Friday, April 22, 2011


I'm doing lots of thinking while here in California. I'm also reading a book (it's great -- check it out!) called The Happiness Project. I think this is spurring ever-more thinking. I really enjoyed it, and got energized by it.

The Happiness Project is about one woman's journey to increase happiness in her life. Each month for a year, she focuses on a different area of her life, like increasing her energy (cleaning out closets and creating space, going to a personal trainer), improving her relationship with her family members, and doing more things that she loves.

It's pretty inspiring... not inspiring like Mother Teresa inspiring... more like, "Huh, I think I could do that."

One idea she had that I loved was she bought a nice looking file box for each daughter, and filled them each with a separate file folder, one for each year of life. And so for each year of life, she will fill them with things like birthday party invitations (to the girls' own birthday parties), report cards, artwork, etc. I love this idea. Having just one folder per year would limit the quantity of stuff, while also making sure that some precious items are saved each year.

How much would you enjoy looking through these precious mementos from your own life, never mind your child's?

Anyway, just one of many cool ideas I've gotten. But it does make me think a lot about making sure I'm as happy as I can be, and especially to focus on enjoying my time to come with my little girl. I worry about wishing infancy to hurry up and move along.

More to the point, which I have been straying from... I've been talking to my friend Carrie a lot about my many thoughts about what I want to do with my life. She's concerned that I am trying to control life too much, that I need to relax and let things happen. Maybe she's right; I'm not sure.

My beautiful friend Carrie, at our impromptu lunch spot in Santa Ines

walking on the beach together in Santa Barbara

where we saw a seal... so cool! 

Right now I guess I worry that if I don't take advantage of this free time, away from home, then I won't be serious about the idea of making big changes. The thing is: I'm happy with life, I am. I'm content. I enjoy my days. And yet, I feel like something is missing.

I know one area that I feel this is with respect to food. I bought a Window Farm, so I can grow vegetables in my window using hydroponics. I'm excited about this, but I'm not sure that this is going to help with the yearning I feel to have more of a connection to growing food. Maybe it will. I feel a craving to have my hands in the dirt. To get good and grubby. I am in the process of joining a community garden, and I hope that will help as well, but I won't have much of an opportunity to grow food there.

I'm curious to know when and how I will know how much of a connection I'm looking for. I don't know exactly what feels off-kilter here.

Another area I'm really thinking about is the sense of freedom I feel out on the trails. Today I went on a solo hike while my friend was cooking. It was great because I could go as slow as I wanted, letting my belly set the pace. Hopping across creeks was challenging with my new center of gravity. But I just felt so free and alive out there, regardless of pace. My head was clear, my heart was pounding, my breath was loud, and my heart was joyful. I need this in my life.

I feel this heightened sense of stakes, not surprisingly, with this new person due to arrive in my life. But at the same time, as my friend pointed out, I can always try a move and see how it goes.

Why is it that my current life situation feels precarious? (Precarious in the sense that I feel like if I moved away, I could never re-create it.)


  1. I am so envious of your hike! I haven't been able to get a good, heart-pounding workout in for ages - walking and the elliptical just make my back hurt too horribly - and I miss it so much.

    Thanks for the idea about the file folders, I'm going to steal that! I started her book a while ago, but just haven't had time to read more than the first chapter or so.

  2. I LOVE the file folder idea too! I am so stealing that idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. That seal is so cute. Glad you had a great trip!