The Happiness Project – Take Two?

It must have been at least 7 months since I read The Happiness Project. I need to read it again. I have forgotten the value of what Gretchin Rubin taught me since I started my new job in a prison.

It is hard for people to imagine what it is like working in such an environment. I never wanted to become that person who lives for Friday night, yet that is exactly who I have become. This is not because I do not enjoy my job, but because only at the weekend do I have days that are not stressful.

I set goals in the daytime of what I would like to achieve when I get home. When I walk through my front door all of my goals feel unattainable because of how tired I am. I know, however, that this ‘tired’ is a state of mind; it is not real.

I realised this today. I realised that my state of my mind dictates everything that I do and it is not about my next purchase from Topshop that I will make at the weekend to make me feel motivated, but a change in my state of my mind. I told myself that I wanted to go for a run rather than thinking about the effort involved in going for a run. I told myself that I wanted to write something and decided to ‘just do it’, rather than thinking well you don’t have anything to write.

So, before I reread The Happiness Project I feel like I have discovered two affirmations, or mantras rather, on my own that don’t entirely belong to Gretchin, which I can try and live by to achieve the goals that I set, after visiting an array of prisoners, for my evenings.

These goals throw me out of the cycle that most call reality. I do not want to be in the repetitive cycle of coming home, running, showering, cooking and eating dinner, and watching Friends before I go to bed. I need to fall out of this routine.

There is a world full of opportunities from creating book clubs (I did this!) to learning a new talent (pattern-making?) There are countries to plan to visit, there are people to catch up with, there are new films to watch, and there are new people to meet.

I maybe too tired, but I am so over people telling me that the cycle I want to avoid is reality. It’s only a reality to them because that’s what they have accepted to be their reality. I want my reality to be filled with a few free and cosy evenings a week with my man with some new and exciting challenges in between. I will report on how my two newly discovered mantras are coming along.


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