Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Own Happiness Project

As you know, I read an inspiring book, The Happiness Project, over my spring break.

I've been doing lots of thinking because of it. Especially in concert with my thoughts about California.

I don't know yet what I will do about a move, and probably won't know for quite a while. If I decide to do it, I'm guessing it's at least 1-2 years away. The soonest I could fathom is summer 2012.

So in the meantime, both to give NYC a fair shake, and more importantly, to boost my happiness in the here and now, I'm doing lots of brainstorming to think of what I can do now to shake things up in a positive way. Not to say that I am unhappy, because I'm not, especially since getting pregnant. No, it's more along the lines of, why not be even happier???

So today I worked my second Maintenance Day at the nearby Community Garden. It was wonderful. Something about getting my hands dirty, and squatting in the soil, and pulling weeds... it just lights me up. A little like being on trails. And I happened to stumble on a conversation between a few folks who are unofficially taking over three abandoned personal plots (you earn the right to have your own personal plot to grow your own personal plants after about two years... the owners of these plots haven't officially given them up yet, but have said they don't have time to use them this year, and offered them to these other folks). Anyway, when I exhibited interest, they invited me to join them in their little group. And so now I have an unofficial date to meet these folks on Saturday mornings at 9 am to tend our basil, lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, beans, and other vegetables. YAY!!!

One of the things that is great about this arrangement is that while I love the ability to linger over tea, yogurt and fruit, and email on weekend mornings... I fear that staying in and losing hours doing this also doesn't promote my happiness. Being outside is much better. But committing to getting on the subway and going into the city can be overwhelming, too. So this low-level commitment is perfect. Best of all, I can skip any time I need or want to.

Out of this small group, I clicked with one woman in particular. We ended up weeding and talking together for a couple of hours, which was great. She's a social worker, and might be very interested in the job in my clinic if we decide my current (new) social worker isn't working out. And she goes hiking pretty regularly. She was fun to chat with, and if it turns out that I get a hiking "date" out of it (or co-worker), so much the better!

I also have plans to go hiking with a SMC online friend, soon to be real-time friend, next weekend. Given that we are both pregnant, and she is only six weeks out, I think we shall be a funny sight. But I can't wait!

I'm proud of my efforts so far. And they are paying big dividends already... today was a very happy day.

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