Everything Miz Meliz, The Happiness Project

What’s Up? Nothing Much! A conversation with myself about progress

Here we are in Week 3 of Vitality Month with Chronically Distracted’s Happiness Project! (I am getting caught up with the prompts.)

What’s Up?

Am I feeling vivacious? Yes, actually, I am!

Full of vim and vigor? Absolutely!  I have been feeling lively and enthusiastic lately. The energetic spirit has hold of me.  I have noticed myself singing in the shower. . . something I don’t recall doing for a very long time!  There is an active force within me that has been pushing me forward. . .I am going for walks and cooking and writing even when I don’t feel like it.  (Now, if I can only activate that enthusiastic spirit to do the bills, the laundry, and the dishes!)

At least I can say that I am working on it!! And the best part is, since I made my resolution to embrace experiences and live in the moment, I have not been hard on myself or my family for not doing the household chores.  I do it when it matters most and it makes a difference for all of us that we send more quality time together and have a lighthearted attitude about the daily grind.

Wouldn’t it be great if I could do it all?  Will I ever get to that point?  It would be lovely, wouldn’t it?  Sitting down to watch late night television and drifting off to sleep knowing that everything on today’s to do list was done and feeling completely ready for the next day.  There are people out there who achieve this level of bliss.  I have two questions for them.  How do you do it?  Does it make a difference in your level of happiness?

According to  Grethen Rubin’s blog on February 10th, there is a way.  She wrote about procrastination, the nemesis to progress.

I found this intriguing. . . .

In Roy Baumeister and John Tierney’s fascinating book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, they suggest the “Nothing Alternative” to this problem. That is, if you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing.

Nothing much,

What?  Seriously?  That sounds like what I am doing. . . nothing much!

Can I make the commitment to, instead, do NOTHING in place of procrastinating about what needs to be done?

My biggest personal barrier to progress is laziness. Pure laziness.  I have a blasé attitude towards most things.  If I don’t do it today, I will tomorrow.

“There’s always tomorrow.”  “Afterall, tomorrow is another day!”

When it comes down to it, perhaps I am not lazy.  It does take a lot of energy to do all the things that I do get done.  I work full-time and I manage a household with a work at home husband, three teenaged boys, and three cats.  I have been blogging and managing my online networks while working at increasing my readership.  I designed a website for one client and I am consulting with another on marketing and optimizing her business.  In turn she has become a close friend and has motivated me to start cooking and exercising.  (Thanks, I really did need that!)

I lack discipline.  That’s what it is.  I have slipped away from a routine that includes the regular chores of keeping the house clean, the laundry done and the refrigerator full.  Sometimes I feel like I am a roommate instead of the mom in my house.  My house has turned into a combination dorm room/locker room and it is out of control.  I have taken to sitting outside on my patio with my laptop and cell phone because it is either too messy, nowhere to sit, too many distractions, or just plain stinky inside!  I hated feeling isolated in my bedroom, at least now I can keep an eye on things through the sliding glass window.

Could I make this work?  I would like to make an effort to get it all done, even if that takes some delegating, er. . . um, motivating!  If I tell myself that I cannot do anything until the dishes are done, for example, will I get back in the habit of doing those chores quickly and efficiently rather than letting them pile up until I can’t stand it anymore?  (And please don’t tell me that the kids should be doing their share of the chores.  They do, believe me!  But I will not nag them to do something that I myself won’t do – they are even busier than I am plus they have the added pressure to get good grades.  That is their priority.)

So, for me it isn’t about not procrastinating in regards to work or writing – it’s getting my mundane everyday chores in check prior to diving in to my writing and creating and fun.  This brings to mind how I handled things when I was an at home mom. . . I would take the kids out for ice cream or to hang out at the park as a treat and only after we finished the chores of the day.  I remember (vaguely) thinking I wouldn’t turn the television on until I was finished with making dinner and cleaning the kitchen.  I was much more disciplined back then. When I was going through depression I would tell myself I could go back to bed as soon as I got one thing done.  I suppose I was putting into action the Nothing Alternative without realizing it!   I did like thinking of it as a reward system.

Hmmm . . . I can commit to trying that out!

Get up! I need to do the laundry!