Friday, May 14, 2010

Watching Grass Grow

Today I watched grass grow.  I lay on my stomach on the perfectly manicured lawn next to the business building on campus and watched.  And it was beautiful.

Okay, so I didn't actually see any growth happen.  And I wasn't just lying there watching.  I was writing.  About the grass.  And the sun was warm on the back of my black jeans, and a soft breeze whispered over my skin.  And I thought about grass growing.  I thought of how it takes so long that we can't see it happen, but we know it does, because on the weekend we have to mow it.  I heard the cars go by, and saw people rushing on the sidewalk.  And I thought about how I always seem to be running places and there's always something that has to be done right now.

But I was very happy in that moment in the sun, in the grass.  And I thought, maybe we would all be happier if we took time out more often to just be.  To watch grass grow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little Things That Make Me Happy

Pretty cupcakes.  Tuesday I finished my final exams for spring.  I went over to the University Center to get some lunch, and they had these gorgeously decorated little cupcakes.  Now, cupcakes in general make me happy, but pretty cupcakes make me even happier.  So I bought one.  (Don't fret for my health, I had a sandwich too.)  Then I took a picture of it with my phone, because I found I couldn't ingest such perfection without documenting it somehow.  And then I ate it, and it was fabulous.  It pretty much made my day.

Fun Musical soundtracks.  Specifically [title of show].  (No, really, that's what it's called).  I think this is probably one of the most brilliant shows written in the 21st century.  It has poppy upbeat music and clever, roll-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud lyrics.  It's a musical about writing a musical - what's not to love?  It makes me smile to listen to just one song.  Of course it has moments of profound truth, too.  My favorite song from the show is "Nine People's Favorite Thing" with the lyrics "I'd rather be nine people's favorite thing than a hundred people's ninth favorite thing."  The song has a pretty powerful message about following your own artistic instincts instead of trying to please everyone.  Since this is something I struggle with on a daily basis, this song makes me doubly happy.

Random acts of music and dancing.  We had our very own flash mob in the library yesterday.  I don't know who organized it, but ours was entirely violence free and definitely a little pick-me-up in the middle of finals week.  I have to disagree with Wikipedia's statement that these groups always perform "pointless" acts, though.  How can anything that relieves stress and puts smiles on so many peoples faces be pointless?  Here's the video.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goals 2010

I've been thinking (and reading) a lot about goals this month. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I do want to make some changes in my life and I like the idea of goals, and plans for achieving goals.  I didn't come up with goals in time for the new year, but today is my birthday, the start of MY new year and it seems like a pretty good day to start the rest of my life.  So here are my big picture goals.  I've already broken down some of these into smaller pieces and started trying to create habits to make them a reality.  I'll talk more about that later, but I wanted to get these posted now.

1) Get Healthier/Have More Energy

I work a full time job and attend graduate school.  I also participate in several theatrical productions every year in conjunction with our local community theater, the university, and most recently, a newly formed professional theater company.  I get sick a lot, and don't have time for that (who does, right?).  I hope that developing a healthier lifestyle will help me avoid illness better and have more energy to cope with my hectic schedule.  I'd also really like to lose a little weight.

2) Unclutter My House/Life

My house is a mess.  I have way too much stuff and I can't find things I need.  Also, I know that I'm happier when things are clean and organized.  But the physical clutter is only part of the problem, so I want to unclutter my life as well.  Obviously, this is a really big goal, so I want to set several smaller goals and I won't beat myself up if it's not complete at the end of the year, as long as I can make continuous progress.

3) Start a Happiness Project

I've been reading Gretchen Rubin's blog The Happiness Project and I've decided I'd like to have one of my own.  To that end, I've signed up for her 2010 Happiness Challenge and I plan to pick up her book for my eReader.  I think the first two goals I've set will feed into this one as well.