I WILL start vocalizing when I am happy and loving a moment to force myself to enjoy it.
No time like the Present! Right now I am happy because the clutter is cleared and well, I met each resolution today. Added bonus: I didn’t yell.
Which reminds me of one more major resolution:
9) ORANGE RHINO: I WILL not yell. I WILL not quit even though I will want to. Often. Because like it or not, this Challenge is making so many aspects of my life, and my family’s life better.