Discipline = Happiness… REALLY??

Short of a seven day trip to Florida, if this seven-day forecast for the Boston area doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. Look at all that sunshine, and temperatures over 40!

So, I was thinking today about how I have, in many ways, dropped my Happiness Project. School started again, and my project slowly dropped down the list of priorities as report cards, parent-conferences, grading, and the monotony of daily life took over. As I sit here, I’m neglecting my project once again, skipping out on my yoga class in favor of an evening in bed. It’s not that an evening in bed with a book is bad, it’s when one evening with a book becomes two evenings with a book, which slowly becomes more than a month since I’ve made it to that yoga class. I LOVE that yoga class, but the class is at 6:30 p.m. on Friday nights only, and by Friday I often feel too drained to do anything but sit in my bed with a book. I feel better when I go to class, but the days when I do are increasingly infrequent.

It struck me tonight, as my regular debate raged how much discipline happiness actually takes. My slothful self would prefer to lounge around all day everyday, but that doesn’t actually make me feel very good. I’d prefer to sleep until 10:00 every weekend, but it screws up my routine for 5/7ths of the week. I’d prefer to order take-out every night, but I feel crummy both physically and emotionally after I do. Even the sugar-free thing is a struggle, but on the days when I managed to avoid excess sugar, I had more energy, my brain processed information more effectively, and my body just felt like things were running more smoothly.

I wish happiness didn’t require discipline. The project would be so much simpler if I could just do what I felt like doing all the time, but that doesn’t result in true happiness, in fact more often than not it just results in guilt. So, we’re back to the project with a couple of goals for the week:

  1. Go to yoga on Friday
  2. Wake up at 7:00 on Saturday and Sunday (which means go to bed at 10 on Friday and Saturday)
  3. Try the mostly sugar-free thing, for one more week

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